Services are a special form of product which consists of activities, benefits or satisfactions offered for sale that are intangible and do not result in the ownership of anything. The service industry involves the provision of services to businesses as well as final consumers. Such services include accounting, tradesmanship (like mechanic or plumber services), IT, restaurants, tourism, media, entertainment, transportation, healthcare etc…
Service Industry In India
The services sector is not only the dominant sector in India’s GDP, but has also attracted significant foreign investment, has contributed significantly to export and has provided large-scale employment. India’s services sector covers a wide variety of activities such as trade, hotel and restaurants, transport, storage and communication, financing, insurance, real estate, business services, community, social and personal services, and services associated with construction.
Road Ahead for Service Industry
Services sector growth is governed by domestic and global factors. By 2023, the healthcare industry is expected to reach US$ 132 billion. India’s digital economy is estimated to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2025. By the end of 2023, India’s IT and business services sector is expected to reach US$ 14.3 billion with 8% growth.
The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has created a common national market and reduced the overall tax burden on goods. It is expected to reduce costs in the long run on account of availability of GST input credit, which will result in the reduction in prices of services.
Effective Tips To Network With Customers in the Service Industry are: Staying up-to-date, being a good listener, making the best use of digital platforms, asking for suggestions and showing interest and hosting events to connect people.
But how to do so in an engaging & meaningful manner ?
1. Know Your Consumers and Anticipating Their Next Move
The Japanese have mastered the art of deeply knowing their customers in a philosophy called omotenashi. They have come to know customers so well that they can anticipate their needs or wants before they’re even realized. In other words, customers do not have to exert extra effort to explain who they are or what they want; we already know. With today’s technology, obtaining data about a customer is easier than ever—from knowing their buying behaviours to anticipating their next business problem. And being able to address those issues can be as simple as sending a text message, starting a chat pop up or making a call. This also means that every employee, at every cross-section of an organization, should have some sort of visibility into each customer.
2. Have Empathy and Make an Emotional Connection
Empathy allows you to communicate and connect more effectively with your customer. Moreover, empathy is integral for employees to truly understand the customer and deliver the right type of service and action. Empathy allows you to more deeply understand what makes your customers tick—what they value, how they want to connect, what triggers their connection to your brand. This helps to continuously innovate and improve your products and services.
3. Build Customer Services Within the Product, Offer or Service
Customer experience doesn’t just begin and end with the customer service. To truly differentiate from competitors, the challenge is for service designers to innovate ways to provide services and support within an app or product suite. For example, mobile phone carriers make it easy for you to check your billing or any account status by simply dialing two digits. Make it a seamless interaction that is embedded in the experience.
4. Be Authentic and Genuine
Interacting with your customer shouldn’t be a “casual & staged” moment in which you check off a box. Instead, ask thoughtful questions. And most importantly, listen. Don’t just simply gloss over the customer’s response to the question to check off another box. Intently listen and hear what customers say. In the same vein, don’t simply provide a canned response. Customers are inundated with so many casual moments; they know a genuine and authentic response over one, that is hollow and meaningless. Authentic and genuine interactions uncover the real reasons for their frustrations or their delight.
5. Create a Relatable Purpose
With advances in technology and access to a global workforce, many service providers struggle to differentiate themselves from industry competitors. How do consumers ultimately choose one vendor over another? What makes them stick with that vendor if they see a similar service or product on sale from another vendor?
In the end, we are human. And as humans, we are full of emotions with a strong desire to form relationships that are positive—with one person or many. The challenge is for organizations to humanize services so that they are easy and meaningful for customers. Learn how to cultivate connections with your customers.
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