This essay looks at the first chapter of the book, “Introduction to Services,” focusing on DHL Saudi Arabia. This chapter presents information on changes in the world economy and business practice that have driven the focus on service: the fact that services dictate the modern economies of the world; the focus on service as a competitive business imperative; particular needs of the deregulated and professional service industries; the role of new service concepts growing from technological advances; and the realization that the characteristics of services result in unique challenges and opportunities.
The chapter presents a wide viewpoint of services as deeds, processes, and performances, and it drew distinctions among pure services, value-added services, customer service, and derived service.
According to Zeithaml et al (5), “services are deeds, processes, and performances provided or coproduced by one entity or person for another entity or person.” DHL’s services intangible deeds and processes offered and co-produced for its clients. To be definite, DHL Saudi Arabia is a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL, an MNC with operations in more than 220 countries and more than 120,000 destinations around the world. It specializes in providing courier and express services to businesses and individual clients.
In Saudi Arabia and its other destinations, DHL has focused on selected industry sectors thus its clients benefit from working with professionals, in logistics and also in their specific market place. With industry-renowned sector services it offers its clients with a real competitive advantage. In its operations, the entire services are delivered to the customer through problem analysis activities, appointments with the customer, follow-up calls, and issuing reports.
The text suggests that services are not limited to service industries, but services can be lucrative and services are challenging to run and market. Service industry take a considerable and growing proportion of the world economy; yet particularly in the
Saudi Arabia, customer attitudes of services are not good.
Several dynamics have resulted to the growth of services marketing, management and many industries, firms, and individuals have defined the breadth of the concepts, procedures, and strategies which delineate the industry. In Saudi Arabia, DHL’s services marketing concepts and strategies have been adopted in response to the significant growth of service industries.
DHL offers has a flexible choice of services and its customers can choose from a wide variety of services from Saturday delivery to carbon neutral transportation, thus its customers get more convenience when using its services worldwide. This has increased the need for its services in Saudi Arabia and it continues to grow in the region (DHL International np).
Presently, technology, in particular information technology, has greatly shaped the field and influenced the practice of services marketing. Globalization and technology have really impacted DHL’s operations.
Looking at Saudi Arabia, it is real how technology has been the leading force in service innovations now. E-commerce, fax machines, ATMs, and other common services available to almost everyone in Saudi Arabia are all possible due to new technological advancements. E-commerce firms such as Amazon and eBay provide services previously unthought-of.
These internet-based companies really greatly on the service industry to either deliver their goods or collect goods or information for them and thus have created great opportunities for companies like DHL. Besides creating opportunities for new services, technology provides a vehicle for delivering existing services in a more convenient, productive way. Technology also has facilitated transactions by providing a direct means for purchasing and undertaking business functions.
Though technology offers a lot of opportunities in supporting and enhancing services, there are potential negative outcomes as well them main one being technology infusion. Technology infusion brings a loss of human contact that is believed to be negative purely from a quality of life and human relationships viewpoint. Also to companies like DHL, new social innovations like Facebook, and Twitter among others have led to reduced business since people rarely use mails, which is major DHL’s earner.
Goods and services have distinctive characteristics, these are, intangibility, heterogeneity, simultaneous production and consumption and perishability. Recently, it has been suggested that these distinctive attributes shouldn’t be seen as unique to services but that they also have relevance to goods, that “all products are services,” and that “economic exchange is basically about provision of services.”
Besides the traditional four Ps, the expanded services marketing mix goes further to include people, physical evidence, and process.
According to the expanded marketing mix for services, because services are usually produced and consumed at the same time, consumers are often present in the company’s factory, relate one-on-one with the company’s staff, and are in fact part of the service production process.
Also, since services are not tangible, consumers will often be seeking for any tangible indication to help them understand the nature of the services experience.
For example, in DHL’s industry the delivery condition, time and responsiveness of the company influences customer perceptions and experiences. DHL has acknowledged the importance of these additional variables and has adopted the concept of an expanded marketing mix for its services.
DHL International. “About Us.” DHL Saudi Arabia. 2011. Web. 2011.
Zeithaml, Valarie, Bitner, Mary and Gremler, Dwayne. Services Marketing: Integrating customer Focus Across the Firm. NY: Higher Education.