What Is Consumer Service? [Meaning, Examples]
In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of consumer service, provide some examples, and discuss the key differences between consumer services and consumer goods.
What is Consumer Service?
In short, a consumer service is any service that is provided for the benefit of consumers and not businesses. This includes everything from haircuts to legal advice.
Basically, if someone provides a service that can be used by consumers, it’s considered a consumer service.
B2C vs. B2B
In terms of acronyms, consumer service businesses are often referred to as B2C (business-to-consumer) businesses.
This is in contrast to B2B (business-to-business) businesses, which provide services or goods to other businesses instead of consumers.
Common Examples of Consumer Services
Some of the most common examples of consumer services include:
- Retail shopping
- Food and beverage service
The important thing to know is that these services are provided for the benefit of consumers. They are not all necessary for survival (e.g., as in consumer staples), but they make life more convenient and enjoyable.
Differences Between Consumer Services and Consumer Goods
Now that we’ve explored the meaning of consumer service and looked at some examples, let’s discuss the key differences between consumer services and consumer goods.
The first key difference is that consumer services are intangible. This means that they cannot be touched or seen. They can only be experienced.
For example, you can’t touch or see a haircut, but you can experience it. On the other hand, consumer goods are tangible; they can be touched or seen.
An example of a consumer good would be a piece of clothing.
The second key difference is that consumer services are perishable. This means that they cannot be stored for later use. Once the service has been performed, it’s gone forever.
You can’t store a haircut or auto repair job to use at a later date. On the other hand, consumer goods are non-perishable; they can be used now or saved for later.
An example of this would be food items like canned soup or boxes of cereal.
Cannot be replaced
The third key difference is that consumer services cannot be replaced. This means that if something goes wrong with the service, there is no way to fix it on its own, like repairing a car.
For example, if you get a bad haircut, you can’t take it back and get a new one. In some cases, you could request better or repeat service, or get a refund when applicable.
On the other hand, consumer goods can be replaced if they are defective.
An example of this would be a piece of clothing that doesn’t fit properly. You could take it back to the store and exchange it for a different size.
Consumer Service Marketing
Now that we’ve discussed the key characteristics of consumer services, let’s explore how businesses market these types of products.
There are three main ways to market consumer services:
- Personal selling
- Public relations
Let’s take a closer look at each of these methods.
Personal selling is when businesses use personal interactions to promote and sell their products or services.
This could include everything from face-to-face sales meetings to telephone calls and emails.
The goal of personal selling is to build relationships with potential customers and persuade them to buy the product or service.
Advertising is when businesses use paid messages, through mediums like television, radio, the internet, and print, to promote their products or services.
The goal of advertising is to reach a large number of people and create awareness about the product or service.
Public relations is when businesses use publicity to promote their products or services.
This could include everything from news stories and press releases to sponsorships and speaking engagements.
The goal of public relations is to build relationships with key influencers and generate positive publicity for the product or service.
Consumer Services as Part of a Business
Consumer services may pertain to a part of a business rather than the full business itself.
This is often the case with professional services.
For example, a software company may do customer service to support its customer base. But the software company itself is not a consumer service.
It’s that support roles are necessary in many businesses that could be classified as consumer services. It’s important to understand the difference so you can properly market your business.
The following are some examples of businesses that may provide consumer services as part of their operations:
- IT support
- Technical support
- Customer service
- Billing and collections
- Human resources
- Training and development
What are Producers, Consumers, Goods, and Services?
FAQs – Consumer Service
What are some examples of consumer services?
Some examples of consumer services include:
- Auto repairs
- Home repairs
- Lawn care
- Dog walking
What are some of the key characteristics of consumer services?
The key characteristics of consumer services include:
- Cannot be replaced
How do businesses market consumer services?
There are three main ways businesses market consumer services: personal selling, advertising, and public relations.
Conclusion – Consumer Service
Consumer services are any services that are provided for the benefit of consumers and not businesses.
They are intangible, perishable, and cannot be replaced. They are often provided by businesses in the form of customer service, but can also be provided by government agencies, charities, and other non-profit organizations.
Consumer services are important because they provide a way for businesses to connect with their customers and build relationships. They can also help businesses understand their customers’ needs and wants. Additionally, consumer services can help businesses increase sales and loyalty among their customer base.
There are many different types of consumer services, but some of the most common include product support, financial services, healthcare, and education.