Use of AI with service marketing – By Aditya Abeysinghe
What is service marketing?
In service marketing a service is marketed to a target customer segment. This type of marketing is different from marketing of a product as an intangible item is marketed to the customer segment. As an intangible item is marketed neither party has ownership of the item being marketed. Service marketing also needs less time to market than marketing a product. Also, since a service has less scope after it is being used, marketing a service is often difficult than marketing a product as it is often difficult to convince customers to use a service.
Types of service marketing
External service marketing is the most used type of service marketing. In external service marketing a service is marketed to its customers. Different types of techniques like products, purchasers, etc. to promote services are used in this type of service marketing. For example, a web hosting service may promote services it offers in social media or mass media. Customers may use the services after the service is promoted.
Internal service marketing is service marketing within a company. In this type of marketing a service is marketed to teams who market it outside the company such that they are trained on how that service should be marketed. For example, the web hosting service which advertised customers about its services will promote its services to its teams who reach customers. This will enhance these teams to reach customers with good knowledge of its services.
Marketing a service also includes marketing between teams within a company who market a service and its customers. This type of marketing is called interactive service marketing. This involves direct interaction with customers to promote a service. For example, the web hosting service might use social media, emails, etc. and connect with customers to introduce or market about its services.
The use of AI
Recent surveys show that the key factor that determines the progress of a service is its customer experience. Customer experience is ranked higher in many business services compared to pricing and loyalty of its customers. A service provider therefore will focus more on its customer experience to improve its upselling, its customer satisfaction and its customer retention. A service provider will also focus on improving its customer experience such that marketing a service can be more effective.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the key methods used by service providers to improve its services. With large number of services being served today over the internet and other digital media, large number of customers need to be served by sales related customer agents. This causes less efficient experience for customers who often have to wait until they are served. AI is used by these services to automatically answer customer issues or promotions and direct to agents only when required.
AI can be used in both external and interactive service marketing. With AI, many manual tasks used to market a service can be executed with automatic agents. For example, chatbots, recommendations for services, automatic messages in social media are some methods that are used to automate service marketing using AI. With these methods, cost and time to serve customers are lowered and customers can be served with higher quality in services.
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