Creating value is service. You can create value by doing something useful for – say customer. An example is a lawn mowing service. If you are mowing lawn for a customer, he is getting benefited from it. So, you are servicing your customer – by creating value.
Typically, service comes into play when human time and energy is expended into doing something useful. So, it necessarily means that the person who is working towards serving is skilled/talented to service the customer. Perhaps it may be the case that the customer does not want to do the work – lawn mowing on his own or he does not have the talent to mow the lawn (duh!). So, he employs you to work for him. And, the time you put in, creates value, and brings you the moolah.
It is also true that the service offered must be of high quality. If that is not the case, the customer might find some one else to do the job. There are no emotions attached, just results.
The best part about the service industry is that it recurs for an indefinite period of time. The lawn that you mowed today would have grown back to its original length in the next month, so the customer needs to employ you yet again, which brings you repeat business. In contrast, in the product industry, if you need to buy a TV, you buy it once and use it probably for years. So, there is no recurring aspect to it. This is the primary reason why major organizations today are jumping into servicing their customers rather than selling products. Take the case of IBM. They started as a product company and now is the world’s biggest IT service provider.
The people who are working in the service industry are safe compared to their product counterparts. They have better job security and if service professionals have the right skill-sets, they can elevate themselves in the industry rapidly and their expenditure of time and energy be deemed lucrative.
Speaking of IT service industry, the ITIL framework defines service as a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. This definition carries weight. Can you unravel it? I will discuss the fine-print of this definition in my upcoming post.