From ArticleWorld

In marketing and economics, a service is a non-material good that is sold. It does not result in ownership like physical goods do when sold. In a narrower sense, service refers to quality of customer service. Occuring frequently in retailing, it may include the appropriateness of assistance and support provided to a customer

Tertiary sector

One of the three main categories of a developed country, the service sector is also called the tertiary sector of industry. The service sector consists of the soft parts of the economy such as insurance, tourism, banking, retail and education. Others businesses included in the service sector are:

  • Restaurants
  • Retail stores
  • The entertainment industries
  • News media
  • Leisure industry
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Consulting, Investment and Legal services


The main attributes of services include:

  • Intangibility - A service cannot be seen, and requires no storage.
  • Perishability – Unsold service time cannot be regained.
  • Lack of transportability – Services must be consumed at the point of origin.
  • Lack of homogeneity – Services cannot be easilly mass produced.
  • Labour intensity – Services require human activity and the human factor is often the key success factor.
  • Demand fluctuations – It is difficult to estimate the demand for a particular service.
  • Buyer involvement – Most services require a high degree of interaction between the buyer and the seller.


The service encounter is defined as all the activities involved in the delivery of the service. Some service managers use the term moment of truth to indicate that defining point in a service encounter where interactions are most intense Service delivery usually involves five factors:

  • The service provider
  • Equipment
  • Physical facilities
  • A buyer
  • Other customers