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Managing Service Quality Is The Most Important Task Facing Managers Of Sport Organizations (Sport Management: Theory & Practice )

2731 words - 11 pages

Sport management: theory & practiceManaging service quality is the most important task facing managers of sport organizationsAccording to Morris and Johnston (1987) the difference when dealing with managing services as opposed to manufacturing management is that the customer is in attendance at the actual production processes. Sport is considered to be a service, when talking about a sport game, a gym, a leisure activity, or even an event. Each spectator experiences the service in his own way, keeping in mind that the product of sport is unpredictable, an aspect that to the sport manager means having little control over the final product (Mullin et all, 2002). In addition to these characteristics others can be added such as: intangibility - a service can not be seen, inseparability - a service can not be separated, heterogeneity - every time a service is delivered it has differences, perishability - if a service is not fully booked that could result to losses for the organization. Mullin et all (2002) suggest that "partly due to sport's salience and also strong personal identification, sports consumers have remarkably high involvement with the product" and that's the reason why managers must identify and categorize the organizations customers, and in the case of sport the fans.When defining spectators it is important that they are divided into various groups. By knowing the customers it is easier for a manager to set a target group and deliver a service as convenient as possible to them, which will possibly result to meeting customers expectations. The categorizing into groups is called segmentation. Kotler (1980) refers to segmentation as "the subdividing of a market into distinct subsets of customers, where any subset may be selected as a target market to be reached with distinct marketing mix". When consumer preservation is considered to be essential in an organization or industry, managers have "transaction databases" in order to recognize, profile, target and reach set out segments (Wedel & Kamakura, 2000). This process can be done by assembling data over a period of time, establishing groups that have similar characteristics and then distributing customers into each group (Tapp & Clowes, 2002). By segmenting the customers a better understanding of customer's needs and characteristics can be obtained and the marketing tools can be applied more effectively (Frank et all, 1972).Methods of Segmentation:In Tapp and Clowes (2002) research paper, various segmentation methods are mentioned by a variety of researches such as:Jobber (1995) that segments customers under behavioral and profiled based techniques,Peppers and Roggers (1993) that segment customers by product need, or by value,Piercy (1997) that segments customers according to the different levels and types of loyalty that supporters exhibit,Mullin (2002) that segments the customers according to their value for the organization,Wells and Tigret (1977) that segment customers...

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