Business services are activities that benefit a company without producing a tangible product. These activities include marketing, warehousing and other support functions that help to improve a company’s efficiency and productivity. These services are also essential to many manufacturing sectors.
Some services are purely service, such as restaurant meals or taxi rides, while others combine service with a physical good, like water utilities that deliver water in addition to the physical commodity itself. However, most services fall somewhere between pure service and a fully manufactured product. For example, an architectural firm may provide services such as designing a new building or providing interior design services in addition to the physical construction of the facility itself.
A key feature of a business service is that it requires customer involvement in the operational processes involved. Customers can influence the quality, cost and convenience of services in a variety of ways. For example, a customer who dithers at a fast-food counter can reduce the speed and efficiency of service for everyone behind him.
Companies that offer business services need to have a plan for training their employees and nailing down standard operating procedures. They need to create systems for accepting online bookings, quoting work, scheduling jobs and invoicing clients. They also need to find ways to automate as much of the administrative workload as possible, to free up time for employees to focus on high-value activities. The success or failure of a business service business often hinges on how well it delivers what its customers value.