You may or may not have spotted it, but in my series of features for Field Service News I have been writing a series of articles that describe and outline a framework of the critical attributes and understanding required to deliver a successful service business.
Why? Most managers find it hard to know where to start, because service transformation involves every single aspect of a business.
It’s a complex process, with many possible pathways to being able to deliver sustainable growth. So we created the service business model to provide managers with a holistic view of how to break the business challenges into smaller bite size chunks which they can action. This article pulls it all together into a coherent story.
The 50,000-Foot Perspective
In our first article, “Where to Start?,” we described four key elements companies should understand in order to develop a service business.
- Value: Do you know the value you can create for your customer, and what your own organizations strategy is for turning it into profit?
- Go-To Market: Can you innovate, design, develop, market and sell service propositions?
- Service Delivery: Can you deliver services consistently, profitably and to the level of customer experience you intended?
- Plan: Do you have a detailed explicit plan to drive change that is supported by your leadership and your people?
This is a good start, but how do you get into the detail? We went on to describe nine best practices case studies that provide some insights into how to achieve the balancing act required to develop a profitable service business.
1. Know Your Customer’s Journey(s)
We reviewed how Husky, a leading manufacturer of capital equipment, mapped out their customer journey through the product lifecycle to understand the specific “moments of sales” when the customer was open to the services being proposed.
This insight is often the first step to truly understanding how your customer’s business operates, and where you can make a difference. Many companies have an intuitive feel for their customer. Many more would do well to bring some analysis to their “gut feeling” to uncover the attractive target segments and quantify the value add of all the stakeholders in the value chain.
2. Define Your Strategy for Corporate Value Management
In “Ouch! Getting the profit/cost centre call wrong,” we highlighted the importance of understanding your own companies objectives.
What is your business model to make money? How does your strategy translate into organizational design? What are the systems and processes you need to manage value? It is not only about the numbers but your culture and also your capabilities — in particular the ability to manage knowledge.
We illustrated this through looking at how different companies have tackled the question of service being a separate P&L and when this has successfully brought focus to their service transformation.
The point is: Know yourself! This is the key to discovering how you will reach your goals.
3. Customer Perception of Value
In our third article, “Finding nuggets of customer gold,” we discussed that there is no point understanding the customer journey and your own business strategy if you can not define the value you can deliver to your customer’s business. This is probably the most basic building block for developing the service value proposition.
Through the case study of Yokogawa, we saw how good insight into this value does not always come through the sales team. Indeed, using a number of different methodologies can lead to surprising results. In this example they found customers wanted much closer technical relationships to boost the OEE of their plant. On the face of it, this simple insight was the enabler to really innovate for customer value.
The excerpt above was republished with permission. Read the full article on Field Service News.