Discuss, debate and exchange ideas on latest trends and opportunities in the Business Process Management (BPM) landscape. Deliberate on adding “business value” to clients, vendors, employees and various other stakeholders to enhance customer satisfaction and sustain long term partnerships.

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Are we buying a Product or a Service ? (Part-II)

Having looked at the product as a product and product as a service, in this concluding part of our blog, we will try to gain more insights on service and compare it with a product.

First, let us look at the Wikipedia definition of a service: "Service (economics), the non-material equivalent of a good in economics and marketing, within the service-product continuum"

The key differentiator of a service as compared to a product is that a service is intangible, and does have a value.

In essence both product and service does have a value. But the way we see and realize the value, is different for a product and service. The way we quantify the value does differ on a case to case basis, and especially in the case of a product the value is understood more easily than that of a service.

Well in real terms, every product is designed for a purpose and the purpose is to provide a service.

Let us look at some real life examples

  • A shirt is a product, which provides the service of protecting our body, making us look & feel good and appreciated etc.,
  • The value of the toothpaste we use daily is realized in the form of its refreshing taste felt and our perception of clean teeth.
  • There is a perceived value and quality of service difference between India Post and the private players like Professional, DTCC, Blue Dart etc.,
  • A savings account in a bank provides the service of managing money (storing, retrieving, transferring, receiving etc.,)  

In all of the above, Consumer / Buyer satisfaction is the one key common aspect in evaluating a product or a service, and the perceived satisfaction level over and above the cost determines the market success of a product or a service. To assist buyer decision, product / service descriptions, specifications, service definitions etc., evolved and became norm & practice in the market place to compare and contrast products & services.

In reality, there exists only service - as a product is either an intermediary or a via media to deliver a service (or an intended purpose).

The differentiation exists and will continue to exist to support the larger socio - economic requirements and thus the evolution & existence of S&P as an enterprise function.

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