While an IT product company would build its own product and sell it to clients, an IT services company builds software applications for other companies and their clients. Often the work in an IT services also involves support of existing applications by way of customer reported incidents and tickets. The differences primarily arise due to the fact that services are intangible in nature.
Difference 1 – Measuring the Quality of output in an IT Services Company
As services are intangible, it is not possible to easily measure the quality of service delivered. With a physical product, it is much easier to determine whether or not it meets specifications by subjecting it to standard tests and examining it for defects. Whereas, controlling the quality of services over time is very difficult as long as the human element is involved. This is true in most services business and especially true in the Information Technology services industry. As a result of our inability to accurately determine what we are accomplishing in the delivery of our service, quality control is a big challenge. In service businesses, it is much more difficult to accomplish quality control and sustain consistency due to the existence of measurement and verification problems.
Impact on Marketing
Unlike the sale of a product, the provision of a service requires the direct interaction of the customer and service provider. As a result, service quality is often assessed using qualitative measures. The challenge the marketing team in my organization faced was being able to convince customers that we could deliver quality results within a given period of time. Since my previous organization was comparatively small compared to other IT giants, we usually relied on service marketing materials, testimonials and case studies from other satisfied clients to prove that we were able to deliver on the promises. To retain existing accounts, we relied on “customer satisfaction surveys”. In my opinion, these...