(ISO: Geneva) -- From traditional sales-related services to intangibles such as banking, tourism, and education, services represent the fastest growing sector of the global economy. They are also by far the largest component of gross domestic product (GDP).
The March 2012 issue of ISO Focus+, the magazine of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), looks at the current developments in the international standardization of services and highlights the positive impact they will have, not only for specific services, but for the global market as a whole.
With the growth in this sector, emerging requirements have given rise to new approaches to satisfy market players and economic partners. A growing demand for standards to support quality, communication, and good practices is needed to sustain the services sector.
For example, the magazine features a case study on how implementing ISO 20252 for market, opinion, and social research can provide major benefits from leading market survey and research specialist, the Ipsos Group.
The March edition of ISO Focus+ also features an exclusive interview with James Brooks, the director of global operations at TNS, the world’s largest customer research specialists. “In its short life so far, the ISO standard on market research has achieved a recognition and credibility amongst both major suppliers and more importantly amongst our global clients,” says Brooks.
Brooks gives his views on the benefits of using international standards and a global strategy for quality standards.
Another example is that of mobile financial services, which through smart phones or other mobile devices enable users to perform banking functions such as paying bills and opening accounts. Standards here are crucial for the worldwide deployment of these services and in so doing, fundamentally change the landscape of payment systems.
Generally speaking, service standards can help businesses gain essential competitive advantages, by creating transparency and enabling potential customers to carry out effective comparisons before making their choice. Other benefits include an improved quality of service across national borders, lowered costs, and more time saved.
Other highlights include articles on how ISO standards support the following:
• Financial services messaging—business benefits boosted by interoperability
• Bill shock! Customer complaints down, satisfaction up
• Consumers speak out! A framework for developing service standards
• Servicing ICT—from information security to service management
• Top marks! Bringing high-quality education and training to the learner
• Welcome! Working for tourists worldwide