• Attila Gursel

VALUE-ADDED SERVICES


Due to solid competition nowadays, to make your business a profitable one, you need more meaningful ways than just lowering your price to sell your products, whether in the service sector or in the production sector. Customers can now easily access the services and products they need over the internet. They can easily compare products or services of different companies, request additional features, and receive feedback from customers who have already tried this product/service. Thanks to the internet, the receivers of services can easily carry out some arduous and costly services independently and no longer want to pay for these services like they used to. Why would a customer pay more for a service that s/he can carry out without special knowledge or training, where there is no distinction from their alternatives in the market, and they cannot provide the customer with more benefits for what they pay for?


This is also true for attorneys in the intellectual property sector. Fifty years ago, a trademark application was a challenging service where stereotypical tasks had to be carried out, brand samples were prepared, expenditures were collected from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, pages and pages of documents were prepared and presented, which has now turned into an ordinary job that anyone can accomplish in a short time by filling out an online form without the need for an attorney. The number of trademark and patent attorneys, which could be counted on the fingers of one hand 50 years ago, is more than a thousand today. There is no difference quality-wise in an application made by a patent company with one hundred employees than in a company with two employees. However, considering the costs of large companies, it has become impossible for them to compete with small companies.


To summarize, companies working in the service sector like us face and need to overcome two critical problems: to satisfy its customers financially and morally with the services it provides. The second one is to cope with increasing competition in terms of costs and quality. The most suitable solution to overcome both problems is to provide value-added services.


We can classify services under roughly two main titles, value-added services, and non-value-added services. Non-value-added services can be roughly defined as those that require no particular expertise, are easily accessible and can be provided by everyone, or are products/services sold without any change in content. The price will largely determine from which service provider this service will be purchased by the customer. Value-added services, on the other hand, can be defined as services that require expertise, cannot be easily provided or accessed by everyone, cannot be provided by competitors, and those services that differentiate your company from others.


When we examine the services, we provide in general, while applying for a brand is not a value-added service, conducting brand similarity research is a value-added service. While it is not considered a value-added service to have the similarity research carried out by a program and conveying the results to the customer, it is regarded as a value-added service to interpret these results and direct the customer's application according to these results. It is not a value-added service to file a patent under Turkish Patent but preparing a contract for this transfer is a value-added service. Sending a template as a transfer contract to the customer is not a value-added service but preparing the transfer agreement to suit customer needs is a value-added service. Such services cannot be provided by everyone and will be questioned less.


The demand for value-added services in our sector increases steadily, while the need for non-value-added services decreases. Companies doing this type of work soon will not be able to make money or receive a tiny amount from the application, transfer, or renewal services they provide. Instead, companies that offer consultancy to the customer in absolute terms that guide them determine a strategy. In short, those that provide the best value-added services will be the ones that earn money from this business. What we need to do is prepare ourselves for this near future and restructure without further ado.



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