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There are distinct differences between professional services and other services which affect the way consumers make purchase decisions about them. This paper discusses the…
There are distinct differences between professional services and other services which affect the way consumers make purchase decisions about them. This paper discusses the differences using the consumer decision process as a framework. Strategy implications for the professional service provider are presented, and specific suggestions are offered to improve the efficiency of the exchange — thereby benefiting both the buyer and the service provider.
Investigates the role of the professional in a firm offering professional services aiming to answer the questions of: what marketing activities the professional might use;…
Investigates the role of the professional in a firm offering professional services aiming to answer the questions of: what marketing activities the professional might use; what proportion of his/her time should be divided into what areas; and how marketing sales and costs might be calculated. Looks at current practices in this area, and attempts to find conceptual frameworks to guide professional service firms in the marketplace.
The National Health Service (NHS) has many different kinds ofprofessionals and managers working underneath its large umbrella:non‐clinical managers administer the work of…
The National Health Service (NHS) has many different kinds of professionals and managers working underneath its large umbrella: non‐clinical managers administer the work of health‐care professionals, who in turn are concerned with the management of patients’ treatments. Delivery of health‐care services involves the managers and professionals working together to achieve a service that is good for, and acceptable to, patients. A change in the philosophy of the NHS is indicated by the growing acceptance, by both managers and professionals, of the necessity to elicit the views of patients (i.e. the expectations and perceptions of service users) and to incorporate these views into the planning and implementation of services. Discusses one such attempt to elicit the perceptions of service users, and reports on the preliminary findings of a patient‐centred audit which has been undertaken in Southend Community Care Services NHS Trust. Discusses the effects that the audit has had on the chiropody services in Southend, for both non‐clinical managers and health‐care professionals, in order to highlight the usefulness of the approach.
Draws on the service management literature to enhance understanding of the key operational differences in managing professional services, at one extreme, and mass services…
Draws on the service management literature to enhance understanding of the key operational differences in managing professional services, at one extreme, and mass services, at the other. Contributions are drawn together, developed and integrated into the service process model. This yields an understanding of the contingencies which render the design, control and improvement of different service processes appropriate. Strategic implications of the service process model are considered. It is contended that cost effective services will be positioned along the volume‐variety diagonal. It is proposed that the service process model can be used as a strategic tool in three ways. First, it can be used to evaluate possible strategic moves along the volume‐variety diagonal. Second, it can be used to analyse a competitive area and evaluate a service offering relative to the competition. Third, it can be used to analyse internal organisational processes with a view to identifying processes which have different volume‐variety characteristics and which should therefore perhaps be managed separately.
This article aims to focus on one of the most intriguing issues related to the public sector reforms: the accountability systems. In particular the paper aims to deal with…
This article aims to focus on one of the most intriguing issues related to the public sector reforms: the accountability systems. In particular the paper aims to deal with the relationships between accounting‐based reforms, forms of accountability, and people‐changing or people‐processing approaches to service provision within Italian social work.
The paper draws on the accountability and people changing/processing literature to interpret and discuss the evidence gathered in an in‐depth longitudinal case study conducted in a social service public organization between 2007 and 2009.
The article reveals that the case study site had developed two distinct groups of services: “Territoriali” and “Residenziali”. “Territoriali” engage in a traditional mode of social care, they provide professional support to clients with, sometimes, quite intractable problems, and aim to modify clients' characteristics, behaviour and attitudes. In contrast, “Residenziali” deal with, and often outsource, more standardized care packages in the form of residential care, day care and some home‐based services. The accounting reforms were received very differently in these two areas. “Territoriali” was resistant to the changes but, in large part, “Residenziali” embraced them. The article then argues that this reflected the extent to which each service area was willing and able to implement a people‐processing rather than a people‐changing approach. The adoption of the people‐processing method had profound implications for the ways that accountability was both experienced and delivered in the services.
This article deals with the under‐researched area of social care. It integrates two literatures not previously articulated together: accountability and people changing/processing. A three‐year longitudinal study is presented, enabling an in‐depth appreciation of the changes affecting social services and the differential responses to accounting and consequent shifts in accountability in two contrasting service areas.
The purpose of this research is to build a model to help understand consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for professional services. In this paper, professional services are…
The purpose of this research is to build a model to help understand consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for professional services. In this paper, professional services are services where, in general, consumers have the choice of doing the work themselves or outsourcing them such as apparel care, landscaping and tax forms preparation.
The paper proposes a regression model to predict WTP. The model includes a set of independent behavioral variables such as subjective knowledge, job anxiety, enjoyment and appreciation of leisure activities. Data from two cross‐sectional surveys completed by 488 and 479 consumers are used to test the proposed model.
The findings support the importance of behavioral variables as determinants of consumers' WTP for professional services.
Understanding which behavioral variables predict consumers' WTP for professional services provides insightful implications. The findings imply that, to increase WTP for professional services, service providers may consider stressing in their promotional messages how much better the outcome is when they (versus consumers) produce the service, and making the importance of leisure activities and the related value of time more salient to consumers.
Unlike previous models, designed to measure WTP and which focus on demographic and economic variables, this model introduces a set of behavioral variables. The findings support the importance of these variables in predicting WTP.
States that marketers require a better understanding of theconsumer decision‐making process for selecting services, particularly ofthe prepurchase information search for…
States that marketers require a better understanding of the consumer decision‐making process for selecting services, particularly of the prepurchase information search for professional services which are often selected just after relocation to a new geographical area. Examines the findings of research on this topic, which looked at questionnaires returned by a sample of two hundred new residents about their use of information sources in choosing a professional service. Discusses the managerial implications for marketers of the results of the study, which confirmed the importance of personal sources of information in the search process and showed that most residents were happy with their choices.
Explores the segmentation by service marketers of the consumermarket on the basis of service quality expectations. Measures consumerexpectations and various quality…
Explores the segmentation by service marketers of the consumer market on the basis of service quality expectations. Measures consumer expectations and various quality dimensions for three commonly purchased professional and three non‐professional services. Evaluates the effect of various consumers′ demographic characteristics on service quality expectations. Concludes with a discussion of research and managerial implications.
Although interest in the marketing of professional services has grown steadily, there is still confusion over which services should be considered professional. Perceptions…
Although interest in the marketing of professional services has grown steadily, there is still confusion over which services should be considered professional. Perceptions are important for marketing practitioners because consumers are likely to respond differently to stimuli such as advertising or price promotions depending on how they perceive the occupation engaged in such activities, and they may also be more price sensitive when occupations are not regarded as professions. Understanding how consumers determine which occupations are “professions” should also help practitioners to effectively manage their occupations’ images. In addition, such an understanding should help researchers to judge whether results obtained with respect to one service should be expected to extend to other services, and to ensure that services picked for inclusion in future studies are truly those likely to be perceived as professional. This study uses a US and a Canadian sample to survey consumer perceptions of the professionalism of 42 services selected from the overall population of services. It also tests for the first time the validity of several propositions regarding professional services that have long been assumed to be true.
Addresses the value definition and conceptualization issues in a business‐to‐business professional services context. Finds that results of exploratory research reveal that…
Addresses the value definition and conceptualization issues in a business‐to‐business professional services context. Finds that results of exploratory research reveal that providers and organizational customers do not perceive value as a static concept; rather, the value definition comprises a time aspect and is associated with the exchange value during the transaction itself and value in use after the transaction. Discovers that value exchange is made up of a set of quality and relational criteria, whereas value in use refers to financial, social, operational and strategic performance and furthermore, perceptual differences may be explained by the presence of causal ambiguity which refers to differences in competency level between providers and customers, between hierarchical levels and professional services.