What is Servicescape in Service Marketing - CuriousOwl (2023)

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Introduction

Servicescape is a combination of two terms. The “scape” simply means something which denotes a “picture or representation”. When it pertains to any service, we know it as ServiceScape.

Now, as we have understood the term per se, there are actually many things to explore that relate to the physical environment or “picture”. Yet it also has a huge bearing on consumer behavior,

These days, it has a massive effect on the marketing of the products or services.

A framework developed by Mary Jo Bitner in 1994, which establishes the relationship between the physical ambiance and place and its impact on service delivery and perception, both for customers and for staff.

What is a Servicescape?

Also known as service setting, the framework takes account of ambiance, temperature, lighting, furnishings, color, scent, music, and use of space on the quality, delivery, and perception of services.

Running a business that is tangible by nature, like restaurants and salons, a servicescape helps customers to expect more. To create an expectation and build a relevant impression of that service as soon as they enter the physical environment, or even before.

Simply put, servicescapes are uniquely designed by each business to create an atmosphere that aims to enhance their customer’s experience.

This ultimately has an impact on their buying behavior. This model acts as a framework for businesses. It helps understand the elements at play in a servicescape. And, how they also can benefit by building their own.

Moreover, not only it examines the stimuli acting on customer psychology but on staff as well generated by the physical setting.

The servicescape is particularly important in services marketing because of the unique characteristics of services that are, intangibility and perishability, the inseparability of production and consumption, and heterogeneity to have a superior quality of delivery.

Definitions of Servicescape

The concept of a servicescape was developed in the early 80s and was defined as “the environment in which the service is assembled and in which the seller and customer interact, combined with tangible commodities that facilitate performance or communication of the service”. (Booms & Bitner, 1981)

This was further developed by Mary Jo Bitner into a model which “demonstrates the relationship between the physical ambience and place and its impact on service delivery and perception”.

What are the various dimensions of Servicescape?

The servicescape model comprises a range of environmental dimensions or physical stimuli.

They have an impact on a physical service environment. They usually organize these dimensions into three categories – ambiance, space and/or function, and signs, symbols and artifacts.

Ambient conditions

Ambient conditions refer to multiple intangible elements in a service environment. They are sound or noise, temperature, light, music, odor or smell, and even air quality.

Those are the conditions that make the buying experience a pleasurable one for the customers.

Space and function

Space and function focus on the spatial layout of a service environment.

The ease or difficulty while navigating, and importantly, how functional it is.

The type of furniture and equipment used in the layout is also a crucial thing in building the servicescape space.

Now you know the reason why they make demo apartments look amazingly good. Because when a customer goes to buy the property, he will be in awe and willing to book the flat.

Signs, symbols & artifacts

This is a pretty wider category of objects that serve multiple purposes within the service environment.

Would you like to go to a mart where you will have a hard time finding where the women’s section is? Where to find groceries and where to go for vegetables?

The purpose of Signage is exactly that. Properly lit and attractive signage helps a lot in these situations. They provide a sense of directions or instructions or simply resonate with the brand name. Logos, artifacts, and colors also fall into this category.

Importance of Servicescape

The servicescape model demonstrates that physical environmental factors cause the behavior of the customer to buy or leave.

So when a customer enters a layout, they tend to make an instantaneous impression. This will be based on the physical stimuli presented to them and how they feel about them.

We know this as a holistic environment. The holistic environment means how a customer forms a perception or judgment of a business (product or service).

This generates an internal response based on this perception and eventually in behavioral response.

That’s why it’s so important that each element of a servicescape is carefully curated.

The accuracy and effectiveness communicate the brand’s image, values, and positioning.

Ambient and symbolic elements, such as music and color alone, can significantly affect the ultimate behavioral response.

Color, similarly, is a powerful way to guide a customer’s immediate perceptions toward a positive response.

According to research, colors carry very specific meanings and the psychology of colors suggests that these meanings trigger automatic judgments.

In fact, they have found that a staggering 62-90% of an initial “subconscious judgment of a person comes from environment or product. That too within 90 seconds of initial viewing based purely on color.

It is imperative to note that Covid-19 has also affected current consumer behaviors. Shoppers hope to see many aspects of current in-store safety practices which is still a top priority for consumers.

