Business services are a large portion of the commercial world, and they include activities that support businesses without producing a tangible product. Companies in nearly every industry utilize some form of business service, and the types of these services vary widely. Some examples of these types of business services are translation and interpretation, technology support, warehousing, staffing services, security services, and administrative services.
Modern business theorists see a continuum with pure commodity goods on one end and pure service on the other. The majority of products fall somewhere in the middle, and they provide a combination of goods and services. For example, restaurants serve food to their customers, but they also provide atmosphere and service, which are both services. Other examples of business services are education, medical treatment, and cleaning services. These kinds of businesses are often referred to as utility services, because they are necessary to have in society but do not produce a tangible good.
Companies rely on business services to operate, and they can either in-house these activities or outsource them to business service providers. Outsourcing is popular because it saves companies money on overhead costs and allows them to focus more time on core competencies. Business services providers can also scale their offerings to meet demand, which is helpful for companies with seasonal output fluctuations.
Translators and interpreters are an essential part of many organizations because they help to bridge the gap between employees who speak different languages. They can also work in seminars, conversations, and meetings to encourage inclusion and reduce language barriers that might prevent effective communication. Tech support workers help firms troubleshoot computer, network, and other technological issues so they can remain productive. These kinds of business services are important for companies that rely heavily on IT.
The services offered by management consulting firms are critical for helping businesses achieve their goals and stay competitive in their industries. They can assist with projects ranging from mergers and acquisitions to strategic planning. They can also help to improve employee productivity and engagement through training and mentoring.
In a retail environment, store managers are responsible for the customer experience and are tasked with increasing sales through innovative marketing campaigns. They can also make decisions regarding inventory, purchasing, and pricing that affect the customer’s buying journey.
A successful business services company has a well-designed operating model that incorporates all four elements of service design: managing customer relationships, designing the service encounter, making it effortless for customers to engage, and measuring the quality of the interaction. The success of a service business depends more on these interrelated factors than it does on the performance of its employees or the quality of its physical goods. This is why many sophisticated managers look to outside experts for guidance on building effective service systems. A recent study by the Harvard Business Review analyzed the four dimensions of service design and identified best practices in each area. The results suggest that a tool kit of best practices can help service managers to create a successful and sustainable organization.