Services have been described and classified in several ways (Lovelock 1983). A service can be ‘a deed, act or performance’ (Berry 1980) or, in more detail, ‘any act or performance that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything’ (Kotler 1994: 464). An even more extensive definition is provided by Grönroos (1990: 27):

A service is an activity or series of activities of a more or less intangible nature that normally, but not necessarily, take place in interactions between the customer and service employees and/or physical resources or goods and/or systems of the service producer, which are provided as solutions to customer problems.