Normally, marketers talk about the characteristics of a service as: Intangible – services are performances, rather than objects, they cannot be touched, seen, tasted, felt, heard or smelled before purchased and difficult to evaluate, it is unlike a product, therefore it is hard for consumer to grasp and evaluate what they will be getting in advance. So how they obtain the services before has an impact on how they perceive it. For example, a cell phone can be touched but the telecommunications services cannot.
Inseparable – where the service consumed, where the service provided, it means that inseparability of production and consumption involves the simultaneous production and consumption. Whereas goods are first produced, then sold and the consumed; services are first sold, then produced and consumed at the same time. For example, visiting a restaurant, ordering a meal, waiting and delivery of the meal or the service provided by the waiter/waitress is all apart of the service production process and is inseparable. Building long-term trust, indeed the internet service
Variable (or Heterogeneity) - since people are all different and the human involvement of service provision, it means that no two services will be absolutely identical, it also means it is very hard to standardize quality services. Once it has occurred, it cannot be repeated in exactly the same way because of the humanistic factors. The more humans needed to provide a service, the more likely there is to be variability in service quality. For example, different social workers who possess different experience, realization or value can provide different quality of service or different point of view just like doctors, lawyers or hair-cutters.