Business services are activities that benefit companies without producing or delivering physical products. These include marketing, production, safety, cost and convenience services that support businesses in their day-to-day operations.
These services can be provided by different types of business organizations including manufacturing, banking, insurance, and other service providers. A wide variety of services are offered and can range from legal, accounting, and medical to security, IT and travel.
The business services industry offers a broad opportunity to deploy TPG’s operational capabilities and growth strategies to service providers across a range of industries, particularly as companies seek to reduce fixed costs or outsource non-core services.
Developing and maintaining an effective business service offering can be challenging for managers because of the differences between product and service businesses. The challenge is to craft a profitable service that meets the needs and desires of an attractive group of customers, while also ensuring that the business delivers high quality and value.
There are four essential elements that form the basis of a successful service-business working plan: designing an excellent service, managing people effectively, establishing customer relationships, and building a strong brand. The framework presented here focuses on the key aspects of each area and suggests why these areas are so vital to a service business’s success.
Designing an Excellent Service
The most basic challenge faced by managers of service businesses is designing an outstanding service that meets the needs and desires of an appealing group of customers, while also ensuring that it delivers high quality and value. In order to do this, managers must undergo an important shift in perspective: Whereas product designers focus on the characteristics that customers will pay for, service designers should concentrate on the experiences they want customers to have.
Managing People efficiently
The primary reason that many managers of service companies struggle is that they fail to properly manage their people. This is a key weakness that can prevent them from attracting and retaining the best talent, while also keeping costs under control and creating a positive work environment for all employees.
Moreover, service employees must be skilled at their job, which is why they usually need specialized training or certifications before they can start working for the company. They should also be friendly and approachable, which is crucial to building a strong customer relationship.
Establishing a Strong Brand
A major barrier to entry for most businesses is developing a unique brand that sets it apart from its competitors in the market place. A good brand can help service businesses develop a reputation for their high quality and competitive pricing, while also helping customers make a more informed buying decision.
Similarly, a bad brand can prevent businesses from making the most of their opportunities. Especially in the service sector, where the demand for products can be very intense, it is critical to develop and maintain an image that attracts customers and encourages them to return again and again. To achieve this, it is necessary to develop a service that has strong brand identification and a clear set of values that customers can associate with the brand.