The service sector includes any activity that produces an intangible benefit, that cannot be stored, of short duration and of which property cannot be acquired. It can also be said that the services sector corresponds to all activities that are not part of agriculture and industry .
In other words, in the services sector, intangible goods are traded, where experiences are bought and sold.
However, the services sector is one of the most important items in the composition of GDP, especially when we refer to the economies of developed countries, but also in developing economies. In recent years this sector has been growing due to the specialization process . For that reason, it can be said that it is a very important activity in all areas of human tasks.
Above all, the service sector has grown due to automation processes, the globalization and integration of the economy, the increase in population and income.
It should be noted that this sector is also called tertiary (the primary and secondary sectors are dedicated to the production of material goods).
The activities that correspond to the services sector have the following characteristics:
First, intangibility implies that services cannot be perceived by the senses. For that reason, they cannot be seen, touched, smelled, or tasted. Thus, there is no transfer of goods, but the buyer does receive a benefit.
Undoubtedly, this characteristic is basic or a priority to conceive something as a service. For example, when a person buys telecommunications services, the benefit he receives is to obtain a signal to be able to communicate.
Second, heterogeneity refers to the fact that services cannot be offered in a standardized way. When receiving a service, the benefit received is unique and different. This occurs because the services can even be offered by the same company , but provided by a different person.
To be able to exemplify, we can mention the case of a person who frequently attends a beauty salon to get a haircut. The final result of each cut will depend on the person who attends to the requestor for the service.
Third, the inseparability of services refers to the fact that it is impossible to separate the service from the person who provides it. It could be said that both the production and the consumption of the service occur simultaneously. The service is provided with the presence of the client .
Similarly, to illustrate this feature, let's think about dental services. A dentist cannot offer his services if the client is not present.
Fourth, services are perishable since they cannot be stored or stored, since production and consumption are simultaneous. In other words, a service is only useful if it is consumed at the time it is being produced.
For example, a doctor who performs an operation cannot operate either before or after; but only when necessary or required.
Finally, when a service is purchased, what is acquired is the right to receive a benefit or benefit. But you can never acquire ownership of that benefit. The enjoyment of the benefit only lasts while the service is being provided. Therefore, the client only stays with the experience they had.
Indeed, it would be the case of a person who goes to the cinema, and at the end of the performance, only the satisfaction of the benefit received remains.
It is important to mention that some services do not meet all these characteristics mentioned above.
We could mention the case of computer services:
The service sector is very important for any economy, the reasons that can be mentioned are the following:
Among some of the activities that can be included in the service sector we find:
Among the examples that we can find within the tertiary sector, the following should be highlighted: