Any services marketing strategy aims at delivering processes and experiences to customers. It is expected that a company has to focus on its customers and identifies their potential needs to provide them with the required portion of the support, understanding, and services. Services marketing is the field within the frames of which organizations learn how to start working and develop appropriate organizational relations with customers (Hoffman and Bateson 47), how to introduce their services, and how to comprehend when it is necessary to promote some improvements.
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In the report, the attention to MAC Cosmetics Company will be paid to clarify if the company is successful in its physical environment, process, and people (3Ps) and if the use of the GAP model in the context of the chosen company can help to improve the quality of services and enlarge the number of customers. The company was founded at the end of the 1900s. It has survived a number of economic crises and refused the necessity to use animals for testing products (“Animal Testing” par. 1) that involved a number of customers from different parts of the world. The report aims at analyzing MAC 3Ps in terms of the GAP model to understand if it is possible to improve the quality of services offered by the company.
Internal Environment of the Company: Goals and Strategies
My personal experience with MAC began as soon as I was provided with a possibility to use the make-up services of the company. In fact, it was a gift, and I had nothing to do but learn more about what MAC stores offer to their customers and make a choice of what kind of services I could use. I was impressed by the information I found about the company. Being one of the leading professional makeup authorities, MAC underlines the importance of diversity and individuality and explains that people of all ages, races, and sexes are free to get makeup services of high quality (“Our Story” par. 2).
Besides, MAC has a strategy that is based on the idea of trendsetting. The company finds it necessary to collaborate with fashion professionals and make sure they can create the trends that impress people and meet the standards of the field. MAC is the company that cooperates with a number of celebrities, and I was wondering if their services could be offered to ordinary people with a limited sum of money. On the one hand, I was excited by the possibility to visit the store and try the services offered. On the other hand, my emotions and uncertainties made me nervous and even confused if I was able to explain my needs and expectations in a clear way.
Analysis of the Situation
When I saw the store and the three letters on it (MAC), I realized that everything could be better than I expected. The outside look of the store was rather attractive. A lot of light was used to attract the customers and inform about the possible services people could get with MAC. Illumination and the pictures of the celebrities with a magnificent makeup are the two main issues that attracted the attention of people, who even do not think to visit the store still look at it. When I entered the store, I felt like I was in some kind of fairytale. A manager in a hall greeted me and asked if she could help me.
I explained what I wanted, and the woman offered me to address the administrator of the store. I reached the reception desk and met a new woman, who was eager to provide me with information and explanations. It did not take much time to clarify what I had to do next because I had already made an appointment, and the staff was expecting for me. I was invited to another room where I could make the necessary preparations, clean my skin, and wear special protective cloth. Every minute, I was accompanied by an amiable girl, who was ready to answer all my questions and supported me in case I was wondering about something.
Then, the time to get the required portion of services came. A specialist was properly introduced to me. It was a well-mannered and good-looking man dressed in a blue robe with a label of the company. First, he asked me several questions about myself, my style, and preferences. He also analyzed my skin and informed that I could use a number of options to protect my skin against a number of harmful substances around.
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The information was educative, interesting, and easy to comprehend. I felt safe in the hands of that man and entrusted my new image that person. I could observe each aspect of the work done on my face with the help of several mirrors in the room. Each procedure was provided with clear explanations and suggestions. I thought that the goal of the services offered by MAC was not only to provide with high-quality makeup services but also to teach me what I could do with my face on my own. Sometimes, I was a little bit confused because of the colors chosen by the expert. Still, he calmed me down and explained that the result would meet my expectations.
In less than an hour, I got an opportunity to look at the results. The smile did not leave my face. It was amazing. I felt like a star in a movie. It was unusual to see such reflection of mine in the mirror. I was also provided with several ideas of how I could use the offered makeup on photos. Another employee of the company suggested taking a photo. Then, I went back to the administrative desk and made a payment for the services.
The woman I had already known offered me additional services, asked to leave feedback, and informed about additional services I could get at the store. I refused them because I did not have time for all that at the moment. I thanked everyone and left the store with a kind smile on my “new” face.
The following chart provides a brief explanation of services got with MAC:
3Ps of Services Offered by MAC
Regarding the experience I got at the MAC store, I could explain how the company used 3Ps to provide customers with services. There are three main aspects of services marketing: people, physical assets, and procedure (Goyal 57).
Physical evidence is one of the aspects of the services people pay attention to. It covers all tangible representations that can be used by the store to invite more people (Brassington and Pettitt 1104). In the case under analysis, MAC succeeds in the majority of them. For example, clear signage and proper enlightening attract people. In the store, there is enough space for many customers and the employees, who should work with people. There are several rooms so that customers, who use their makeup services, feel comfortable and protected. Free Wi-Fi zones, good ventilation, and new facilities are also present in the store. Besides, the photos of celebrities and a variety of makeup options that can be offered by the company provide visitors with additional information and choices.
