Business services refer to the non-physical aspects of a company’s operations. They encompass everything from customer service to employee training. They are different from goods in that they cannot be stockpiled and delivered as needed. The importance of business services is growing as customers become more involved in the operational processes of companies they use.
One example of a business service is delivery services, which help businesses obtain necessary supplies without having to travel to buy them. Another is cleaning services, which help a company maintain its offices in a clean environment. Another is in-office day care, which allows employees to have more of a work/life balance by offering them child-care options. Finally, utility services, such as providing water and electricity, are essential business functions that keep companies running smoothly.
As more and more companies focus on building successful service businesses, researchers are attempting to understand the core elements that make them succeed. Many of these have similarities to the critical features of product businesses, but they also contain new areas that require sophisticated management approaches. In this article, we will discuss a framework for crafting successful business services that draws from four critical elements: customer involvement, organizational structure, design, and value. This framework can be applied to any type of service industry. It is not meant to replace existing approaches, but rather to augment them with new tools that address emerging opportunities. In the end, this will make it easier for business leaders to craft effective service organizations.