This course will examine the unique aspects of services management and marketing, with a particular focus on services in the luxury environment. The methodology used will be both theoretical and practical.
Underlying the approach of this course is the “service perspective”. According to this perspective, customers are not looking for goods or services, but rather for benefits or solutions to their problems. In other words, to be competitive, firms need to understand their selected customers’ total needs in order to design and deliver the core solution: the pertinent package of goods and services. But beyond that, the solution should also include other relevant billable, and non-billable services, such as invoicing, complaint handling, advice and personal attention, information, and other value-adding components. In this service perspective, the role of service components in building and maintaining customer relationships is fundamental and strategic, and sustainable competitive advantage can only be created by understanding and meeting every element of the individual customer relationship. Given the highly demanding and discriminating behavior and needs of the “luxury” buyer, effectively embracing and implementing the service perspective becomes even more imperative if a firm is to succeed in this highly competitive market.
This course will also examine, through various case studies and discussions, services as they relate to (as possible examples) the fields of hospitality, retail, wines, art, event management, and professional services.