Service (economics)

A service (synonym: Service) in the sense of economics is an economic good, which in contrast to goods not material production or the material value of a final product is important, but one of a natural person or a legal person at a time or resulted in a time- frame power to cover demand. A provider of such a service is called a service provider.

In the broadest sense are among the services also, for example free of charge in the household work done, or those that can provides for himself. However, be Economically recorded and reported as part of gross domestic product only services that can not be measured through market prices.

In the three-sector hypothesis, the economy is divided into the primary sector of raw material production, the secondary sector of manufacturing industry and the tertiary sector of services.

Legally, can be a contract with a service provider, a service contract or a service contract. Case of a contract, the service provider obliged to perform with a concrete success (eg Auto Repair owes repair, Troubleshooting). Through a service agreement, the service is obliged only to one or more services ( such as physician owes a treatment in a best effort, but no successful cure ).

Service and benefits in kind

From a business perspective, we distinguish them from the kind. The service is not storable, rarely transferable ( immateriality ) and requires an external factor ( integration of the external factor - customer). Their production and consumption usually fall time together ( Uno - actu - principle).

Services are in their result, although predominantly intangible, but they can include physical components, such as a carrier medium on which the result of the service is passed. The quality of service is known as service quality or service quality. By Immaterialitätsgrad this may lead to problems in the measurement of service quality. In addition to the performance results of a particular service obtains the power generation process ( integration of the external factor ) and performance potential (eg appearance and expertise of a business consultant ) in importance. All three so-called " performance dimensions " to be included in the evaluation of service quality.

Services differ in standardized and individual. The latter, however, is created for a specific individual. Feature of standardized services is that they are for a fictitious average customer. The level of participation ( integration degree) of customers is higher for individual services.

The distinction between service and non- performance is ultimately flowing. To obtain service components in business-to - business marketing, for example, in machine and plant construction, increasingly important ( eg counseling, teleservice). Also in the consumer goods industry carry service components for increased differentiation and thus to gain competitive advantages in (eg sales financing of hi-fi electronics or cars). Not least, such service components may be buying decision and thus advance to the main component of the product.

Therefore, increasingly, the experiment is given to delineate services in kind. All sales items are understood here as a bundle of services, the performance result is both more tangible or intangible, of the production process and rather autonomous or integrative pronounced. Such an understanding allows for a differentiated conception of the sales policy instruments.

Types of Services

Personal services

Personal services are services that are performed on or with the person, such as the services of a physician, a Heilerziehungspflegers or a teacher. These services come into existence only with the involvement of the customer. The client's participation may be more passive, more likely to be active as the emergency service or, as in the acquisition of knowledge in a learning situation. Personal services have the following features:

David A. Garvin summarizes these phenomena personal services (PBD ) as follows:

  • Coincidence of consumption and production
  • Service producer is part of the service, as well as service consumer

For the organizations and professions that provide personal services, this has consequences for their management systems:

  • The degree of achievement of objectives, that is, the degree of success must be established with the customer.
  • The meaningfulness of the achievement of objectives and the measures must be analyzed with the customer. The central question may be: " The plan we have fulfilled Was he good.? "

The difficulty for personal service providers, such as doctors, counselors, therapists or social workers is, sometimes the fact that they have little or no insight or influence on what the customer actually does or the objectives and measures can not be evaluated because the customer can not come together with the service provider. Personal service providers often have to do with incomplete service processes.

Property -related services

Services, such as trucking companies, banks or insurance companies, further, one could divide them into the following:

Primary services

These are services of companies that provide only such and make no material goods. Such service providers include, for example laundries and Towing.

A special case are the knowledge-intensive services, which are provided by professionals. Applicable features for these service companies; see Professional Service Firm

Product Support / industrial services

Companies that manufacture in addition to the services and material goods, such as car manufacturers, or producers of capital goods they offer. One also speaks of hybrid products. Industrial services are offered in addition to the physical product, which means that they can be marketed in conjunction with the self-created physical product. Therefore, industrial services are referred to as secondary services, as they represent an added value for the customer. There are services that are created in direct or indirect connection with the material goods for other companies. Therefore creates an economic dependency of a service of a tangible good.

Pre -sales services

Services before buying, for example, a detailed consultation, working out individual proposals, planning services, such as the adaptation of a fitted kitchen to the spatial conditions. Especially in the services sector, it is very important to find out the needs of the customer and incorporate into the product. In addition, it is important to highlight the benefits of the service for the customer. Only if it is clear, the customer will avail them.

After- sales services

After-sales service, such as spare parts, maintenance and repair, modernization (retrofit ), teleservice.

The seller strives to serve its customers after the sale of a product further in order to possibly make additional transactions may. A tool for this purpose is the Customer Relationship Management. The professional handling of customer service, the warranty work (application management), but also the further care of the customer by the seller (sales representative ) are typical tasks of the after-sales management.

In the field of capital goods ( B2B Marketing) a regulated after-sales service to customers is expected. Often only developed through intensive follow a long-term business relationship. Intensive follow-up is to improve customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty.

Process model

Each service is part of a business process which typically consists of several stages. In these phases occur on characteristic actors through specific tasks (" rolls " ) differ from each other:

During the evaluation phase

  • The service provider that offers the (service ) services, and
  • The service customer who asks the (service ) service.

In the agreement phase ( also: treaty phase)

  • The service provider ( " Contractor"), which awarded the contract to deliver the service, and
  • The service customer ( "Customer"), which mandated the provision of the service.

In the performance phase (also: implementation or operational phase )

  • The service provider who provides the service in person, and
  • The service consumer, the service (or its result) personally takes up or benefiting from the services rendered personally. Depending on whether the consumer is provided in the service contract as a beneficiary or not, the consumer (that is, the use ) of the service is done justifiably or unjustifiably.
  • Also at the operational level, the concept of " external factor " is located. It designates a person or thing that is not property of the service provider (hence "external" ) and on which the service is performed. - Often are also support services (so-called " Accessory" ) of the client is required ( eg premises, resources, information, personal involvement ) for the success of the service.
  • In addition, persons or organizational units that are involved only indirectly in the provision of the service, by dispositive tasks (eg, planning, control and coordination of service delivery ).

In the opposite phase power

  • The receiver agreed between client and contractor in return (usually paid) and
  • The person providing the consideration.

In reality, the roles of the service provider, supplier and provider's and the counter recipient are often perceived by different persons or organizational units, in simple cases, but also by the same person (eg taxi driver). The same applies to the roles of the service demander, customers and consumers as well as the counter provider. Likewise, the roles of the external factor and the service consumers can coincide in one person.