Business services include a wide range of non-financial activities that help a company accomplish trade. They can include advertising, marketing, consulting, logistics (including travel and facilities), waste handling, staffing services, shipping, administration and security services.
The success or failure of service businesses is based on how well their offerings meet customer needs and desires. Like product companies, service businesses must carefully design their offerings to make them attractive to a target audience.
Unlike goods, which can be stored and sold at any time, services must be delivered when customers want them. As a result, they are subject to intangibility, inconsistency, and inseparability.
The business services industry is one of the largest sectors of the European economy and contributes to 11% of GDP. The sector faces significant untapped growth potential and persisting legal barriers, but EU Internal Market legislation and policy actions aim to remove these obstacles and stimulate competitiveness in the industry.
Four elements of service design
The success or failure of a service business depends on how well its offering meets the needs and desires of an attractive group of customers. It also requires a shift in perspective: Whereas product designers focus on the characteristics that buyers value, service designers focus on the experiences they desire.
Customers are often involved in the process of making decisions about their service experience, and they can influence how fast and smoothly a process flows. A client who dithers at a fast-food counter makes the service less efficient and affects the experience of everyone in front of him.