Definition: The Service Marketing Triangle is a strategic marketing model for service companies that depicts the relationship between companies, employees and customers. The model states three types of marketing which the service organization must undertake effectively in order to succeed.
It displays three interconnected groups, i.e. company, employees (service provider) and customers who work together for the development, promotion and delivery of services for the satisfaction of customers.
The development of the service marketing model was helpful in handling the difficulties that marketers often experience when dealing with intangible products, i.e. services. It indicates how the different components of the service triangle influence each other. It outlines the relationship between various providers of services and consumers of services.
What is a Service?
A service refers to any act or performance one person delivers to another and doesn’t lead to ownership. Further, its production is not associated with physical products. It amounts to all the economic activities whose output is no physical product. Hence, the production and consumption take place at the same time.
- Company: The company or firm is the management which covers full-time marketers and sales personnel who promises or commits to the customers. Also, they have to keep the promises by way of internal marketing.
- Employees: They are the ones who deal with the customers directly. It won’t be wrong to say that they are part-time marketers. Further, they carry out interactive marketing.
- Customer: They are the ones to whom the company delivers services and are exposed to external marketing.
Types of Marketing Involved in Service Triangle
Internal Marketing – Enabling the Promise
Companies use internal marketing to promote their business goals to employees. The internal customers of the company, i.e. the employees, are a vital part of the organization. In this, the marketers interact with the employees to know the strengths and weaknesses of the company. For this purpose, the marketer tries to involve all the employees in the general discussion.
A service-based company won’t be able to deliver quality services to its clients unless the internal customers are not fully certain and believe the company. For this, the firm must try hard to ensure that the employees believe in the company’s vision and mission and act accordingly.
Moreover, it covers all the firm’s activities for training, motivating and rewarding employees. It guides employees in understanding the mission and values of the company.
- Involves training, motivation and teamwork programs for gaining employee support.
- Enabling employees to deliver the service effectively and keep the promise.
External Marketing – Setting or Making the Promise
The primary aim of every firm is to gain, retain and increase their overall customer base. And this is only possible when the company delivers high value to the customers.
External Marketing is the conventional marketing in which interaction between a company and external customers (potential and existing) takes place. In this, the company promote their services by way of ad campaigns. Further, it involves setting up customers’ expectations by making promises to the customer concerning what is to be delivered. This means it communicates to the customer about the product’s quality before it is delivered.
In external marketing, the company seeks to understand customers’ needs and satisfy them by fulfilling their demands. They communicate with the customers directly and persuade them to choose their service.
- Marketing to the end-users, i.e. clients
- It covers pricing strategy, promotional activities and communication with customers.
- Carried out to draw the consumers’ attention and create interest in people for their service.
Interactive Marketing – Delivering the Promise
In interactive marketing, the company attempts to understand the customers’ needs and create a more personalized experience. It helps in developing long-term or short-term relationships with customers.
To be precise, it is the interaction between employees and customers. The employees of the firm come in direct contact with the customer and interact with them. This is because customers do not interact with the company directly but through their employees, who represent the company before the customers. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that employees are the company’s human face for customers. So, it involves the actual delivery of service.
Further, the customers who are highly satisfied with the services provided by the company often turn out as their regular customers.
- Real-time marketing because it is spontaneous. It is commonly called the moment of Truth and Service Encounter.
- It is a decisive moment of interaction between the employee and the customer.
Relationships in Service Marketing Triangle
- Company to Customers: Customers must be aware of the company’s service strategy. They should have an idea of the firm’s commitment towards excellence.
- Company to Employees: Employees must be aware of the service strategy of the firm. It helps them understand the need for marketing the service.
- Company to Systems: Consistency of the service strategy and system designed to form routine business activities creates the third relationship.
- Customer to System: Effect of the organizational system on customer service experience.
- Employee to System: Significance of organizational system and employee efforts.
- Employees to Customer: It denotes the relationship between the customer and the service provider.
A word from Business Jargons
Above all, Service Marketing Triangle is a model which suggests that service organizations must professionally manage internal, external, and interactive marketing. These three marketing functions are crucial to the firms that provide services to their clients.
In the service industry, this method of understanding relationships is very common. It helps the companies in directing their marketing efforts.