Want to Know What Companies Are in the Consumer Services Field?
What do McDonald’s, Hilton Hotels, and Walmart have in common? Like all other leading brands, these businesses are heavily consumer-oriented. Concepts like customer success and consumer excellence are more than buzzwords to these brands. They are an integral part of their business operations.
Do you want to know what companies are in the consumer services field? You only need to look at industry giants, consumer favorites, and other famous brands that people recognize worldwide.
There are more than 450,000 consumer services companies in the US, spanning across in-demand industries such as education, health, social, hospitality, leisure, wholesale, retail, and tech. Is there any correlation between consumer services and these brands’ outstanding success? Let’s find out about the companies offering jobs in consumer services.
Unlike food, clothes, or toys, consumer services are not tangible goods. Rather than a physical product or a solution that you can put in a box and ship to consumers, this field of work offers a range of different services to help consumers solve their problems and satisfy their needs.
Primarily, consumer services as a career path facilitate transactions, provide customer care, and streamline access to other services. They handle processes and outcomes, making it possible, easier, and even enjoyable for consumers to interact with brands when in need of products and solutions.
Consumer services rely on people and technology for that.
Behind every online purchase, a team of consumer service specialists work with technology to provide consumers with the best possible shopping experience. Customer service agents come to mind, but others also contribute to customer success.
Myriad professional roles and job titles belong to this field of work. Constant technological advancements threatened those roles for a while, but that’s no longer the case. If anything, service specialists have only become better and more vital for success.
Some of the most sought-after job titles in the consumer services field are:
- Technical support representative. Some of the many variants of this role include computer support specialist, computer service representative, contact center help desk, field technical support engineer, help desk associate, and online customer support representative.
- Receptionist. This job role, from medical receptionists to administrative assistants, is essential for business growth in numerous industries.
- Hospitality and guest services representative. In hospitality, the consumer experience heavily depends on concierges, front desk associates, flight attendants, and hosts.
- Retail customer service representative. We communicate with these people daily. They are customer service agents, customer relationship specialists, cashiers, and account coordinators, to name a few of them.
Today, people and technology make an effective match in this field. While technology brings automation and makes processes and outcomes faster and easier, people provide the expertise and human touch. Both of these elements are necessary for keeping modern consumers happy and satisfied.
World-famous companies like Airbnb, Amazon, and Apple all belong to the consumer services field. Even when these companies sell tangible products, like Amazon and Apple, they still provide various services that complement their products and make shopping a pleasurable experience.
What companies from the consumer services field know is that building relationships with customers is the key to success. Numerous statistics prove that – the better the service, the happier the customer:
- 96% of customers say customer service is crucial for brand loyalty.
- 65% of consumers would return to a brand that can provide positive experiences throughout the customer journey.
- Customers are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience.
- 83% of companies that focus on consumer happiness also witness revenue growth.
Because consumer services improve consumers’ lives, they are essential for building customer loyalty. As previous statistics show, the quality of service is a determining factor when choosing one brand over another. Excellent service is a competitive advantage with enormous revenue potential.
It’s no wonder, then, that companies are in constant search of skilled and experienced consumer service specialists. Brands that belong to this field have entire customer success teams as standalone units, with other strategic aspects of business, like sales and marketing, revolving around the services aspect.
Consumer services feel inseparable from many high-grossing industrie. Try making a list of brands that you interact with daily as a consumer. That would hardly cover the entire scope of this field. To make classification easier, business experts recognize five main types of consumer services:
- Retail and wholesale
- Leisure and hospitality
- Health and social services
- Education services
Each has unique roles and responsibilities but shares the same goal – to keep consumers content.
1. Retail and wholesale
The main difference between these two business enterprises is that retailers buy products from wholesalers and sell them directly to the consumer. While doing so, retailers help wholesalers with goods distribution, marketing, and other consumer-facing aspects of the business.
Most consumer services retailers and wholesalers offer fall under three categories: new product information, convenience in buying, and after-sales services. These three categories map out the entire customer journey, from discovering a solution to learning how to use it.
2. Leisure and hospitality
Recreation, entertainment, sport, and tourism are the four main components of the leisure industry, but they are certainly not the only ones. The hospitality industry is just as diverse. Besides accommodation, food & beverage, and travel, it includes many other sectors that overlap with leisure.
Compared to retail and wholesale, the quality of consumer services might be even more critical in these two conjoining industries. It’s easy to see why – it’s all about the experience in leisure and hospitality. If the service is poor, the experience is ruined, and so is consumer trust.
3. Health and social services
Health and social care are two separate systems that are inseparably intertwined. Both services include many moving parts and involve just as many organizations. It’s sometimes difficult to discern these systems or define what each aims to provide.
Like in hospitality, or perhaps even more so, the quality of consumer service in health and social care is of immense importance – both in terms of business success and responsibility to public health. In hospitality, poor service means revenue loss; here, it can have detrimental consequences.
4. Education services
Consumer services related to education are unique in one aspect – rather than helping buyers make the best purchase decision, they provide long-term assistance. Service providers involved in education can be with you for a minute (a librarian) or stay by your side for years (a coach).
