Classification of services

Services are intangible in nature and we can classify services on the basis of their operations, level of tangibility, customer employee presence and relationship, and customization or empowerment. Following are the major types of services –

1. Based on Service Operations

2. Based on Level of Tangibility

3. Based on Customer Employee Presence

4. Customization or Empowerment

Classification of Services

1. Based on Service Operations

1 Whether the service has a people focus (e.g. banker) or equipment focus (e.g. ATM)
2 Extent of customization (e.g., dental services tailored to meet the needs of individual clients)
3 Source of value added, i.e., is it front office (e.g., a beautician) or back office (e.g., a bank)?
4 Whether the service has a product focus (e.g., a Maruti Car Service Centre) or a process focus (e.g., a higher education course).

We can classify service on the basis of class of service process:

No. class of service process Example  Volume of customers  Characteristics
1 Professional Accountant Low • People focus • High contact time • High customization • High level of empowerment • Front office value added
2 Service shop Bank, hotel Medium • Process focus • People and equipment focus • Medium contact time • Medium customization • Medium level of empowerment • Front and back office value added
3 Mass service High • Process and product focus • Equipment focus • Low contact time • Low customization • Low level of empowerment • Back office value added • Product focus


Services Marketing, R. Srinivasan, Second Edition, Estern Economy Edition, PHI

Silvestro, R., Fitzgerald, L., Johnston and Voss, C., Towards a Classification of service Processes, International Journal of Service Industry Management, 3, 1992, pp. 62-75.