Your post was insightful and informative. You have provided a clear distinction between goods and services. I agree with you that goods are tangible things that can be felt through the five senses, while services are intangible and perishable. However, I would like to add that there is also a grey area between goods and services. For example, “software a as service” model provides users with a license to use a particular program for a specific period of time. In such arrangement, a customer uses the software and, thus, has a product; however, in reality, this is a service because he or she does not fully own this software. A customer simply gets a right to use the software product for a certain period of time (Tsai, Bai, & Huang, 2014).
I also found your discussion about inseparability of services very insightful. Indeed, most services are produced and consumed at the same time. Moreover, the fact that production, delivery, and consumption of services is usually done at the same place and in the same time, means that there is a high level of involvement of customers in the process. Besides that, the knowledge exchange between service providers and customers is indeed very intense. This is the reason why people tend to purchase services for the providers that they are already accustomed to.
On the other hand, as you have correctly noted, producers and customers do not have such direct communication. They communicate through products. It is harder to achieve customer loyalty in this way than it is through the provision of services. Nevertheless, if the products are of high quality, customers will be engaged with the company no less than with service providers. For example, Apple constantly strives to achieve perfection in its product design and functionality; therefore, customers enjoy these products, anticipate new ones every year, and are very loyal to the company.
- Tsai, W. T., Bai, X. Y., & Huang, Y. (2014). Software-as-a-service (SaaS): Perspectives and challenges. Science China Information Sciences, 57(5), 1-15.