Discuss about the Quality And Relationship Marketing In Operations.
I am 26 years of Age and have been staying in Australia for quite some time now, over the time I have started feeling fatigue due to my busy schedule. I have started feeling inferiority complex looking at people around me with good built, flexing muscles, lean physique and amazing stamina. This motivated me to move out of my comfort zone and join a gym to build a great physique which would in turn give an impetus to my dying confidence.
I started my search for the perfect gym by asking my friends in the campus, they gave me a couple of options and now it was up to me to take a final call on the gym. I did a lot of search online, read hundreds of review on Google about various gyms and realized that “Anytime Fitness” is the best gym in the city. I was quite euphoric about my visit to the gym because I have never been to a gym in my entire life. I had certain expectation that plethora of girls and boys would be sweating out the extra weight and doing rigorous training to build muscles. I thought that my first visit would last for just 10-15 minutes.
I decided to visit the gym on Saturday, as I was free that day and thought I should make the day productive. I was shocked to see a team of 3 people sitting at the front desk. They greeted me in a warm manner and extended the hospitality by offering me a glass of water and requested me to have a cold pressed Watermelon juice. It was a feeling of customer delight for me. Each member took their turn in knowing why I would like to join the gym and what exactly I would like to accomplish by joining gym. They were kind enough to listen to me patiently and offered me suggestions as to how Anytime fitness can help me in accomplishing my goals. Two trainers were called from inside the gym and were introduced to me, and asked to show me around. It took me almost 45 minutes to walk through the entire gym as the trainers were in depth telling me about various machines at the gym, their utility and how to work out on them. They introduced me to Pilates, Yoga and even cross training, solved every query of mine and were highly responsive. They understood that I was a little apprehensive about working out, as I was not so strong. They empathized with my concern and assured me that they will take care of everything, and I am just required to visit the gym 5 times a week. Towards the end, they told me about the fees of the gym and extended me the courtesy to first try their services and then go ahead and pay the fee.
Service Experience-Lesson to Learn from Anytime Fitness
I would like to give Anytime fitness 10/10 on the Net promoter scale which implies that I would most definitely recommend the gym to almost every person I know and spread a positive word of mouth on the hospitality and delighted service excellence of the gym.
The importance of services was realized by various organizations due to less differentiation in product or services offering of the companies. The company thus realized the importance of services to add differentiation in their product or service offering. RATER model is one of the frequently used tools which help in evaluating the services according to the 5 elements most significant to service industry (Gummesson, 2014).
Figure 1: RATER Model
(Source: Galeeva, 2016)
The RATER model is a very convenient method to measure the expectation of customer in respect to the services one received.
Reliability-It is the parameter which implies if the organization is reliable and able to deliver the services as expected or promised. This is the parameter which takes into account the quality of the services and the reliability one can have on the service provider (Oh & Kim, 2017).
Anytime fitness is an absolutely reliable service provider and they never fail to impress the client. They are determined to deliver what they have quoted on various ad campaigns or on Social Media. For example they have a policy of trying the Gym before paying the fee, which they exactly did. It was mentioned on the company website that they have enriched experience in creating fitness enthusiasts and transforming lives of people, this was highly evident after having a discussion with the team at Anytime fitness.
Assurance-This is related to the convincing ability of the employees to convey and impart their wisdom and knowledge. It also reflects the accuracy of the information and the convincing skills of the employees (Song & Lim, 2015).
The staffs at Anytime fitness were filled with plethora of information regarding body training and the effects of specific exercises. They were able to provide detailed information on the work out at ease, which shows how confident they were of their knowledge. At the very same time, the employees knew almost every single exercise in the gym and their knowledge helped me in developing confidence in their words, providing assurance.
Tangible-It is hard to define Tangibility in services; therefore it is limited to the physical aspect of the services. The physical aspect of services helps in evaluating the service expectation of the customers (Noorian, Marsh & Fleming, 2016).
Anytime Fitness ensured tangibility by its well -maintained machines the gym. All the machines were functioning smoothly and in great working condition. There was no noise coming out of any machine and no visible sign of wear and tear. At the same time, the gym was decorated by highly motivating quotes from Body builders or fitness enthusiast. Another visual element of the service was the pictures of the every person who transformed his body shape working out at the gym. This did not help in envisioning the future, but also the dedication and honesty in the services of anytime fitness.
Empathy-This is the understanding the plight of the customer or the situation faced by the customers. It is the ability of the employees to put them in the shoes of customers and try to experience what they might be feeling (Hossain, 2016).
Anytime fitness has high empathy values in them, on noticing my apprehension, the trainers were quick to understand my fear and acknowledged my concern. They promised to take care of my concern by delivering words of assurance. They made it a point that I feel comfortable and they have comprehended my concern. This is one of the high point of great services at Anytime Fitness.
Responsiveness-This represents the extent to which the organization is willing to respond to the query of customers. It also implies how quick the organization is in offering its service to its customers (Vogus & McClelland, 2016).
