Service industry at a crossroads

Dhaka,  Wed,  24 May 2017
Published : 12 May 2017, 19:32:01
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Letter

Service industry at a crossroads

LESS than fifty years ago no one would have imagined that the service sector would become a major contributor to the economy of Bangladesh. It's surprising but true that in Bangladesh, service industry has grown beyond our imagination and is continuing to grow. Globalisation and the advancement of technology have brought about a revolution in the service sectors, like, tourism, resorts, restaurants and online services. In fact, the service sector today employs the highest number of semi-skilled and skilled manpower.

When you think of service, the picture that instantly comes to your mind could be the Star Cineplex, KFC or online shopping sites. Online shopping is a new concept in Bangladesh and has become very popular in recent years. Previously we used to seek expert opinion before buying a product but now we all know how to select different products through online. Online shopping has made our life easy and convenient as we do not need to be in a store physically. We just need to search for any online shop and choose the right one. More importantly we can shop any time that suits us which means online shops are open for 24/7. The beauty of online shopping is that we order a product online and it is delivered at our doorstep. Customers are pampered with the quality of service making them demand more and more items online. 

Services are intangible products and can be qualified through experience delivered to the customer. The service industry in the past few years has gone places. Automation and technology have helped standardise and bring in efficiency in service. Service organisations not only excel in offering timely and standardised services, they have gone one step ahead in offering personalised service to the customers too. Today every customer is recognised individually by the hotel or restaurants he visits. The restaurants know the customer's preferences and are prepared to give him/her the best of customised services and establishing a bond of relationship.

In a bid to offer the best of customised services and maintain the market share, service organisations have aggressively pursued various strategies internally. From business process re-engineering, standard operating procedures, outsourcing and quality programmes as well as all of the operational efficiency programmes have been adopted and pursued aggressively in order to deliver faster and cheaper customer service performance. In the bargain, the companies have pursued marketing strategies more akin to that of product companies to stay ahead of competition and increase their sales revenues. The question that each of the companies has to ask itself today is whether all of these have helped it become a market leaders. Companies may be operationally efficient and give the best service at the best price, but that hardly gives them the competitive edge over others to lead the pack. When service offering is duplicated easily and every competitor is able to offer the same service at cheaper cost, it calls for service companies to think differently in order to retain their market leadership.

Anik Saha

BBA, East West University

Aniksaha70@gmail.com

 
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