According to Jo Bitner in the 90s said, more than half the battle is in developing a successful servicescape. If a business can marry elements from each physical environment category in line with their brand, whilst also talking to their target customer and understanding their habits, wants, and needs (e.g shopping or eating safely), then they’re on to a winner!

Servicescape examples

Apple

Do you know about Apple’s store layout and design?

It is so recognizable and iconic that it has even been trademarked!

The brand did a fantastic job of creating a physical environment that reflects and elevates its brand image.

Modern, clean and spacious layouts. On top of it, bright lighting, and dedicated service sections.

As you move through the store, you can explore exciting services and products.

The benefit?

These efforts often lead to more footfalls, and more customer engagement (a person can spend hours there without even realizing it) hence, more business, naturally.

What is Servicescape in Service Marketing - CuriousOwl (1)

(apple.com)

Starbucks

Starbucks is another global brand with a consistent servicescape across its cafes.

In terms of visuals, they have enough of the stimuli to make you feel right at home, irrespective of the geography. Warm brown tones and comfy chairs and sofas invite you to spend time relaxing.

Also, the olfactory stimuli are a notch above. The smell of freshly made coffee and snacks. With the food and drinks counter to get your taste buds wanting to have some immediately. Overall, the servicescape sets the mood and tone for the day rather positively.

Again, more footfalls, more engagement. Enjoying more than one cup of coffee is nothing.

What is Servicescape in Service Marketing - CuriousOwl (2)

(starbucks.com)

The Sound of a Bentley

Reducing noise is considered to be an important part of the sound experience for Bentley.

That is why they have sound technicians who investigate this at the start of production. How the design and shape of the car will affect the interior sound is a pretty important aspect.

This includes everything from the sound of closing a door to the sound of the wind and the engine. Bentley makes sure that the sound is unique, real, and immediately identified with its brand.

Luxury brands going the extra mile for their customers.

How to develop Servicescape?

Designing a servicescape need not be a daunting task.

At the first sight, it may seem like a complex job. However, if you have a good brand identity and know your objectives, there are a few things to take care of.

Sound

Music is a powerful tool in creating ambiance. Select the tone for the service environment and how you want to project. A cozy restaurant will have cozy music, whereas a pub will have trendy EDM.

So these factors will affect the choice of music – Tempo, Genre, Volume, Instrumental vs. lyrical, Current vs. traditional

Space

This is quite a broad one. Yet the good part is there are so many choices to use space to create the right “feel” for your service.

Either having a move around to promote new products or services, or adding in furnishings to create a cozy feel, the possibilities are many.

Lighting

This one is another great ambient element. It can really change a perception of a brand. The layout that the brand is having, and even the product it is selling.

The overhead bright lighting gives customers visibility. The perception of transparency and accessibility.

On the other hand, dimmer, softer lighting creates a more intimate and cozy atmosphere, used to encourage customers to slow down and take their time.

One can also use lighting as a visual cue to highlight certain products and services the brand would like to draw attention to.

Scent

When we talk about the physical environment, scent (Aroma, fragrance) may not be the thing on the list. But again, it’s something which should be introduced and with great effect.

Our sense of smell is closely linked to memory, the right scent can help to stimulate happy memories. This encourages the customers to engage further.

Candles, Aromatherapy, Fresh flowers, Testers/samples, even Fresh air. A scent can be any or combination of these.

Pretty important to note here that there’s no such thing as the right servicescape. Simple ways in which these ideas can be applied.

It’s also something that is adaptable and scalable, so we should not hold back to get started.

Important aspects of Servicescape

It is the responsibility of a service provider to create an environment such that it will appeal to its customers.

Spatial layout and functionality

Spatial layout is the way we arrange the equipment, furniture, their shape and size.

It is not about the items per se but the synchronization between them. The way they together create a conducive environment is the most important aspect.

Similarly, functionality is about the ability of those items to accomplish customer satisfaction.

The importance of layout is even more prominent in retail settings. Research shows it can influence customer satisfaction, store performance, and consumer behavior too.

There was a research conducted in Korea. In two of the department stores, they found that store facilities significantly affected consumers’ emotional responses.

Improved accessibility, aesthetics, and seating comfort have all contributed to the impact on customers positively.

