Service Inseparability in Marketing: Definition & Example

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  • 0:05 On Holiday
  • 0:53 What Is Service…
  • 2:16 An Additional Example
  • 2:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Just like you and your BFF are inseparable, there are times when the production and consumption of an experience cannot be separated. In this lesson, you'll learn more about service inseparability in marketing.

On Holiday

You've finally gotten away from the office to enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation at a sunny seaside villa. The air is warm, the drinks are cold, and the accommodations are top-notch. It's only too bad you can't take it all home with you at the end of the week!

But, that's just the thing: Travel products like cruises, hotels, and casinos, among other components of the hospitality industry, are produced and consumed simultaneously. You can't separate the service from its provider. Sure, you can swipe a few bottles of shampoo from your hotel bathroom, but you can't take the entire cruise ship home with you. This is the difference from tangible products like a new computer or sofa that you buy and then enjoy at home. In marketing, this concept is known as service inseparability.

What Is Service Inseparability?

Service inseparability means that the production and consumption of a service can't be separated from the provider of that service. It also requires that a customer is physically participating in the consumption of the service.

So that means every part of the experience is tied together. A customer can't separate the consumption of the service they've purchased (like a hotel stay) from the provider (the hotel itself, the housekeeping staff, the front desk workers, customer service representatives, etc.). Literally, all the pieces in this type of scenario are joined and help determine the customer's overall satisfaction.

Consider this: If you stayed in a beautiful hotel with great food and good housekeeping services, but the front desk staff was rude and inconsiderate, it might taint your entire experience. Why? Because customers associate the provider of the service as one and the same with the service itself.

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