Marketing primarily involves the creation and promotion of a product or service that would endear it to customers while at the same time satisfying his/her needs and desires at the desired pricing. Marketing involves more issues than just selling and advertising alone. The two are indeed the core components of every marketing plan, but other factors like; product/service development, business location, distribution and pricing also need to be incorporated. Seeking information and views from customers and other interested people is equally valuable.
According to American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods and services”…this is done in order to create an exchange that will help in meeting both the individual’s and organizational objectives. There are four principle targets in marketing; audience, segmentation, objectives, and evaluation. In order for any business to be successful and particularly the tourism sector these factors need to be conceptualized.
In any kind of business, customer satisfaction is a very essential part.
Every business entity strives or should achieve it. There are those who excel at this venture while others in our society do not even bother. Some try but do not go the full throttle in this achievable goal, for factors consumers do not know and will never perhaps understand. Nevertheless, one of the best marketing strategies should be consumers’ satisfaction for this would ensure their continued allegiance and there is that chance that they might bring others along.
Probably most of us have encountered both the good and the bad side of services we encounter during our visits to leisure joint s and the tourism industry. As a customer it is your right to demand for quality services. The business entities should put a lot of “emphasis on quality” while marketing and when providing services.
In the post modern world where rules are absent and the only things present are choices, the marketing department of every business should do everything in their capacity to satisfy the choices and preferences of their customer(s) and would be customers. In this essay I would like to share my encounters in the last one and half months at four different places that I had the chance to visit. Some of them are quite interesting and intriguing yet others, some of you may wonder “why the hell did you even set your foot on the precincts of such premises. But behold”.
It is that time of season when everybody is taking time off from studies and other activities. As a student it is time for me to say goodbye to my academic year. Everyone seems to be asking the all familiar question, “What are you going to do this summer?” I wish I could answer to detail what my plans are and how I wish I would not break off from studies. In fact there are times when you think the breaks are not very necessary. Anyway that is an argument for another day if anything every human being needs a rest or at least a change of environment.
What do you when faced with a situation like this; I mean do you think of giving a tip or to frequent the place so you get more of this?
- Taking cue from my friend Robinson, who keeps insisting that “a change is as good as a rest”? I decide to look for a tour agent to help me find a place to spend my weekend. Finding a place to go for vacation needs a little of research to locate the best 
- I take a check on the telephone directory and don’t I just love the name of this travel agency. Did I say love or like? Anyway it goes by the name “ONE DIAL INFO”.
- The phone rings once and some one answer. Our conversation is smooth except at the point when she asks for my particular preferences for transportation and accommodation. I go something like “what did you say?” and realizing that I did not have a clear idea what I exactly wanted she offers and says “it is ok I can just run you a sample of what is available.”
What a relief to me because after the much absorbing academic work all I need right now is some peaceful time and not some serious thinking on what I exactly want without the choices to pick from. After giving the options on transport and accommodation I settle on the ones I consider best suiting for me. I mean what do I need a double room for? If I rarely even use the single bed space at the college’s hostel.
The conversation comes to an end after I have made my choices and booking done and the “director of impressionist” (receptionist) as she introduced herself assures me of the best services. Thirty minutes later after the end of the phone call I decide to log on to my computer and the first message I get is from “ONE DIAL INFO” informing me that I have exactly 36 hours to prepare for my vacation. Being the forgetful person that I am, I consider this a blessing in fact they go on to state that a reminder would be sent after every six hours.
- True to their word, the reminders keep flowing to my computer.
- Friday at exactly 4pm (the time we agreed on) their bus picks me up at the agreed point and we head straight first to the hotel I was booked in at and I check into my room. Everything seems to be in order as per the briefing I got earlier.
From the way the receptionist or as she prefers to introduce herself “director of impressions”, the transport facility, to the last hour of my two days accommodation I’m impressed by their services. Any conventional person would agree that they are near perfection.
Travel is an essential and significant part of tourism as most of the customers have to travel to the product not the other way round. This makes it a very major factor in people’s decision to visit places and other businesses. As such most travel agencies and tour companies need to get the best and most desired services to their clients.
