Most (if not all) company officers would have come across the “marketing mix” and or the extended “7 P’s of service marketing”. The 7 P’s are the key areas where marketing managers allocate scarce corporate resources to achieve business objectives.
Often left unattended or addressed last, “P for Place” (or physical location) is described as ‘the environment in which the service is delivered; where the firm and customer interact, and any tangible components that facilitate performance or communication of the service’, (Booms and Bitner ,1981).
The ability of the physical environment to influence customer behavior and to create an image is particularly relevant for service businesses such as hotels, restaurants, professional offices, banks, retail stores, and hospitals etc.
FACT: THE DESIGN OF A SERVICESCAPE CAN DIFFERENTIATE A FIRM FROM ITS COMPETITORS AND INDICATE MARKET POSITIONING.
A servicescapes store exterior and its interior design (store layout, atmosphere and displays) are the tangible elements of workplace design that will speak to your customer’s perception of your business and overall satisfaction of the service.
Such design factors are broken down into functional and aesthetic elements. Functional elements include layout, comfort and privacy whereas aesthetic elements include architecture, colours, materials and style.
For example, in professional offices environments, think law firms for example, the design, furnishing, lighting, layout and decoration of the firm as well as the appearance and attitudes of its staff will influence a customer’s perception of service quality and overall experience. Because of the simultaneous production and consumption of most services, the physical facility i.e. its servicescapes can play an important role in the service experience.
Ultimately, designing and building your servicescapes means knowing your customer inside and out and communicating their needs with your design consultant and building contractor.
This also applies to refit solutions, where a change in customer requirements means adapting to meet new customer perceptions.