Service and Relationship Marketing

Department of Marketing, Business School

College of Social Sciences


Code 19315

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 10

Semester 2

Other pre-requisites A strong foundation in marketing principles and management

Module description

This module develops an understanding of the particular challenges, opportunities and strategies which are encountered by different types of service business. Many developed economies are dominated by services, and service organisations require a distinctive approach to marketing strategy - both in its development and execution. The module will examine the distinctive characteristics of services (intangibility, perishability, inseparability and heterogeneity), and service image dimensions, and how these impact on the marketing approaches used by firms - including the difficulties of sychronising demand and supply and of controlling quality. The module will examine management of the service process, management of service encounters, customer behaviour in service settings, approaches to the design and creation of effective service delivery systems, and the positioning, communication and pricing of services. Attention will also be given to service quality issues (including the Gaps Model) and complaint handling and service recovery.
By the end of the module students you should be able to:
Discuss how the services sector operates in developed economies.
Define and illustrate the main components of services marketing theory.
Critically appraise the way in which this theory can be practically applied in the service sector
Develop and justify alternative marketing approaches that can be used by service managers

Teaching and learning methods

A combination of formal lecture delivery and seminar-based work. Emphasis will be given to the analysis and student-led discussion of contemporary case studies. Discussions will explore student interpretation and views of selected readings and cases. Students will need to work independently and in groups to deepen their understanding of issues related to services marketing by finding, selecting and making use of relevant reading material as part of their private study and syndicate work.