However, even the good need to get better, from what I noticed not so many people know of their existence and I would ask their marketing department to focus on the profitable customers using the strongest yet possible strategies. They should have a website advertising all that they offer; this would help clients to make choices rather having to call before they have made a decision.
After my two day vacation, I head home, but, I immediately realize that my food stock and a few accessories are running out. So I decide to check into a new local retail store, Mc Jeans A-Z. I mean I am just beginning to change things if it may well work as a part of the rest that I need so much. The new things might just be better than your usual and regular way of living.
I check into the local store and to their word they stock almost everything that you would imagine possible, it is for real an A-Z. Their stock ranges from dog food (all kinds) to the trendy clothes to the new electronics. First things first, I select a few food stuff for my little puppy Katie. I then head to the other section that has the few personal effects that I needed. They stock enough food that would do for every person. But am not going to shop at McJeans for a long time to come unless I get an apology from the CEO himself.
- First they did not stock my peanut brand.
- I’m told to just live my address and that they would ensure the product is delivered within three hours at my door step. They took 5 hours before I decided to call them back.
I mean my experiences over the few past months have taught me to be a little more patient in life. But being two hours late for a client that you have just met is not impressive at all.
- I mean this people tell me that they entered the wrong details for my residence. In fact this did not surprise me, what shocked me was the fact that they were not willing to deliver the item, since, according to them “they would incur extra costs”. I mean she even goes further to say she is very sorry but she is not the one who made the entries. To them this is not in their policy to deliver door to door services.
For sure I did not even suggest, leave alone recommend that they offer door to door delivery. Anyway sometimes you learn to live with certain decisions, I decide to “try out” the new retail shop so whatever happens, and I have to live with them, even if it means having my breakfast without the most important ingredient. Simply put there was no breakfast at all for me the following day.
Although I had what many would consider a “nasty” experience, the other services were very okay. I believe if the management were courteous enough and a little bit. Imagine if they just told me to check after 3 hours at their store or just to come back after sometime I would as well be shifting my allegiance to their store. After all a little courtesy to clients can transform your business. They should not just make offers for the sake of it, if they want to provide a service, let them go the all road and do it. It is not just enough to make promises without taking some actions.
They should establish reasonable goals that are both realistic and reasonable instead of a ‘wish list” so as to attract potential customers and maintain the already established ones.
After the drama I had with McJeans, I decided to check into one of the local cinema houses and watch some latest movies? The Cinema is not within the central business district of the town but a little on the south end of town and live on the northern side. I decide to do the noble thing by surfing which movies are “now showing” while counter checking the cinemas that are showing them. I finally pick on “Phoenix Ensembles”. I am usually attracted to names and from my judgment I got this feeling that this particular Phoenix actually ensembles a range of good movies. Surely they have just what I wanted to watch. The movie “Return of the semester” is what I do not need but I have to watch it anyway just so I do not forget I am still a student.
Locating the theatre house is not a hard task just like they promised on their website. Like in any other experiences, I encounter my first hurdle; the movie I booked for was already showing and with just about 45 minutes left. It was not anyone’s mistake I did not read the instructions well and as I have no one to fault. However, having commuted that long distance, I cannot just go home in the middle of the night without watching a movie that I have so much wanted to. So my next step is to approach the management and explain my situation. If I said these people are “nice” it would be an understatement, they are just the best people I met in a long time.
- First am informed that the mistake was not entirely mine; actually they should not have accepted the entry in the first place. The lady who introduced herself as Laura, who I later understood to be the head of customer complaints, informs me that, some five years ago, a similar fate had befallen her. Unfortunately I never get to ask the obvious question of how she resolved her case, as am soon issued with a new ticket and informed to enjoy myself. Actually in Laura’s words “I believe this is going to be the best movie you ever watched, better than “Return of the semester”. Having been in that desperate situation those were just the worlds I needed. So I head straight to the cinema hall but not before another word of assurance from Laura. She informs me of their regret for the situation and promises it will not happen “never again” those were her words.
