Today the experts seem to be more interested in focusing on how to manage and market their services instead of products. This essay will help to understand the main features of this rapidly growing industry of the present era. 
Before the advent of the service industry, the definition of product used to encompass the functionality of service as well because that service was particularly related to those products. This type of service is known as ‘after-sales service’. But now due to increased interest in the pure service industry, the scholars and professionals have begun to point out the differences between the two.
Both product and service are offered to the customers with the aim of fulfilling their needs and demands and earning profits in return. But the literature tells us that it is the ‘characteristics’ of service which make it different and configurable in comparison to the product. Those characteristics are explained as follows: 
Intangibility: A service is intangible because it cannot be touched, seen, possessed, owned, etc. Before using the service, a customer is unknown about its quality. And the service provider cannot assess and control the quality of service until and unless it receives the feedback of customers. It totally depends upon client expectations. So the customer is always uncertain about the value and quality of a service that he/she can experience after its use.
Inseparability: A service is inseparable from its provider. That’s if the provider is not present the customer cannot use the service e.g. A patient cannot be treated until and unless a physician is present to examine him/her. It also poses that often a customer wants the service to be provided in a specific way or by some specific individual it enhances the pressure of perfection in that particular individual that directly provides the service.
Perishability: The service cannot be stored for future use or to present to someone as the specimen of quality. If the customer does not avail it, he cannot expect it to be there in the same condition, value, etc in future as well e.g. if a client misses the appointment with lawyer that time can never be captured again. At one time the rooms in the most renowned hotel in the city are available but after a few days, you might not get a single room vacant there. It means service greatly depends upon supply and demand.
Variability: The quality and consistency of service are subject to greater change because it is delivered by ‘people’ and the behavior of human beings cannot be controlled. They can be in good temperament at one time and in a depressed mood the other. Thus, the quality of service greatly depends upon experience, knowledge, attitude, style, personality, etc of the provider e.g. in a restaurant one waiter provides excellent service but another hardly knows how to please a customer.
These characteristics show that provision of service or ‘service production’ is totally based upon ‘personal contact’, also called ‘people contact’. while a ‘product manufacturing’ does not need people (customers) for its completion. Both product and service are of two types in nature. .
Today the experts seem to be more interested in focusing on how to manage and market their services instead of products. This essay will help to understand the main features of this rapidly growing industry of the present era.