What Are Business Services?

Business services are activities that support business operations but do not produce a tangible product. They may include consulting services, property and equipment maintenance services, financial and accounting services, computer and information management services, advertising and graphic services. In a broad sense, nearly every company provides some kind of business service.

In contrast to a physical product, which can be stored for future use, service production and consumption are simultaneous. This makes it difficult to ensure consistency in service delivery, especially when the service is performed by humans. A customer’s demands and expectations might change at any time, which means the service provider has to make adjustments on the fly to meet the new requirements.

Because service businesses depend on the satisfaction of customers, they must constantly seek ways to improve the quality of their offering. This is often challenging, because it requires a shift in thinking from focusing on the characteristics of the products to assessing the qualities of the experiences the customer wants to have. A successful service business is able to differentiate its offerings and create value in the eyes of attractive groups of customers. A common approach is to focus on the four critical elements of service design: physical evidence, knowledge and people, communication and relationships, and operational processes. The success of a service business usually depends more on the interplay among these four elements than on any individual element in isolation. However, many companies struggle to get the core elements of their service models to work together.

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