This particular aspect of spatial layout and functionality is crucial in self-service outlets, a place where the customers themselves handle the services.

Here, customers do not rely on employees to assist them. The function of an ATM or self-service restaurants, gasoline pumps, and even Internet shopping are excellent examples of the same. The success and customer satisfaction increase significantly.

Signage and visual artifacts

They are the means of communication. Convey messages directly to a customer in a physical environment.

They are prominent in nature and are displayed on both the exterior and interior of a place, as communicators.

One should not think of them as trivial, the meanings attached to these symbols and artifacts are culturally embedded.

Restaurant owners in the United States, for example, know that white tablecloths and subdued lighting symbolically convey full service and relatively high prices. On the other hand, counter service, plastic furnishings, and bright lighting symbolize the opposite.

The signs used are labels, like the name of a department and company. We also use them for directional purposes like entrance and fire exits.

Display them as rules for specific purposes like no smoking, etc. All in all, they are effective in giving the implicit cue to the audience.

Some important examples are floor coverings, photographs on the wall, and the display of prominent artifacts that have symbolic meaning.

Ambient conditions

The conditions of an environment like color, noise, music, sound, lighting, etc. are included in ambient conditions. These are important factors because they affect one or more of our five senses. Hence, they have the power to change the mindset and perception of a person.

When there is music, shoppers tend to perceive they shop less and in line than when there is no music. Slower music tempos at lower volumes tend to make shoppers feel more leisurely, and, sometimes, they spend more.

The effect of the pleasing aroma of coffee or cookies acts as a great tempting force and can easily draw people in. it is indeed an influential aspect of servicescape.

The effects of ambient conditions are felt strongly when they are extreme.

For instance, people watching a movie in a theatre and say, the air conditioning has failed. Obviously, the environment will be hot and stuffy and certainly uncomfortable.

The discomfort people felt will be reflected in how they feel about the movie.

Conclusion

This can be easily summed up by Shopify’s managing director who believes “shoppers are more aware and connected than ever before. They expect more from the brands they buy from, and the brands that recognize that will be those [sic] not just survive but thrive.”

The servicescape communicates the unique value proposition of a brand to the customers, and it will help attract attention to your business.

It conveys an absolute expectation for customers, and they perceive it in their unique way. It will attract some people and perhaps others will not like it.

One person will feel comfortable in one place and not so much in another.

So there is no such rule for creating the best possible servicescape. Yet, it is one strategy that involves our sensory organs. That is exactly what makes it all the more important and powerful enough to be incorporated while service marketing.

FAQs

What do you mean by servicescape in service Marketing? ›

Booms and Bitner defined a servicescape as "the environment in which the service is assembled and in which the seller and customer interact, combined with tangible commodities that facilitate performance or communication of the service".

What are the importance of servicescape in marketing of services? ›

For businesses that provide more intangible services, such as restaurants and salons, a servicescape helps customers to create expectations and build an impression of that service as soon as, or even before, they enter the physical environment in which the service is taking place.

What are the types of servicescape? ›

Types of Servicescapes-Servicescape UseSelf-service environment:customerperforms most of the activities andfew if any employees are involved. Interpersonal services:both customerand employee must be present in theservicescape. Cont…… Remote service:employee only; little orno customer involvement with theservicescape.

What are the five key elements of servicescape? ›

Turley and Milliman (2000) study of the retail environment and discussed five categories of atmospheric variable: human variables, external variables, general interior variables, layout and design variables, and point- of-purchase and decoration variables. The elements of servicescape come from many perspectives.

What is a servicescape essay? ›

Servicescape is a topic that focuses on the physical evidence of an organization. Everything from the exterior of a company to their interior and employees is an attribute of servicescape. The topic deals with the impression created by the company in the eyes of the customer walking in to the company.

What is a servicescape Brainly? ›

Answer: The servicescape is defined as “the physical environment where a service can take place. It helps to analyze and identify the impact of a good environment on the service-based industry.”

What is a good servicescape? ›

Characteristics of a servicescape

The physical aspects of the service environment are organisationally controllable, objective and measurable. The servicescape includes: the exterior and the interior of a 'brick and mortar' physical store. the ambience of the service encounter, such as background music and cleanliness.

