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Service Relation Promises

In: Business and Management

Submitted By crpecas
Words 4769
Pages 20
Building Service Relationships: It's All About Promises
Mary Jo Bitner
Arizona State University
There is no one better qualified to write a comprehensive paper on service relationships than Leonard Berry-the first person to use the term relationship marketing in the services literature (Berry 1983). Not unexpectedly, he has delivered a carefully researched and motivating discussion that provides broad coverage of the field and directs us forward to new research. He has clearly laid out the convergent influences that are bringing to fruition the seeds of relationship marketing planted over the last 15 years. The heart of the contribution is in his identification of emerging perspectives and trends in the field of service relationship marketing: targeting profitable customers, multiple levels of relationship marketing, marketing to employees and other stakeholders, and trust as a marketing tool. Further development of each of these emerging themes should propel us to a deeper understanding of service relationships. Berry's vivid use of examples provides strong grounding and clear, understanding of the relevancy of the issues he raises. Being a commentator on a thought-provoking piece such as Leonard Berry's is a privilege. First, because the article is so well done and complete, I do not feel compelled to disagree or criticize. Second, because he has done the hard part of covering the full range of topics, I have the luxury of selectively building on his contribution. I will focus my commentary on further developing several important points that he makes regarding service relationships. ~ First, I will focus on the notion of promises--that service relationships are achieved by a "mutual exchange and fulfillment of promises" (Grfnroos 1990). Keeping promises is the essence of a mutually beneficial service relationship. But the ability to keep promises hinges on and…...

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