Service is the only thing that exists on the markets – any markets. There are those who need support in their lives or work, both people and companies, and there are those who can provide the support that they need. It’s as simple as that!
The nature of the assistance required and its context varies but it’s always about the same thing. Those who require the support, i.e. customers, and those providing the required support, i.e. companies, need to meet on the markets in a way that benefits both parties. The parties’ perceptions of quality need to coincide. A company’s sole task on the markets is to ensure that the support is delivered in a way that creates value for both the customer and the company.
The actual situations in which assistance is needed range from, for example, a customer of a bank looking for financial support, not just a home loan, to a printing house which needs, not only paper, but support which enables commercially successful business operations. In both cases many other elements are required in addition to the loan (the core service) and the paper (the product) to ensure that the process is rewarding for both parties. If the customer is provided with this type of support the likelihood is that their relationship with the company will endure and deepen.
What does all this really mean? The answer is that all businesses are service businesses which provide their customers with the support that they need for their lives and work. Providing service is not limited to personal service. It also means that the company needs to offer and deliver all of the elements which the customer needs so that the sought-after support is actualised in a way that benefits the customer.
Service is a synonym for support. Providing or delivering a service are synonymous with supporting the customer’s processes. For the printing house example above this means that the paper supplier needs to adapt, for example, its paper grades, order management processes, delivery routines, information processes, invoicing routines and the handling of errors or mistakes to the printer’s production equipment, order, delivery and storage processes, communication needs, cost management procedures and the need to quickly be able to continue with operations despite mistakes that may have occurred. This makes it possible for the supplier to offer the most effective support possible for the printer’s business operations and its financial result.