The Service reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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In economics and marketing, a service is the non-material equivalent of a good. Service provision has been defined as an economic activity that does not result in ownership, and this is what differentiates it from providing physical goods. It is claimed to be a process that creates benefits by facilitating either a change in customers, a change in their physical possessions, or a change in their intangible assets.

By supplying some level of skill, ingenuity, and experience, providers of a service participate in an economy without the restrictions of carrying stock (inventory) or the need to concern themselves with bulky raw materials. On the other hand, their investment in expertise does require marketing and upgrading in the face of competition which has equally few physical restrictions.

Table of contents
1 Key attributes
2 Service Delivery
3 The Service-Goods Continuum
4 Examples of economic services
5 See Also
6 Finding related topics

Key attributes

Services can be described in terms of their main attributes.

Service Delivery

The delivery of a service typically involves five factors:

The service encounter is defined as all activities involved in the service delivery process. Some service managers use the term "moment of truth" to indicate that defining point in a specific service encounter where interactions are most intense.

Many business theoristss view service provision as a performance or act (sometimes humorously referred to as dramalurgy, perhaps in reference to ). The location of the service delivery is referred to as the stage and the objects that facilitate the service process are called props. A script is a sequence of behaviours followed by all those involved, including the client(s). Some service dramas are tightly scripted, others are more ad lib. Role congruence occurs when each actor follows a script that harmonizes with the roles played by the other actors.

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Service-Goods continuum

The Service-Goods Continuum

The dichotomy between physical goods and intangible services should not be given too much credence. These are not discrete categories. Most business theorists see a continuum with pure service on one terminal point and pure commodity good on the other terminal point. Most products fall between these two extremes. For example, a restaurant provides a physical good (the food) and also provides a service.

In a narrower sense, service refers to quality] of servicing: the measured appropriateness of assistance and support provided to a customer. (This usage occurs frequently in retailing.)

Examples of economic services

See Also

Finding related topics