Product vs Service
The difference between product and service has been there since time immemorial. Right from the start of the civilization when man started to make use of metals to the time when he invented fire and started on agriculture, man has been making use of both products and services. We go to a barber to have a haircut where he makes use of a product (scissors and combs) to provide us a service (shortens them or gives them a better styling. We may buy a product such as a TV from the market but depend upon its service when something goes wrong with the product. However, this is not the only difference between a product and a service as readers will realize after reading this article.
Anything that you can hold, see or feel is a product. So, whether you are buying your groceries or wine or car, you are buying products that you can use and consume or resell afterwards. Products such as vegetables and other eatables get consumed by us whereas we make use of other types of goods for a longer time. We buy clothes, shoes, electronics, and even houses and cars that are all seen as products as they can be seen and used.
The word product comes from the verb produce that tells us that a product is a result of a manufacturing process or labor. However, natural things also come under the category of products such as wood, gas, flowers (read bouquet), fruits, vegetables etc. In the manufacturing sector, raw materials required to make a finished product is referred to as product.
When we are building a home for ourselves, we need specialists like a plumber, an electrician, air conditioning experts and all sorts of other professionals to ensure comfort and conveniences for our family members. These specialists provide services to us for which they charge money from us. Once the home has been built, you require the services of not just an insurance agent but also the services of security equipment providers. Even, before you think of building a home, you need money which is provided by a bank through its loan services. The construction of the house is not possible without hiring the services of architects, engineers and builders all of whom charge for their expertise.
However, service is not always so clearly demarcated and often it is intertwined with a product as when you buy a mobile but are dependent upon the services provided by the carrier. Even in case of landline, you can at best buy an apparatus, but it works only because of the service provided by the company. You buy a car, but you need the service to maintain it; also, the service from gas stations to keep it running. Even the products that we buy from the market are backed by after sale service of the companies.
What is the difference between Product and Service?
• Products are tangible, and you can see, hold and own them while the service is intangible and can only be experienced.
• Products can be stored and used whereas it is not possible to store a service.
• You can buy a shutter from the market but need the service of an expert to get it installed and also for its maintenance.
• You can buy a car (product) but depend upon gas stations (service), garage (service), and insurance agents (service) for its upkeep and maintenance.
• Products can be counted whereas service can be compared or described as better or worse.