Business Services – 6 Key Features of a Successful Business
Business services, also known as service businesses or service firms, provide a range of non-financial products and services to other companies. This includes advertising, marketing, consultation, logistics (including travel and facilities services), waste handling, staffing services, shipping, administration and security services to name a few.
The business services industry is a key component of the EU economy, contributing 11% of GDP and boosting competitiveness through the’servitisation’ of goods and other product sectors. It is a sector which faces significant untapped growth potential and persisting legal barriers but EU Internal Market legislation and policy actions are aimed at removing these obstacles and stimulating competitiveness in the sector.
1. The differences between goods and services
There are several significant differences between physical products and services, especially with regard to their form. The first difference is that physical products can be stored for future use, while services have to be delivered at the time requested. Another is that services do not have any physical presence, so they can only be experienced.
2. The role of customers in business services
Customer involvement is an important aspect of service management, as they can influence the value of a service and impact its price. They can either be the main focus of a company’s operations or merely a part of them.
3. The role of technology in service management
Business services often require a good understanding of information technology. This is because information technology helps support many other business services, such as procurement, finance and shipping.
4. The role of design in service management
Like a product company, a successful service business must deliver an attractive offering. This can be accomplished through a careful balance of price, quality and delivery, all while providing convenience and a pleasant experience to customers.
5. The role of employees in service management
A business’s employees have a significant impact on its service performance, and they are more than just the people in charge. Their interactions with customers and the way they treat other employees can have a huge effect on how well a service is delivered.
6. The role of managers in service management
A service business cannot succeed long if it does not get the design and management aspects of its operation right. Those aspects involve the soundness of the offering, the management of its people, and the interactions with customers and other businesses.
These elements are often addressed in a ‘tool kit’ that managers use to run their companies. However, with the introduction of new areas involving the roles of customers, service-business managers have to look beyond those tools and adopt new approaches that will help their businesses thrive in today’s market place.
The challenge is to develop a working plan that incorporates all four elements. The success or failure of a service business is closely linked to how well it gets each element right.