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Service Innovation and Design – Help me help you …

November 30th, 2011

Service Innovation - Help me help youRecognizing co-production as the core concept of service innovation leads service providers to rich deposits of waste, the extraction of which adds tremendous value to a customer relationship.  And, failing to recognize the interdependence leads to suboptimal solutions.

When providing a service, whether B2B or B2C, we too often view the flow of activity as simply going one way.  In actuality, there is a constant flow of information and activity in both directions as you and your customer move along the continuum of operations that deliver the ultimate job.  This is especially true in B2B businesses that have another end consumer to a co-produced good or service.

Too often we give the notion of this relationship a friendly nod but fail to incorporate it into our work.  We fail to respect this interdependence because we all look for control in our work.  The introduction of the notion of reliance on the interrelationship with our customer brings a highly uncontrollable input.  We have a difficult time telling the person to whom or entity to which we are attempting to satisfy a need that we need something from them.

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a short .ppt dealing with tollgate reviews in the service design process …

Service Innovation - Customer RequirementsBut as iconic movie star Tom Cruise, while playing sports agent Jerry McGuire, says to Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Rod Tidwell, playing his client, “Help Me Help You”.  It was when Jerry McGuire recognized the interdependence between his actions and his clients that success accrued to both of them.  Your clients’ actions as your partner may be uncontrollable but they remain undeniable.  And when they are recognized, great opportunities open to provide more value and earn more profit by capturing a portion of it themselves.

The first step in recognizing this co-production is to give it visibility.  The best way to do this is with various mapping activities.  You can value stream map the overall process, including both the service provider and clients’ activities.  This can be pursued further with customer mapping.  Another alternative is to perform service blueprinting, which specifically focuses on a service provider’s interactions with its customers.

For a further discussion on how to identify the interrelationships between you and your customer’s co-production so as to add value to your customer and capture value for your company, please contact me.

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