In addition to that, education-related services usually require a specific set of skills. For example, you can get a job as a customer support assistant with just about any educational background. However, you cannot be a school secretary, administrator, or assistant without an academic degree.
Besides the big four, finance is another type of customer service that is very much worth mentioning. It primarily includes companies such as banks, fintech ventures, and tax and accounting firms. Finance implies complex and responsible operations such as banking, investment, and insurance.
Similarly to health, social services, and education, finance is in a unique position to help consumers by making a deep and meaningful impact on their lives. It can provide practical advice and viable financial solutions to low-income families and people in need. Finance also supports business growth, creating a strong and healthy economic environment in which individuals and businesses can flourish.
As mentioned earlier, people and technology are the two essential elements holding the consumer services field together. At the same time, these two elements pose the most significant challenges that companies in this field face – sourcing talented professionals and keeping pace with technology.
Technology might be the toughest nut to crack. Automation is a precursor for efficiency and speed, which are colossal competitive points. Because of that, there is a pressing need to adopt cutting-edge tools that require effective procurement, systematic onboarding, and maintenance.
However, these are not the only obstacles that stand on these businesses’ paths to success.
As more and more companies realize the importance of quality service for customer loyalty and retention, the field is getting overcrowded, too. Consumer services are becoming a staple across industries and sectors, which creates fierce competition even in less dynamic markets.
Every company, be it big or small, is a consumer service provider in its own right. For example, Netflix provides a streaming service. Starbucks offers a comprehensive consumer experience that transcends selling coffee. Even your local deli has someone whose job is to help you around the shop.
When we talk about companies in the consumer services field, we usually refer to the big players and famous businesses redefining the meaning of customer experience as we know it.
The following companies are all textbook examples of exceptional consumers services:
Responsible for the birth of the bed & breakfast trend, Airbnb is nothing less than an industry disruptor. Airbnb is an online vacation room rental platform that provides travelers with a simple and often less expensive alternative to hotel accommodation. Airbnb is famous for putting the customer first, but its services also extend to hosts, to whom it provides the platform and tools for monetizing their rentals.
When it comes to branding, marketing, and consumer services, no one is better than McDonald’s. This fast food trendsetter has been selling less-than-healthy meals for more than 80 years and is still going strong. More than 2 million people work at McDonald’s franchises worldwide. Most of these franchises are independent, while all are united under the same mission statement – only the best for the consumer.
As a B2B business, Talkdesk is more of a services facilitator than a provider. Rather than offering their services directly to the consumer, this industry giant and a massive employer is helping businesses across sectors and industries improve the quality of their service. Talkdesk’s creative consumer service teams are constantly finding ways to upgrade their call center – and keep their customers’ customers happy.
? The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company has been synonymous with world-class leisure, entertainment, and hospitality services for decades. From Disney parks and merchandise to live theater and now a streaming platform, the Mickey Mouse company is a consumer experience package worth $167 billion. Disney owns all our favorite franchises, including Marvel, Pixar, ABC, and ESPN, and pays more than 195,000 employees.
Amazon offers more than 15 service bundles, the most popular of which are Amazon Store, Amazon Music, and Amazon Audible. Within each of these platforms, the king of digital retail and tech provides the most comprehensive array of personalized services that help create an all-encompassing consumer experience. You can find everything you could ever wish for as a modern-day consumer on Amazon.
Walmart specializes in hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores, where consumer services are at the front and center of business operations. More than 2 million workers contribute to the overall customer experience at Walmart by offering shopping assistance, help desk support, or something else. According to the Fortune Global 500, Walmart is the world’s most profitable brand.
Comcast is a multinational telecommunications conglomerate, internet service provider, and the world’s second-largest broadcasting and cable television company. Although this enormous consumer services provider has received criticism for its employee policies, consumers have repeatedly voted it a “top place to work.” It is also a visionary in customer experience and success, which is a number one priority for Comcast.
? Costco Wholesale
As of 2020, Costco is the third largest retailer in the world. Costco drives product sales through a retail store and a warehouse club by providing an easy, affordable, and familiar shopping experience. In that sense, it is one of the best consumer service providers in the US and globally. It employs more than 300,000 people across 845 warehouses in the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
? Home Depot
With over 2,000 stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico alone and just a little shy of 500,000 employees, Home Depot is another excellent example of a retail corporation that thrives thanks to high-quality service. Despite being a home improvement brand, a significant percentage of its consumer services are involved in the brand’s e-commerce retail and related to digital products and tech.
Starbucks is the world’s largest coffeehouse chain and an absolute trailblazer in coffee-related consumer services. It offers hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, instant coffee, espresso, latte, teas, juices, and more, including pastries and snacks. However, beyond all that, Starbucks is a consumer experience associated with a comfy atmosphere and a friendly attitude – provided by 138,000 workers worldwide.
Now that you know what companies belong to the vast consumer services field, it’s easy to make a connection between happy customers and business success. Quality service drives customer trust and loyalty; therefore, it is the most powerful advantage a company can invest in to build long-term success. If this field interests you, this list of best paying jobs in the industry will be helpful.
Judging by the likes of McDonald’s and Disney, it is a worthy investment.