What 4 things does a servicescape influence in consumers? ›

According to several studies, social servicescape affects consumer emotions and their actions or their avoidance behaviour. Furthermore, consumer attitude, experience satisfaction and attitudinal or loyalty to behaviour can also be predicted by social servicescape (J. E. Kim & Kim, 2012).

How can servicescape influence customer? ›

Our analysis showed that servicescape influences consumer perceived value, attitudes, and behavior when creating service experiences: value-in-context generates customers' satisfaction, which in turn has a positive effect on their desire to repeat the experience.

What are the 4 categories of service? ›

Direct, Indirect, Advocacy and Research
  • Direct Service is service that direct affects the persons, animals or parks we want to impact. ...
  • Indirect Service might take the form of fundraising or collections. ...
  • Advocacy is when you speak up for or against an issue or solution.

What are the 4 methods of service design? ›

Service design uses 4 phases: prepare, understand, create, develop. You can work through all or some of the phases, depending on what suits your project.

What are the 3 classification of service? ›

Services are diversified in three groups; Business services, social services and personal services. Business services are the services used by businesses to conduct their business activities. This could banking, insurance, transportation, etc.

What are the 7 Elements of service? ›

ADVERTISEMENTS: Seven elements used in marketing mix for service are as follows: (1) Product (2) Price (3) Place (4) Promotion (5) People (6) Physical evidence (7) Process. The marketing concept dictates that marketing decisions should be based upon customer needs and wants.

What are the 8 elements of service? ›

The eight elements of service marketing are place, people, knowledge, value, relationships, problem-solving, specialization and product.

What are the 6 key elements of service? ›

6 Key Elements to Include in Your Customer Service Strategy
  • A Company-Wide Mission.
  • A Recruitment Process to Hire The Right People.
  • A Commitment to Ongoing Training.
  • A Customer Service Policy.
  • A Focus on Empowering Your Team.
  • An Effective Feedback Loop.
17 Apr 2020

What is servicescape example? ›

A servicescape also gives businesses the opportunity to differentiate from competitors. Starbucks is a good example of creating a servicescape. Starbucks seeks to create a home away from home for their consumers.

How can I improve my servicescape? ›

Putting in place adequate lighting and ensuring that it is regularly maintained. Signage to guide customers should be in place and it should be maintained to avoid fading and any effects of the elements. Parking space priority should be given to customers.

Which 3 elements are Analysed in terms of the servicescape? ›

The three dimensions of servicescape used in this study as a yardstick to measure an exhibitors' satisfaction consist of ambient condition, spatial layout/functionality and sign, symbol, artifacts.

What is a servicescape Quora? ›

Servicescape is basically the physical evidence or all nonliving features that are used to design the service environments. The bottom line is to think of anything that is plainly visible to the consumer and anything that consists of ambient conditions, inanimate objects, and other physical evidence.

What are the 5 service quality? ›

The five service quality dimensions are tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.

What are the types of service design? ›

There are many different disciplines that comprise service design. The most common are ethnography, information and management sciences, interaction design and process design.

What are the three main components of service design? ›

Service design aims to optimize the interplay between the customers' journey and the internal business processes that support it. There are 3 key components of service design: people, props, and processes.

What are the benefits of service design? ›

Service design offers in-depth insight into customers' needs and motivations, which make them want to use specific types of services. This enables companies to develop emotionally attractive services which improve customer loyalty.

What are 5 examples of a service? ›

Facts About the Service Industry
  • Recreation.
  • Arts and entertainment.
  • Social assistance.
  • Health care.
  • Waste management.
  • Professional and technical services.
  • Scientific services.
  • Transportation.

What are the six levels of service? ›

The Six Levels of Customer Service
  • Criminal service.
  • Basic Service.
  • Expected Service.
  • Desired Service.
  • Surprising Service.
  • Unbelievable Service.

What are the 4 characteristics of service? ›

There are four characteristics of service: Intangibility, Inseparability, Variability, and Perishability (Kotler and Keller, 2007). As service's nature is intangibility, therefore manufacturing and service delivery is more complex than a product.

