Business services are activities that benefit companies without supplying them with physical products. They help companies with marketing, production, safety and cost. They also can provide convenience, speed and quality to employees. A variety of industries use these services and they are often called the “third tier” of economics, after primary and secondary sectors.
A good example of a business service is the work of an architectural firm to prepare a building for construction. Another is a translation service that helps businesses communicate with clients who speak a different language.
Unlike product companies, which have to design their goods for the market, successful service businesses must first figure out what customers want from them. Then they must design their offerings to provide that value. For managers, this requires a fundamental shift in thinking, because it means focusing on the attributes of the experience rather than the specific characteristics of the goods or services.
Some examples of business services are cleaning, pest control and maintenance. Businesses need to keep their workspaces clean for health and safety reasons. Pest control companies can help prevent infestations of harmful insects and rodents.
Companies need to have maintenance crews that can quickly fix problems and avoid downtime. These workers may also be able to spot potential problems and address them before they become larger issues.
Several organizations prefer to rent or retail their workspace rather than own it, which requires the services of real estate firms. These professionals find space that meets a company’s needs and negotiate rental agreements. Companies also need landscaping services to keep their properties attractive.
Lastly, many firms need interpreters or translators to help with seminars and conversations with clients who speak a different language. These services can help ensure that all parties understand each other, which encourages inclusion and reduces the likelihood of miscommunication. Tech support workers are also a type of business service that can help a company troubleshoot computer, network and other technological issues. These workers can help a firm promptly solve technical issues, which allows employees to stay productive. Regardless of the industry, all businesses need some form of business services. The success or failure of a business often comes down to whether it gets four things right or wrong, which are the core elements of service design: (1) understanding the customer’s perspective; (2) identifying the service elements that are relevant to customers; (3) designing those service elements to meet the customer’s expectations; and (4) measuring the results of the service design. In a class that I teach on the subject, students learn to apply these four critical concepts in their own companies and to study how other firms approach the challenge of creating profitable business services.