Services & Service Quality


Services relate to companies that offer the provision of a service to their customers, rather than a physical product. For example, banks, telecommunications providers, energy supplies, internet providers, hairdressers, lawyers and so on.

Perceptions of the quality of service and customer satisfaction are often considered important metrics for companies that provide service to customers.

Key Findings

  • A common alternative to measuring customer evaluations of service is to directly measure actual service delivery: how quickly calls were answered, were specific actions undertaken.
  • It is not possible to generalise that all services possess the characteristic differences between services and products. Services are often characterised as being distinct from products (but not always and not exclusively, as certain products are sometimes as well) in being: intangible, perishable, inseparable (often the production, distribution and consumption take place simultaneously) and heterogenous.

Best Practice

Marketing a service is essentially the same process as marketing physical products. Both require an understanding of customer needs and buying behaviour and require the building of mental and physical availability.