ELE 3773 Service Marketing


ELE 3773 Service Marketing

Responsible for the course
Matilda Dorotic

Department of Marketing

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Today, service companies account for more than 75% of the gross national product in developed countries, employing more than 80% of the labor force. With a rapid development of technology, these numbers will further increase in the near future, making the world “the service economy”. Even goods manufacturing companies increasingly augment their products with services and move into service business. In a competitive environment dominated by service companies in stagnated markets and an increasing focus on customer service, knowledge about service marketing and management becomes a vital prerequisite of success in both the private and public sectors. This means that today’s managers need to have in-depth knowledge about the unique characteristics of services and the challenges these characteristics pose on marketing and management of customer services and service companies. Those challenges are exacerbated through the increased use of social media and internet services which introduce new opportunities and challenges for building relationships between service providers and their customers. This course focuses strongly on practical examples and implementation of service marketing concepts and tools for improving managerial performance of service companies.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
In this course students should acquire knowledge about fundamental theories, methods and concepts within the area of services marketing such as:

  • Understanding of what challenges one faces when marketing and managing services and the consequences of these challenges for the employees, the customers and the management
  • Knowledge about core models and tools that can be applied to handle these challenges when the overall goal is to create a loyal and profitable customer base.

This course aims at teaching the students to recognize burning strategic issues in a practical example and to apply the acquired knowledge to improve the business performance.

Acquired skills
Through this course the students should be able to apply services marketing knowledge to solve practical and theoretical problems through an increased ability to:
  • To apply relevant tools and techniques to meet and handle the various challenges and problems of service companies
  • Develop an ability to evaluate, implement and manage effective marketing programs in service companies

We will do this by focusing strongly on the practical issues that companies face, looking at numerous real-life examples and diagnosing problems that companies in our environment face. In this course we aim to collaborate with companies to provide students with opportunities to diagnose relevant issues and propose adequate solutions.

Through this course the students should be able to communicate information, theories, ideas, problems and solutions from service marketing by an increased focus on ethical problems and corporate social responsibility.

Some basic knowledge of marketing concepts may be beneficial, but it is not neccessary.

Compulsory reading
Wilson, Alan ... [et al.]. 2012. Services marketing : integrating customer focus across the firm. 2nd European ed. McGraw-Hill

Collection of articles:
M. Dorotic. Service Marketing: Selected Articles and Case Studies. 2014. Handelshøyskolen BI

Recommended reading
Fisk, Raymond P., Stephen J. Grove, Joby John. 2014. Services marketing : an interactive approach. 4th ed, International ed.. South-Western Cengage Learning

Course outline
The foundation of service marketing
  • Introduction to services
  • Consumer behavior in services
  • Internet services and social media, changes that new technology brings

Building blocks: Understanding customer requirements
  • Listening to customers through research
  • Customer expectations of service
  • Customer perceptions of service
  • Where gaps in service quality occur

Designing an Effective Service: service design and standards
  • Service development and design
  • Customer-defined service standards
  • Physical evidence and the servicescape

Delivering and Performing High Quality Service
  • Employees’ roles in service delivery
  • Customers’ roles in service delivery
  • Delivering service through technology
  • Intermediaries in service delivery

Managing Relationships and Building Customer Loyalty
  • Managing demand and capacity
  • Service recovery
  • Customer loyalty

Managing Services Effectively
  • Integrated service marketing communication
  • Pricing of services
  • The financial impact of service quality

Review of the field of service marketing:
  • Review of service marketing: how did it all start and why?
  • Do our concepts, theories and models still hold water?
  • What trends and challenges are we facing/ will we see in near future?

Computer-based tools
This course requires students to use the learning platform It's Learning and the Internet.

Learning process and workload
The course will be based on a combination of lectures, discussions, case studies, group and individual work; when possible accompanied by guest lecture(s) by service marketing practitioners. As a part of the learning process students are required to participate in the class discussion by giving their opinions and practical examples and making a presentation of their project(s) (in which case all team members must be present).

Final grade in the course will be based on a process exam consisting following activities and weightings:
  1. One individual exercise/assignment during the course, counts 20 % of the final grade
    This can be a written assignment or a quiz with multiple-choice questions. The assignments have a form of short essays (and/or a quiz), and should be submitted online through Itslearning and they will be graded 0 - 100 points.
  2. One group exercise/assignment during the course, counts 20 % of the final grade
    The tasks in the assignments may differ across students/groups. The group exercise/assignment will be graded 0 - 100 points. At least one of those assignments should be presented in the class as the part of the class discussion (the class presentation will not be graded).
  3. Project paper, counts 60 % of the final grade
    The final project/paper may be solved individually or in groups of up to three students, and need to apply assigned service marketing concepts and tools on practical business example(s). The final project will be graded 0 - 100 points.

Recommended workload in hours:
Lectures and group work
Preparation for lectures
Self study/home work preparing for presentations
Work on Projects
Total recommended use of time

    Final grade in the course will be based on a process exam consisting following activities and weightings:

    - One individual exercise/assignment, counts 20 % of the final grade
    - One group exercise/assignment, counts 20 % of the final grade
    - Project paper, counts 60 % of the final grade

    See section "Learning process and workload for further details. Additional information on all aspects of the course will be given during class and on It's Learning webpage of the Service marketing course.

    Examination code(s)
    ELE 37731 - Process evaluation. Accounts for 100 % of the final grade in the course ELE 3773 Service Marketing, 7,5 ECTS.

    Examination support materials
    All examination support materials and dictionary may be used for the assignments/project, in accordance to the anti-plagiarism rules at BI.
    Examination support materials at written examiniations are explained under examination information in the student portal @BI. Please note use of calculator and dictionary. https://at.bi.no/EN/Pages/Exa_Hjelpemidler-til-eksamen.aspx

    Re-sit examination
    Re-sit examination is offered at the next scheduled course.

    Additional information