a) The Effect of Ambient Conditions: Characteristics of the environment that pertain to the five senses. They may not be directly noted but still influence the sub-conscious. The idea is to provide a satisfying experience by creating a mood that is favourably perceived by the customer. Some of the important ambient dimensions include music, scent, colour etc.
For example, in situations that require waiting for service, effective use of music may shorten perceived waiting time and improve customer satisfaction. Consider restaurants, call centres, beauty parlours etc. Pleasant music has been shown to enhance customers’ perceptions of service personnel. In fact, providing the right mix of music has become an industry in its own right. Certain retail store chains have their typical playlists or indigenous radio. All the Allen Solly stores across India play their AS Radio all the time. It includes pieces of music that suit the Allen Solly’s brand identity and overall décor and aesthetics of the showrooms.
Similarly, Mother Earth stores use earthy colours or shades of green in their stores to reinforce the association with the environment and organic products.
b) Spatial Layout and Functionality: Spatial layout refers to floor plan, size and shape of furnishings, counters etc. Functionality refers to the ability of those items to facilitate the performance of service transactions. These create the visual and functional service-scape for delivery and consumption
c) Signs, Symbols and Artefacts: Explicit or implicit signals to communicate the firm’s image, help customers find their way and to convey the service script.