Marketing is the process of creating the consumer value, which may be in the form of any product, service, idea or values etc which altogether should serve as a solution to one’s problem or need. The service here is to sell out a value to the consumer. As products and goods are tangible and are easy to sell, the marketing approach to sell the services is pretty tricky and a bit difficult because services are not tangible. A quite congruent example to this notion is that a computer store offers computers, hard disks, drives, and other accessories which are its goods. Where as the same store also offers computer repair, hardware repair, and free installation at home etc which, are its services respectively. The direct goal of services is a bit different from that of selling a product where in services, the aim is to cover issues and bring the people in to business to buy products. The aim may to initiate sales, but here it is to deliver an intangible product, so this invisibility of the product differentiates it from the traditional product marketing.
The following are the known characteristics of a service:
Lack of ownership
You can not own, or store a service just like any of the product. Services are either used or hired for a specified period of time’ say you are to buy a ticket to UK and the service of that particular airline will last for 8 hours but just like using any of the tangible product, the consumer expect the excellent and quality service within that specific period in which they are using it. Depending upon the service niche, and nature, it can be more demanding as services gives solution and the time duration can be measured – so it is turning out to be more demanding by the consumers.
As aforementioned, services can not be touched, hold, or seen. The experience and information of the customer is the medium through which he or she can perceive the services being offered. Normally the thumb rules to draw out perceptions are the physical locality of the service centre, its attributes, the customer service and the in house presentation of the service offered.
Services can not be stored like any product and can be used later, and instead, last for a very specific period of time. Just evinced from the example quoted above, during your travel, you can use that service for that particular time like getting meals by the staff etc and similarly the restaurant staff that serves you only during the time when you are in a hotel etc.
Unlike the products, the services provider can not be separated from the service he or she provides. A product can be taken away from its producer but the service can be obtained near to, or at the point of it purchase. An example is that by going to any restaurant, you can avail its services like ordering, getting meal, asking for add-on etc. And in some cases you may obtain their home delivery service.