Significance of Services Marketing06/03/2020
The following are the characteristics of services:
Services are intangible and therefore cannot be touched, handled, smelt or tasted (physical senses). This is because service itself is an activity. A service however, can be experienced. A service also gives a certain amount of satisfaction to the consumers. On account of the intangibility, there is no ownership created in case of services. A service can only be generated and used and can never be owned.
A service has to be consumed simultaneously with its production. A service cannot be stored like a tangible commodity. Services are perishable in terms of delivery and time. An empty seat on a plane never can be utilized and charged after departure. Revenue once lost is lost forever.
When the service has been completely rendered to the requesting service consumer, this particular service irreversibly vanishes as it has been consumed by the service consumer. Example – after the passenger has been transported to the destination, he cannot be transported again to the previous location at the previous point of time.
Commodities once produced can be sold at a later point of time but in case of services it is not possible. Examples – In the cases of services of a doctor to his patient, teacher to his student, the simultaneous presence of both-the producer of the service and the consumer of the service at that point of time is absolutely necessary.
The service provider is indispensable for service delivery as he must promptly generate and render the service to the requesting service consumer. Therefore the service provider, the service itself and the service consumer are inseparable.
Services are generated and consumed during the same period of time. As soon as the service consumer has requested the service (delivery), the particular service must be generated from scratch without any delay. The service consumer instantaneously consumes the rendered benefits to satisfy his wants. Therefore the production and consumption of services are always simultaneous.
Each service is unique. Services lack homogeneity. Example – a doctor treats two patients with similar ailments on the same day. The level of satisfaction in the minds of these patients after the treatment will never be the same. The difference is caused by factors such as the mood of the doctor, the fatigue level of the doctor, the way the service is perceived by the individual patient etc. There will a difference in the service even if the same doctor treats the same patient on two different occasions.
This is because the moods of the doctor and the patient do not remain the same on both the occasions. No two units of service are identical even if they are generated by the same person. Factors like quality control, standardization etc. which can be very successfully implemented in case of production of tangible goods cannot be applied in case of services. Services always vary with each other.
No ownership is created in case of services. At the time of creating a service or delivering a service, the service provider does not own the service. He only owns the physical infrastructure necessary to create the service. Similarly at the time of consumption or after the consumption, the service consumer does not own the service. He only consumes the service.
After the consumption, the consumer has only the experience but the service itself would have become non-existent. A service cannot be owned by anybody because it is basically an intangible product.