What are the 5 principles of service design thinking? ›

Developing an effective service design can be challenging, but these five core principles, coined by Marc Stickdorn, can help.
  • User-centred. Design your services around your consumers' needs. ...
  • Co-creative. ...
  • Sequencing (iterative process) ...
  • Evidencing (Visual communication) ...
  • Holistic.
30 Apr 2021

What are the 4 design phases? ›

Through a rich and often boisterous discussion, four teachers collectively broke down the engineering design process into four main phases: problem definition, design exploration, design optimization, and design communication.

What are the 3 C's of service? ›

The Three Cs of Customer Service course explores Caring, Co-operating and Communication, and how they can help deliver excellent customer service. It provides practical advice regarding these values and how to use them during customer interactions.

What service type means? ›

Service Type means the customer class, partial customer class and/or group of customer classes, as set forth in a Transaction Confirmation.

What are services 3 examples? ›

A service is an "(intangible) act or use for which a consumer, firm, or government is willing to pay." Examples include work done by barbers, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, banks, insurance companies, and so on.

What are the 4ps of services marketing? ›

The four Ps are a “marketing mix” comprised of four key elements—product, price, place, and promotion—used when marketing a product or service. Typically, businesses consider the four Ps when creating marketing plans and strategies to effectively market to their target audience.

What are 7 C's of marketing? ›

In contrast to other marketing models, the 7 Cs Compass Model considers both the marketing strategies as well as the segment to which the strategies are being targeted. The seven Cs are Corporation, Commodity, Cost, Communication, Channel, Consumer and Circumstances.

What are 7 P's of marketing? ›

The 7Ps of marketing are – product, pricing, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, and processes. The 7 Ps make up the necessary marketing mix that a business must have to advertise a product or service.

What is 8 P's of marketing? ›

The 8 Ps of marketing is product, price, place, promotion, people, positioning, processes, and performance. The goal is to get them working together for your marketing mix. If you can you'll have a much better chance to attract and convert your potential customers.

What are the 10 characteristics of service? ›

The key characteristics of services are:
  • Lack of ownership.
  • Intangibility.
  • Inseparability.
  • Variability.
  • Perishability.
  • User participation.
3 Jun 2015

What are the 7 qualities of good customer service? ›

7 Must-Have Qualities of a Stellar Customer Service Rep
  • Problem-Solving Skills. The number one skill you need to excel in for good customer service is problem-solving. ...
  • Clear Communication. ...
  • Friendly Attitude. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Business Acumen. ...
  • Product/Service Knowledge. ...
  • Strong Time Management.

What are 3 important qualities of customer service? ›

Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service center around three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people-first” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you're following these guidelines, you're on the right track.

What is servicescape and the importance in service itself? ›

The servicescape facilitates the performances of persons in the environment. In the properly designed service setting, service activities will flow efficiently. A well-designed functional facility makes the experience of the customer a pleasant one. The service employee also finds his job pleasant.

What is socializer servicescape? ›

3. Socializer: The design of the service-scape aids in the socialization of both employees and customers in the sense that it helps to convey expected roles, behaviours, and relationships.

What are the 4 examples of service design? ›

Examples of service design:

Comprehensive branding systems. Shipping processes. Customer-service systems. Concierge programs.

What are the dimensions of Servicescapes? ›

The three dimensions of servicescape used in this study as a yardstick to measure an exhibitors' satisfaction consist of ambient condition, spatial layout/functionality and sign, symbol, artifacts.

How servicescape is an important element of physical evidence in service marketing? ›

Physical evidences includes the servicescape that describe the physical facility where the service is produced/delivered. The role of physical evidences as service setting creates mood, longing, desire to visit or even recomend service provider.

What are the three elements of servicescape for dealing with these human issues? ›

“The scale measures perceptions of three servicescape factors—ambience, design, and social conditions.

What does a socializer do? ›

The Socializer is defined by being people-oriented (vs. task-oriented) and direct (vs. indirect). Since the Socializer is people-oriented, they are usually good with people and they care about the opinions of others.

Why is servicescape important in hotels? ›

Servicescape generates specific emotional responses in customers and helps customers categorize the services (Miles et al., 2012). In addition, servicescape affects people's views about a place, other people and/or products (Bitner, 1992).

What are the four 4 defining characteristics of services? ›

There are four characteristics of service: Intangibility, Inseparability, Variability, and Perishability (Kotler and Keller, 2007). As service's nature is intangibility, therefore manufacturing and service delivery is more complex than a product.

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