People turn out to be another marketing segment that works effectively in the company. “People takes account of the human interactions involved in the services product” (Brassington and Pettitt 1104). From the very first minutes, I was pleased with the possibility to communicate with nice looking and well-mannered managers. Each employee had a smile on their face and was eager to provide the visitor with some portion of support and explanations.
It seemed like the staff knew the nature of the client and tried to choose the most appropriate method to communicate with a person. All personnel wore special robes with the company’s label. Sometimes, it was hard to recognize a person among the shelves of the store. Still, as soon as a person needed some help, an employee appeared and answered all question. In general, the merger of physical evidence and people of the store was amazing as it was a one whole that could be separated in case a visitor wanted it to be.
Finally, process, “the systems that allow the service to be created and delivered efficiently, reliably and cost-effectively” (Brassington and Pettitt 1104), is the last aspect of the analysis. Many customers believe that MAC is one of the companies with rather bureaucratized services. People have to pass through a number of stages to get the required portion of services and meet the standards defined by the company. It seems like a person should plan their visit to the store. In case a passing by person wants to visit the store, it can become a difficult task for them. At the same time, the staff of the company is always ready to explain each detail of the process and make a suggestion.
There are three types of responses that may affect the workplace and the way of thinking about services offered: affective, behavioral, and cognitive (McDonald and Wearing 2). Affective responses deal with feelings that can be brought to the surface and based on the attitudes obtained. MAC is introduced as an expensive cosmetics company with a number of services that can be offered to people. Still, the prices are usually high, and not many ordinary people can allow themselves to use the makeup services. Therefore, my main affective response to the MAC services is connected with a high quality of services and high prices that cause uncertainty.
The behavioral response to the services may be connected with the possibility to investigate the price policy of the company and the actions that should be taken before the store is visited. A person wants to be sure that the services do not lead to a significant decrease of personal finances. Therefore, my behavioral response to the company may be an attempt to find another service company with low prices or learn the steps taken by the company’s expert and try to repeat the makeup at home. In other words, my response is to save money. Finally, a cognitive component deals with thoughts and beliefs about the services.
I think that MAC is the company that offers high-quality services. Still, it is impossible to come there and use the services. It is necessary to make an appointment and evaluate the money that should be spent.
GAP Model for the Analysis of the Company
Services marketing may be effective in case certain strategies and skills are applied. To ensure customers with quality services means to choose a credible model with the help of which the relations between what customers want to get with the company and what they actually get may be evaluated. This method aims at investigating the possible service quality measurements that can be used to improve the services. Six main gaps should be considered:
The knowledge gap
MAC employees should understand what customers may expect from the company, implement their feedbacks, and develop the interactions with customers. MAC shows a good example of how to cooperate with customers and when it is necessary to provide them with help and support.
The policy gap
MAC has already established the processes and standards according to which it works. Customers choose their services and understand what they can expect with the company. Still, the company does not have the levels of products. People, who choose MAC, should know that they have to spend much money to use the services offered by MAC.
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The delivery gap
MAC’s performance meets the standards set. The company investigates customers’ needs and expectations and offer the services based on the information found. Appropriate technology is chosen, a qualified staff works in the company, and the employees pass through numerous training and lessons during which they learn how to provide customers with services.
The communication gap
MAC’s employees know when and how they should talk to their customers. From the very first minutes, MAC’s customers are able to get the necessary portion of information and consultation from a professional manager and can be directed to the department that may answer and offer a solution.
The perception gap
MAC has developed successful service environment so that customers may observe their options, make choices, and stay informed on what they should do in the store.
The service gap
The quality of services offered by MAC is high indeed. The company sets good and clear standards according to which employees should work. Each employee has a number of functions to be fulfilled, and each customer can be supported in case of emergency.
A true physical environment of a store and the necessity to develop a direct customer-employee communication, analyze cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses of customers, make fast and correct solutions, and give clear answers without using additional sources of help in a short period are the peculiar differences between what usually happens online and what may happen to people in a real store.
The experience with MAC is the story of how different a person may look using the power of makeup offered by the company. There are many beauty stores that offer their customers captivating products and services. Still, not many stores do actually take care of their customers. MAC is the example that should be followed except its decision to set high prices for its services and production offered. The recommendation to re-evaluate MAC’s price policy should be offered to provide customers with high-quality makeup services at affordable prices.
“Animal Testing.” MAC n.d. Web.
Brassington, Frances, and Stephen Pettitt. Principles of Marketing, Essex: Pearson Education, 2006. Print.
Goyal, Anita. Innovations in Services Marketing and Management: Strategies for Emerging Economies, Hershey: IGI Global, 2013. Print.
Hoffman, K. Douglas, and John E.G. Bateson. Service Marketing: Concepts, Strategies, & Cases, Mason: Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
McDonald, Matthew and Stephen Wearing. Social Psychology and Theories of Consumer Culture: A Political Economy Perspective, New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.
“Our Story.” MAC n.d. Web.