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Principles of Service Management

Your customers are your key resource. Explore a service-based approach to marketing and management that can better serve them.

9,125 enrolled on this course

Principles of Service Management
  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Find out what the discipline of service management can do for your business

Today an increasing number of companies compete on service, not product. As a result, understanding a service-based approach to business is essential - even for product-based businesses.

On this course you’ll learn the latest thinking in service management, exploring a service-centric perspective to marketing and management. You’ll examine service as a business model, the value creation process, customer perceived quality and promise management.

Ultimately, you’ll discover how service-based thinking can help you better serve your customer, and overcome a range of business challenges.


  • Week 1

    Service as a perspective on business

    • Welcome to the course!

      A welcome from Professor Christian Grönroos and Professor Jaakko Aspara, an introduction to what we will cover in the course and to the educators, as well as the opportunity for you to introduce yourselves to each other.

    • Service as a business model

      What does service mean in the context of a service perspective on business?

    • Customer value and value creation

      What is customer value and how is it created?

    • Week 1 Wrap-Up

      Weekly test and an opportunity to reflect on your learning.

  • Week 2

    The importance of service orientation

    • How customers perceive quality

      What does customer perceived quality mean and what implications does it have for management?

    • Service orientation and customer focus

      How to focus on customers and how to avoid the strategic management trap?

    • Customer expectations management

      How to successfully manage customer expectations?

    • Customer-focused marketing

      How do service orientation and a true customer focus affect marketing?

    • Week 2 Wrap-Up

      Weekly test and an opportunity to reflect on your learning.

  • Week 3

    A profitable service business

    • How does the service profit work?

      What is profit logic and how does a service profit logic differ from a manufacturing profit logic?

    • Managing customer promises

      Marketing is about relationships with customers.

    • Service profitability

      A look into the profitability and costs of customer relationships.

    • Reciprocal return on relationships (ROR)

      How to increase profits through mutually beneficial business relationships.

    • Week 3 Wrap-Up

      Weekly test and an opportunity to reflect on your learning.

  • Week 4

    Managing a service business

    • Service productivity

      Developing and maintaining a productive service business.

    • Internal marketing

      Why is internal marketing important for a service business?

    • Customer-driven marketing communication

      Marketing communication from a service perspective.

    • Service branding

      Branding your service offering.

    • Week 4 Wrap-Up

      Weekly test and an opportunity to reflect on your learning.

  • Week 5

    From manufacturing to service

    • Managing a service culture

      A service culture is fundamental for a service business.

    • Transforming manufacturing into a service business

      How the adoption of a service logic will benefit your business.

    • Conclusions, guiding rules and barriers

      Conclusion of the course content.

    • Week 5 Wrap-Up

      Weekly test, an opportunity to reflect on your learning, and some concluding thoughts on the future of service management.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify and understand central theories, concepts and models within service management
  • Apply relevant theories, concepts and models to common service management challenges
  • Explore the relevance of and opportunities for service-based thinking in business operations

Who is the course for?

This course would be particularly relevant to business professionals and managers interested in the potential of adopting a service-based strategy, whether their firms are currently operating in an industrial or consumer context, or a manufactured goods or services context. It is also relevant for business students wishing to specialise in service management and marketing.

Who will you learn with?

Professor emeritus at Hanken School of Economics. Internationally respected specialist in service management. Received the honourary title Legend in Marketing for his research in service management.

Researcher and teacher at the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management (CERS), Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics. Expert on service management and marketing.

Doctoral Student at the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management (CERS), Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics.

Doctoral Student and Researcher at the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management (CERS), Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics.

Who developed the course?

Hanken School of Economics

Hanken is a triple crown accredited Finnish university with long experience in education and research in business. Located in Helsinki and Vaasa, Hanken has 2,500 students from all around the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
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  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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