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In a previous blog, we explored how Service-dominant logic transforms all organizations into service providers. But what exactly is a service? The industry struggles with a plethora of definitions of a service.

 This blog post breaks down a clear and practical definition suggested by the creators of the Unified Service Management Method (USM), offering a straightforward guide for service organizations.

Defining a Service: According to USM, a service is a supported facility. But what does that mean?

Blend of Goods and Actions: In simple terms, a facility is a mix of things and actions given to a customer. For example, a law firm provides services through activities, while a grocery store mainly offers goods. This definition allows for flexibility, recognizing that the mix can vary for each service.

Provider Support: A service goes beyond just giving things and doing stuff. It includes ongoing support from the provider during the customer’s use. This support could be guidance, help with issues, or maintenance, ensuring a smooth and satisfying experience.

Visibility and Infrastructure: Facilities don’t have to be completely visible. Think about the hidden infrastructure of an electricity provider. This shows that services can include both things customers see and things behind the scenes.

Practical Application for Service Organizations: With this definition, service organizations can better describe what they offer. It’s a simple way to communicate with customers about goods, actions, and support. This clarity is crucial for customer understanding and the organization’s purpose.

Define Your Offerings: Clearly explain what your organization provides in terms of goods, actions, and ongoing support. Use simple language that your audience easily understands.

Recognize Your Unique Mix: Understand that the balance between goods and services can be different. Embrace what makes your offerings unique and let customers know what sets you apart.

Emphasize Ongoing Support: Stress your commitment to helping customers beyond the initial transaction. Whether it’s a service guarantee, a helpline, or regular check-ins, highlight the ongoing support that defines your service.

Conclusion: In a world where the definition of services can be confusing, the Unified Service Management Method offers a clear perspective. Service organizations can use this simple definition to not only grasp the essence of their services but also communicate it effectively to their audience. By embracing the idea of a supported facility, organizations build a stronger connection with customers, reinforcing their purpose in the dynamic world of service provision.