Business services are non-financial activities performed for and on behalf of a company to facilitate the execution of its trade activities. This sector encompasses many different types of services including advertising, marketing, consultation, logistics, waste handling, staffing and shipping. Nearly every company uses some form of business service in its operations.
Business service providers offer companies valuable support by performing functions that are either too difficult or impractical for them to handle themselves. For example, a company may hire a professional cleaning service to clean its offices once a week. A company may also contract with a construction crew to renovate its facilities, instead of hiring its own in-house personnel to do the job.
Unlike products, which can be stocked for future use, the value of services is not immediately evident. This is because the customer must be involved in the service to fully appreciate it. For example, a person who receives an oil change from an auto service center might decide to do the work himself rather than continue to pay for the service.
A successful service business must understand the needs of its target audience and provide them with the right amount of convenience, expertise and luxury. In addition, service businesses must design their offerings with the customer in mind. This means changing the perspective from product designers, who focus on characteristics that will appeal to customers, to service designers, who think about what the customers want to experience.