Business Services and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Business services are intangible goods and services that support the operations and infrastructure of a company. These may include IT support, marketing and consulting, staffing and facilities management. Business services can also be added to products and sold as a product enhancement. For example, a manufacturer might provide installation and training for its new machine as part of the sales package. Business services are also used by businesses to outsource activities and increase productivity.
Business service companies can be large or small, and they operate in many different industries. These include technology, engineering, architecture, law, marketing and staffing. They often serve clients in the same way as a professional services firm, providing insights and advice to help solve problems and meet goals.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the demand for these services is expected to grow rapidly, especially for those that offer remote and on-demand solutions. Companies are looking for ways to maximize the value of their employees, and business services companies have a significant opportunity to provide innovative, flexible solutions that will help them do this.
The underlying concept behind business services is that consumers are not just buyers of products, but are also purchasers of experiences. Therefore, the success of a service business depends on its ability to deliver experiences that are unique, valuable and meaningful for customers. This is a fundamental shift in thinking from product design to experience design.
For a business to be successful, it must get four things right:
1. It must understand and anticipate its customers’ needs and desires.
The business-services sector is one of the largest in the European economy, contributing 11% to GDP. It is growing rapidly and driving innovation in the manufacturing industry through the use of a variety of services to add value to goods and to enhance customer experience.
2. It must deliver its services in a way that is efficient and effective for both the provider and the consumer.
The speed of delivery, the quality of the interaction and the affordability of the services are all critical for a business to be successful. It is essential to be able to respond quickly and to adapt to changing circumstances. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for fast-response IT services increased significantly.
3. It must be capable of producing and delivering its services at the same time.
In contrast to physical products, which can be stored and distributed for sale at a later date, the production of services and their consumption must happen simultaneously. This can be difficult because it is hard to know what the future demand for a particular service will be in advance.
Many of these services can be delivered remotely, which is a significant advantage over the physical distribution of goods. This flexibility is helping to make the business services sector one of the fastest-growing parts of the European economy, with growth driven by the increasing use of services to add value to products and increase productivity.