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Competing in Tough Times: Business Lessons from L.L.Bean, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Other World-Class Retailers by Barry Berman

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Chapter 5. Differentiation Strategies II: Enhancing the Service Experience

According to one source, “An experience occurs when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event.”1 Although some elements of the service experience can be passive (such as consumers seeing an attractive display, or observing a cooking demonstration or a product being made—such as bread being baked), other elements are quite active (such as consumers sampling a product, or taking an in-store course on fly fishing).

Service Industry Research Systems (SIRS), a market research firm, views the service experience from the perspective of emotional and rational factors. Emotional ...

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