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service

an economic activity which is performed to meet a personal or business demand. Some services are either specifically personal (for example hairdressing, dentistry), or business (for example factory maintenance, freight forwarding), but a large number are multifaceted, catering for both sectors, for example, household and industrial painting, telephone services.

The provision of most services (for example, window cleaning) involves a number of characteristics which set them apart from the provision of a GOOD (for example, a motorcar), in particular intangibility - the inability of a customer to see, touch, taste or smell the service, and inseparability - the fact that services are produced and consumed at the same time and thus cannot be stored. See also MARKETING MIX, GAP ANALYSIS. See PRODUCT, PERISHABILITY, VARIABILITY.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson

service

any intangible economic activity (hairdressing, catering, insurance, banking, etc.) that contributes directly (see FINAL PRODUCTS) or indirectly (see INTERMEDIATE PRODUCTS) to the satisfaction of human wants. Services are an important component of GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
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