Characteristics of Services

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CHARACTERISTICS OF SERVICES
The services have unique characteristics which make them different from that of goods. The most common characteristics of services are:
Intangibility.
Inseparability.
Perish ability.
Variability

Intangibility
Services are activities performed by the provider, unlike physical products they cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard or smelt before they are consumed. Since, services are not tangibles, they do not have features that appeal to the customer’s senses, their evaluation, unlike goods, is not possible before actual purchase and consumption. The marketer of service cannot rely on product-based clues that the buyer generally employs in alternative evaluation prior to purchase. So, as a result of this,
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Marketing experts acknowledge that marketing a service is more difficult than marketing a tangible product. They identify the following as being characteristic of services: * Intangibility the service cannot be touched or viewed, so it is difficult for clients to tell in advance what they will be getting; * Inseparability of production and consumption the service is being produced at the same time that the client is receiving it (eg during an online search, or a legal consultation); * Perishibility unused capacity cannot be stored for future use. For example, spare seats on one aeroplane cannot be transferred to the next flight, and query-free times at the reference desk cannot be saved up until there is a busy period. * Heterogeneity (or variability): services involve people, and people are all different. There is a strong possibility that the same enquiry would be answered slightly differently by different people (or even by the same person at different times). It is important to minimise the differences in performance (through training, standard-setting and quality assurance).
People often try to overcome some of these difficulties by ensuring that the physical manifestations of the service (the people running it, the library building, printed search results, web pages etc) indicate the quality of
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