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servicean 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.