Chapter 10. Services

In Chapter 7, "Sales," we covered only tangible products. That by no means describes every business. A large number of organizations provide a service, and this needs to be covered in a different way.

A service can be thought of as payment for time instead of a product. It is an agreement about the value of something performed in a period of time.

The cost of the service provided may be in direct correlation with the time it takes or it may depend upon how easily the provider can perform this task, especially if that provider can provide the service concurrently for many customers. Consequently, some companies simply aim to provide their service to asmany customers as possible. In thisway it is the process itselfwhich has value, rather than the time spent performing it. This is usually because it's a special skill or requires a specific license. In such cases the service provider won't necessarily interact with the customer to perform the task.

For other organizations, there are only so many hours in the working day during which to sell their time. In such cases the organization has a fixed amount of resources with which to provide the service for a number of customers at any one time. This allocation of time to the customer needs to be scheduled and must include any other tasks such as preparing relevant equipment or compiling required information. Such appointment management is certainly nothing new in computer software. Anyone who uses Microsoft Outlook is familiar ...

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