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Services can be described in terms of I's.
Services are by definition intangible. They are not manufactured, transported or stocked.
Services cannot be stored for a future use. They are produced and consumed simultaneously.
Services are perishable in two regards:
The service provider must deliver the service at the time of service consumption. The service is not manifested in a physical object that is independent of the provider. The service consumer is also inseparable from service delivery. Examples: The service consumer must sit in the hairdresser's chair, or in the airplane seat. Correspondingly, the hairdresser or the pilot must be in the shop or plane, respectively, to deliver the service.
Each service is unique. It can never be exactly repeated as the time, location, circumstances, conditions, current configurations and/or as signed resources are different for the next delivery, even if the same service consumer requests the same service. Many services are regarded as heterogeneous and are typically modified for each service consumer or each service contextual . Example: The taxi service which transports the service consumer from home to work is different from the taxi service which transports the same service consumer from work to home – another point in time, the other direction, possibly another route, probably another taxi driver and cab. Another and more common term for this is heterogeneity.
Both service provider and service consumer participate in the service providers