The Handbook is organized in six major sections: The service setting, demand management, service excellence and profitability, service recovery, service relationships, and firm-wide service issues. A unique structural feature of the Handbook is the inclusion of both in-depth chapters as well as shorter, more focused ‘mini’ chapters. This variation enables the book to provide broader coverage through the inclusion of more topics.
The servicescape, or service setting, plays a critical role in shaping customer expectations, differentiating service firms, facilitating customer and employee goals, and influencing the nature of customer experiences (Bitner 1992; Sherry 1998a). The servicescape can influence critical customer relationship goals from the initial attraction of the customer through to retention and even enhancement of the relationship. Its marketing impact cannot be understated, yet theoretical and practical knowledge of the servicescape is relatively meager when compared to knowledge of other marketing variables.
The objectives of this chapter are to (a) define and delimit the servicescape concept, (b) illustrate the ties between key marketing issues and the servicescape, (c) provide an overview of recent theoretical and marketing contributions to our understanding of servicescape effects, ...