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The Power of Want Factors in the Service Industry

    In our conversations about businesses and consumer desires, we often focus on tangible product-based industries. But what about the service sector? In this blog post, we’ll discuss how “want factors” play a pivotal role in service-based businesses.

    Service industries span a broad spectrum, from hospitality and health care to professional services like consulting, legal aid, and digital marketing. Unlike tangible product businesses, service industries hinge on the delivery of actions, experiences, or skills. This unique aspect significantly influences how we understand and leverage “want factors” within this realm.

    How Do “Want Factors” Shape Service Industries?

    Consumers investing in services aren’t purchasing an item but investing in an experience or result. So, what are these “want factors” in the service industry?

    Personalization and Experiences

    Consumers crave personalized experiences. They yearn for services that don’t just meet their needs but exceed their expectations. Take the hospitality industry as an example. Quality service is often judged based on personalized care and the overall experience.

    Trust and Expertise

    Given the intangible nature of services, consumers seek trust and assurance. For instance, a client hiring a legal consultant isn’t merely seeking legal advice; they’re looking for a trusted guide through their legal journey.

    Convenience and Accessibility

    In our fast-paced world, convenience is key. Clients desire services that are easily accessible and user-friendly. Service providers who recognize and act on this need are more likely to succeed.

    Outcomes and Transformation

    Service industries sell more than just services; they sell outcomes. A person hiring a personal trainer is investing in the vision of a healthier self. Service providers need to understand, articulate, and sell these desired outcomes to tap into their clients’ desires.

    Apple: A Case Study in the “Want Factor”

    Apple’s iTunes for Windows has long been a great example of how a service industry giant can tailor its services to meet the “want factor” of personalization and exceptional user experience. This service was designed to extend Apple’s ecosystem to non-native Mac users and gave Windows users a taste of the seamless, user-friendly experience that Apple prides itself on. When asked about that business decision by Walt Mossberg at the then called D Conference, Steve Jobs pridefully stated that the decision to bring iTunes to Windows. “It’s like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.” Designed to extend Apple’s ecosystem to non-native users, iTunes provided a seamless, user-friendly experience for managing media libraries, purchasing new content, and syncing devices. It was a service that Windows users didn’t just want but in a lot of ways needed.

    However, Apple’s current iCloud service for Android users paints a contrasting picture. iCloud is essential for syncing, backing up, and accessing data across Apple devices. Yet, Android users find it hard to use due to restrictions like the unavailability of shared iCloud Libraries and account management issues. This disregard for the “want factors” of Android users contradicts the user-centric approach that Apple adopted with iTunes for Windows.

    The service industries have distinctive “want factors” influenced by the nature of their offerings. Recognizing and responding strategically to these “want factors” can lead to enhanced customer loyalty and business success.


    Erik McNair

    Erik McNair is a digital marketing professional living in Arlington, OH. As co-owner of McNair Media, he has focused on developing and executing SEO and marketing strategies in a manner that supports the client’s consistent business growth and enhances brand equity and awareness. He attended and graduated from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville GA with a degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Telecommunications. He’s a certified Google Adwords, Google Analytics, and Bing Ads marketing professional. Outside of marketing, Mr. McNair is an avid technologist. He’s always running the latest software betas and testing out new and exciting products. He occasionally writes about thoughts on technology, but his main focus has been on growing and establishing McNair Media.