The movie starts and not much in the first five minutes just the usual stuff. Nevertheless, the never ending drama unfolds and by the tenth minute my ribs are almost cracking. This is pure comedy the kind of movie you want to watch at he end of a hard work like a research that is not going as planned. After the end of the movie I decide to check on Laura and express my satisfaction and appreciation. She still wears that grin and tasks “how was it” did you enjoy yourself? To which I could only nod. Anyway I live phoenix ensembles with a sense of satisfaction. At the main exit however I find a near commotion, the doors are jammed and instantly it hits me that people were so many here, but there are no enough exit doors.
- They have the best staff and the refreshments are just good enough to keep you coming back for more.
Phoenix ensembles I believe are one of the most hospitable people in the cinema industry. However, nobody said good things cannot be improved. They should probably have enough exit doors at their exits to help ease the “jam” and just in case of emergency cases to minimize casualties. Their advertisements of the movies and bookings should be done in such a way that it is not easy for an individual in such a way that it is not easy for an individual to make the kind of mistakes I made.
I do not go to the local gymnasium anymore for obvious reasons. The last time I checked in for some work out what I encountered is not one of those memories you want to keep for long.
Well I had not visited it for the last six months, so I was not surprised to find that there was a change of management. Surely the new change brought a lot of changes; the equipment part had a big face-lift. Most of them seemed to be up to date. Even the patrons most of them seemed to be new. The equipment is so impressive they might just lift your spirit and I believed this is like doing half of your work outs.
- I get into the working out room as our session begins but then there is not a single instructor within the vicinity.
- A few others and I head to the managers office. We inform him of the situation, but he seems so reluctant in his response. The rest of first day session is uneventful and after the end of it I head straight home.
- I check in the following day and the experience is almost similar my session is the first in the morning; no instructors have arrived, so I begin the usual old routine but just when my instructor checks in.
- There is a power failure, shortly after we realize they do not have a power cage. What a disappointment! The instructors are not helping either with their unfriendly way, soon the proprietor shows up and asks us politely to go and check in the following day and promises that the problem will be sorted and a recurrence will not be encountered.
Come the following day, the power problem is still there and this time not even the “mean” looking instructors showed up. Imagine when I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized I was even “smaller”. Is it that the stressing situation at the gymnasium had weighed its toll on me? Or was I just imagining? Anyhow, that is a question for another debate. Probably best for psychologists, research work, and maybe with a little help from nutritionists. I vow never to register or subscribe to this gym again even if it meant going to another town to work out.
All my four encounters seem to exhibit a lot in terms of reliability, for instance, McJeans retail store, stocks almost everything an offers all the services they enlist. Phoenix ensembles and gym too exhibit this is then services. The four service providers seem to all the assuring in their dealing. However, when it comes to accepting responsibilities the firms do not exhibit similar commitment, phoenix ensembles are very responsible people, and their committed to serving their customers.
Laura from phoenix is very understanding and empathetic; when she comforts me and shares her past experience with me it was so touching and timely. On the other hand McJeans are a little bit irresponsible, they did not have to make promises that they new they cannot keep. Further more when they refuse to fault themselves for having made wrong entries in my opinion does not augur well for their image
Service (hospitality) delivery, physical appearance and personality of a business often impact greatly on the satisfaction of a customer. It is view of these that a business entity should find it critical to communicate these elements in the best way they can. This should be done in line with the marketing objective of having to reach potential customers. Below are some strategies the above providers should find helpful.
- They should establish a strong customer orientation that entails and focuses on regular research of customers’ needs and attitude.
- Allocate adequate time and resources for marketing of products. (especially for ONE DIAL)
- Restructure the organization to have a marketing department.
- Regularly update and develop the marketing strategies and plans.
Tourism is essentially a service based industry as most of the products it deals with are intangible. This intangibility factor poses the risk of having to a difficult time on controlling the quality of services provided. It is prudent for every business allocates enough resources and time marketing
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