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Posts Tagged ‘service innovation’

Service Innovation Points of Differentiation

November 15th, 2011 1 comment

Service Innovation for DifferentiationA service provider seeking to grow by innovating new services must have a competitive advantage versus existing service providers, whether internal or external, when positioning new services. In services, with its low barriers to entry, it’s not good enough to simply say I’m the largest. And when perceived quality is the final measure it is also not good enough to say I’m the cheapest. A service provider must be able to provide a good value for the best work. And to meet that sort of test, it must design processes to do jobs and achieve outcomes better than whoever is doing them today.

Service and/or process design is a core capability that can be built. With stronger process design, companies can offer better deliverables at a lower price. If gaining scale is one of the service designers goals, process design can produce more scalable services since an element of scalability is consistency which can be enhanced with better process design. Process design is also an easier core capability to develop than many others because it can be contained in a small group of people that are leveraged across an entire organization. It is the service business equivalent of an R&D function whose output is leveraged by manufacturing, sales, marketing and distribution.

It is also the building of such a capability that can be promoted to change a company’s brand image. Many equipment manufacturers provide services in conjunction with equipment sales. However, they are still viewed by their clients, employees and, most importantly, customers as equipment makers. If the vision is to move from being an equipment maker, with all its inherent cycles, to a service provider that has greater stability and growth, expertise is designing and executing services is a key roadmap.

Download service innovation a short .ppt on service innovation ….

In a previous post, I wrote how service innovation is different from service excellence. The latter requires knowledge of your processes while the former requires you to know your client’s and/or competitor’s processes. I also wrote how even though you must have service excellence to establish the credibility to be given the opportunity to provide new services, expertise in delivery isn’t a guarantee to be able to define and design solutions that ensure better outcomes. This article adds that one of the two basis on which you can differentiate yourself as a service provider is to design better solutions.

If you’d like to speak more about this, feel free to contact me.

Service Innovation and Service Delivery – Together but Apart ….

November 11th, 2011 1 comment

Service innovation and Service Delivery ExcellenceService organizations must grow by offering new solutions to customer needs.  The trust needed for a consumer of services to buy a new offering is obviously highly dependent on their perception of the service quality they are experiencing on current services.  If the customer has issues with service delivery on existing services, it is no surprise there will be a lack of confidence in buying new services.  However, service delivery excellence, while critical to successfully expanding new services, is a different capability from service innovation.

Successful service innovation depends on (i) defining unmet VOC for which the customer has not contracted as they currently are doing it themselves or have other vendors doing it and (ii) the ability to design better processes as measured by the customer than the customer or an existing third party provider can design.  Service delivery is about executing against customer expectations on existing contracts and internal processes.    Improving service delivery is about understanding the service provider’s processes.  Succeeding with new services about understanding the customer’s or a third parties processes.

Download service innovation a short overview of our service innovation approach ….

Never assume excellent service delivery ensures the ability to define, design and deliver new services.  In the end, the muscle tissue a service organization builds by improving service delivery will improve perception for new services but not necessarily the ability to define, design and deliver new services or to innovate. Service innovation must be addressed separately from Service delivery.  The upside of building service innovation ability is that if the service provider succeeds it will be able to extend beyond providing existing services.

If you’d like to speak more about this, feel free to contact me.

Voice of the Customer (VOC) vs. Voice of the Customer (VOC) ??

September 9th, 2011 1 comment

For service organizations seeking to grow, excellent service delivery of existing offerings instills trust with the customer. That trust is the cornerstone to successfully launching new services. But the goodwill of that trust can only be leveraged if new service offerings provide NEW value. And excellence in what you do doesn’t guarantee providing that new value. To put it another way, doing something well for someone doesn’t mean you will add value in everything new you can think of or be asked to do for them in the future.
What is common between delivering on current services and new services is the ability to execute. What is different is that the Voice-of-the-Customer (VOC) is well defined in the former case and has yet to be defined in the latter. Defining VOC well is a function of listening well. Execution and listening are critical to both situations. Execution has the same definition in both cases. But the two situations call for two different types of listening.

How does the listening differ? Well, in Service Delivery the target had been acquired at the time of the sale. Therefore, you are listening to determine if you are hitting the target and, if not, how you’re missing and by how much.  In the case of new service design, you are trying to acquire the target. When delivering existing services, customer requirements are well known and VOC must be collected on how well you are performing vis a vis those requirements. With new services, you are more heavily involved in defining customer requirements.

Download a short training module that discusses Critical to Customer Requirements a short training module that discusses Critical to Customer Requirements


Too often, I see companies launch new services with confidence based on their ability to stay tuned to a specific target and hit it consistently only to fail with a new service launch. The reason they failed is that they never properly defined the new target. Staying on a target and finding a new target are really very different.

For Service Delivery, the primary “listening” or “targeting” challenge is how to (i) monitor VOC and (ii) convert VOC to Critical to Quality. To launch new services, the primary “listening” or “targeting” challenge is to define the value to be delivered per the customer or define Critical to Customer Requirements.

In the end, service delivery VOC is about how to understand your processes while the VOC needed to successfully launch new services is about understanding the customer’s unexpressed needs.

If you would like to discuss, contact me directly.