Business services are various tasks and activities that support a company without delivering any tangible products. They are often grouped into three distinct categories: business-to-business, social, and financial. Almost every business requires some type of service, whether it be marketing, consulting, logistics, or waste handling. In general, these services are designed to help companies operate and improve productivity.
In most modern economic theory, the distinction between pure services and commodity goods is a continuum with business services on one end, and physical commodities like food or utilities on the other. However, most businesses fall somewhere in between.
A good way to understand business services is to consider the roles of service providers and consumers. Service providers are those who provide the services that make a customer experience good, while service consumers are those who use these services to get their jobs done.
There are a wide range of business services available, but the most common include:
Financial services. This includes everything from banking to investing, to insurance and more. These types of services can be very valuable to a company, as they can provide much needed funding for expansion or new equipment.
Administrative services. These include a variety of functions that can save a company time and money, such as payroll processing, billing and accounts receivable management, human resources support and more. In many cases, these services can be outsourced to a third-party provider for more cost-effectiveness.
Training services. These are often provided by outside agencies that help companies train their employees with soft skills and other requisites. These services can be very beneficial to a company, as they can provide a more well-rounded employee who can better serve the needs of customers.
Delivery services. This service helps companies save time by delivering essential materials directly to their work locations. This can be very helpful to companies that are unable or unwilling to provide such services themselves. In addition, it can allow companies to maintain a better work/life balance by offering employees reliable child care or commuting options.
Accounting and financial services. This includes bookkeeping, tax preparation and other services that help companies manage their finances. This is a vital service for most companies, as it can reduce their operating costs and increase their profits.
Other business services. These include:
The most important consideration for service-business managers is that, unlike product-based companies, their businesses can’t last long if they fail to meet the needs and desires of an attractive group of customers. To do this, managers must undergo a fundamental shift in perspective from product design to service design. This article describes an approach for designing a profitable service business, which consists of four critical elements: the customer value proposition; the service architecture; the customer service network; and the design of the service experience. By focusing on these critical elements, companies can design services that create customer value and differentiate themselves from competitors. By contrast, a poorly designed service will have the opposite effect.