Anytime Fitness is highly responsive in answering the query of the customers, I have a first-hand experience of visualizing the same. When I asked them the how this exercise would help me, they were quick to respond to the query. They were also highly responsive when I wanted certain information from them through mail, they responded in less than an hour. It shows the high responsiveness of Anytime fitness.
The RATER model clearly reflects that Anytime Fitness has mastered the art of exceeding customer service expectation by delivering a delighted experience of the customers every single time.
The first 4P of the service marketing are exactly the same as that of product marketing, it is the last three P’s which are different in case of services. The 7P of service marketing for Anytime fitness can be mentioned as below:
Product-Services are highly perishable, intangible and heterogeneous in nature. Also, production and consumption of services is highly inseparable, however, there is a scope of customization of the services. It is advised that organization do not highly customize its service as it’s significantly affect the standard delivery of the service and also impacts on the quality of service delivery. The service offering of Anytime Fitness include, Personal training, Zumba classes, Cross fit, Kick boxing, Yoga, Diet chart, Pilates, Strength training, health shakes and protein supplements and food. All the offering makes Anytime a complete fitness centres.
7P's of Service Marketing
Price-The pricing of services is difficult to calculate in comparison to those of product. In case of product the price can be easily calculated in terms of the cost of raw materials. In services, it is not so, in services a lot of cost such as ambience, labour head costs have to be calculated. At the very same time, the company has also to think of the perceived value the service will deliver to the customers. In case of Anytime fitness they have different prices as they have plenty of service offering. They have packages such as monthly, quarterly, annually and membership for the customers. The pricing is highly competitive for Anytime fitness.
Place-As mentioned earlier that delivery of service is concurrent to the production, hence cannot be transported or stored, therefore the location of service is very crucial. Anytime fitness has presence all across Australia and it ensures that it follows the same standard of quality in every location.
Promotion-It is easier to replicate the services; hence it is important to promote the services using traditional and contemporary tools of marketing. Anytime fitness uses social media, Google search Banner and Billboard to promote its services.
People-People are the defining factor in the service industry, as they are the ones who are delivering the services. Trainers at Anytime Fitness are people friendly and customer centric, they are highly responsive to the queries of customers and do their best to help the customers. The entire team at Anytime fitness is extremely helpful and customer focussed.
Process-The process of service delivery is extremely crucial in Service industry. A lot of service companies create their service blueprint to ensure due diligence at every point of customer contact. In my opinion Anytime fitness has a very discrete process which is highly detailed and specific. All the trainers follow the process to ensure no service gap in delivery.
Physical Evidence-Physical evidence in the services is incorporating the tangible elements in service offering to enhance the experience of the customers. In case of Anytime Fitness, the well maintained machines and the posters hanging on the walls with motivating quotes are the biggest example of Physical evidence.
Customer –Centric Approach- The nature of service is entirely different from product, hence it is very much advisable to set a customer-centric approach in delivering the services to the client. The client has to be thought of as a king while delivering the services.
Listening to comprehend- Services is all about listening to the customers, it not only help in identifying the perception of the customers but also helps in creating a service plan to meet the expectation of the customers.
Using SERQUAL Framework in designing services- SERVQUAL framework is the elementary methods which helps in understanding the gap in the customer’s services. In all there are 5 gaps according to the model; companies should focus on bridging the gap to provide great services to the customers.
Feedback System- Feedback is very helpful in evaluating the success of the services and how the customers react to the services of any company. Techniques such as social listening, feedback forms, surveys’, questionnaire etc. can be used to collect the insight from the customers on their service experience and also suggestions to improve the services.
Services are highly perishable in nature and the production and consumption of services happens at the same time, this implies that organization has to really focus on the delivery of its services. Rater model in services is one of the elementary frameworks which are used to evaluate the service according to the elements of Reliability, assurance, tangibility, empathy and responsiveness. Anytime Fitness in Australia is exemplary in its service offering and ensures that it always meets the expectations of the client. Physical evidence, people and Process are a very important part of service mix in marketing and require special attention.
Galeeva, R.B., 2016. SERVQUAL application and adaptation for educational service quality assessments in Russian higher education. Quality Assurance in Education, 24(3), pp.329-348.
Gummesson, E., 2014. Productivity, quality and relationship marketing in service operations: A revisit in a new service paradigm. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(5), pp.656-662.
Hossain, M.J., 2016. Determining the key dimensions for evaluating service quality and satisfaction in academic libraries. International Information & Library Review, 48(3), pp.176-189.
Noorian, Z., Marsh, S. and Fleming, M., 2016. zTrust: Adaptive decentralized trust model for quality of service selection in electronic marketplaces. Computational Intelligence, 32(1), pp.127-164.
Oh, H. and Kim, K., 2017. Customer satisfaction, service quality, and customer value: years 2000-2015. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29(1), pp.2-29.
Song, H.G. and Lim, S.U., 2015. Assessing pet industry in Korea using service quality improvement gap model. International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 15(1), pp.2-20.
Vogus, T.J. and McClelland, L.E., 2016. When the customer is the patient: Lessons from healthcare research on patient satisfaction and service quality ratings. Human Resource Management Review, 26(1), pp.37-49.