Business services are activities that support the business yet do not produce a tangible commodity. Examples of business services are software and IT support, transportation and logistics and accounting. Other important services include human resources, facility management and payroll, and marketing. These activities are crucial for a company to be successful and can help create a competitive advantage for the firm.
Business service managers must develop a different perspective than those of product-oriented businesses. A focus on customer value and an appreciation of the unique aspects of a particular service are key to success. For example, a company providing delivery services must ensure its drivers are well trained in safety and courtesy to customers. The ability to offer flexibility and customization of a service also contributes to its success.
Companies of all sizes require some form of insurance to protect their employees and property. This type of business service reduces financial risk and allows the organization to meet regulatory requirements. It is common for firms to employ insurance service providers to handle their policy information, claims and billing processes.
While most service-oriented businesses do not sell a tangible product, they are not immune to competition. Business-to-business, or B2B, service organizations typically compete based on their ability to add value to the goods and services of other companies. They can be differentiated from competitors through quality, convenience and friendly interaction with customers.
Unlike products, which are stored for future sale, a service is consumed as it is being delivered. It is also a lot harder to price a service than a product. Customers get a general feel for the cost of a service and are often willing to pay what the product is worth.
For instance, a fast-food restaurant’s reputation for friendly service is enough to encourage customers to spend their money there. Conversely, a slow wait at the counter can negatively impact the experience and drive away potential customers.
In addition to ensuring that all employees are paid, business services also play an essential role in ensuring the physical needs of a workplace are met. For example, a company may hire an outside cleaning service to keep the building clean. In turn, this will enable the staff to work more efficiently and improve their overall productivity.
Companies often outsource various business services to save time and money, or because they do not have the expertise and capabilities in-house. For example, a company might contract an IT support service to troubleshoot technical problems. This allows the business to keep its focus on core functions, while relying on outside experts to manage the technology. This is a common way to cut costs and stay competitive in a marketplace. It is also a way to improve employee satisfaction and morale. Some companies even use a business service to provide childcare to workers, enabling them to balance their family life with their professional lives. Other business services provide workout facilities and relaxation areas to boost employees’ productivity.