BGSU takes home first place in services marketing competition

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BOWLING GREEN, O.—It was a winning weekend for Bowling Green State University’s service marketing team. The team took home top honors at the first and only services marketing competition in the country, hosted by BGSU’s Service Marketing Institute (SMI) Feb. 13-15. The BGSU team is made up of Kelsey Aufdencamp, Tori Etts, Ashley Flanigan and Michelle Terry, and is coached by Dr. Dwayne Gremler, a professor of marketing.

Seven universities competed in three rounds: Service Blueprint, Service Recovery and Customer Complaint. Second place went to Kent State University; the University of Toledo earned third. The individual winner of the Customer Complaint Round went to Shayan Hart of Kent State.

Teams worked on problems given by the sponsoring companies. Executives from those companies and other executives from service-based firms, as well as faculty from around the country with expertise in services marketing, served as judges.

The teams with the three highest combined scores after the three rounds then competed in the championship round on Feb. 15. Team point totals were reset to zero. The students presented their service blueprints along with their recommendations on how to improve the overall customer service experience. They also responded to questions from the judges.

Participating teams came from as far away as Virginia, Canada and Texas. David Rose, team coach for Wilfred Laurier University in Canada, called the competition an “excellent experience.”

Christine Seiler, associate director of SMI, and Dr. David Reid, SMI director, organized the competition.

“It was so exciting to have these seven universities on campus participating in this event,” said Seiler. “The overall work quality that these teams presented was just amazing. The corporate sponsors were extremely pleased with the experience. They enjoyed getting to meet and recruit the student competitors for their respective organizations, and they were impressed with how well the students did, given that this was the first competition of this kind.”

Sponsors included Garage Management Co., Brown and Brown, Speedway, TQL, Huntington Insurance, Marathon Petroleum, MultiView, Quicken Loans, Thomas Reuters, and Tom James Co.

BGSU is one of the few schools in the U.S. with a dedicated specialization in sales and services marketing.