It is never an easy job to develop a mind-blowing innovation, and it’s even harder if you are in the service sector. The nature of services and their main characteristics: intangibility, variability, inseparability and perishability create a real challenge throughout the whole innovation process. How to tackle this challenge and make sure that you are a step closer to creating and providing an excellent service that will WOW your customers?
You don’t have to come up with a completely new service to be an innovative service provider, you can also use innovative technologies in almost any segment of your business and by doing so provide your customers with a completely new experience. Innovating elements around the original service will push you to continuously improve your business model and by doing so, keep your customers happy.
If your core business isn’t based on providing services, you can create additional value by offering complimentary services with your product and thus improve your customer support and product offering. These are all touchpoints of the customer journey which all add-up to your customers’ overall satisfaction and contribute greatly to their perception of your business. Creating value for customers through innovative and constantly improving offering should be your ultimate goal. In order to succeed in this mission, you need to understand what your customers regard as valuable and that will ultimately lead you back to understanding their needs and wants.
Developing and building trust
When the service is the main core of your business, creating a marketing strategy is a bit different from a product company. You do not have a tangible object that can be displayed and demonstrated. Instead, you must opt for an abstract approach. As a service provider, your main goal is to create a relationship with your present and/or potential customers. Your marketing message and strategy should be about building trust. Since the service cannot be touched nor returned, your job is to convince the customer that your service is a great problem-solver for whatever needs they have. Developing and building trust.
Even though the service itself might be difficult to radically innovate, you can always work around it, and improve all the tangible elements that surround the service. From its environment to all the objects and products that you might be using in the process of providing the service, you actually have plenty of room to manoeuvre and innovate. Creating a pleasant and welcoming environment will increase your customers’ pleasure and overall experience. Targeting your customers’ senses with different lighting, colours, textures, sounds and scents will get them in just the right mood.
In many cases, you as a service provider must use some other products in order to provide the service. Another way to innovate your service is to actually shift focus to the main products you are using and start producing them as supplementary products. This not only widens the area of your business but also gives you the opportunity to merchandise these goods as well, together with the service.
One of the most important elements of the service is the service provider itself. Since the service cannot be separated from the person providing it, it is important to have a well-trained staff. Since the human factor is a big element in the process of providing a service, even the most genius and innovative service will fall short if you aren’t able to provide a good experience. Choosing wisely and training your team is of great importance if you want to WOW your customers. Your team is a great source of first-hand information and feedback from your customers since they are the one in direct contact with the customer. Creating a bottom-up flow of information and encouraging your team members to collaborate on your ideation process with their ideas and insights will enrich your whole innovation process.
Tailoring the service to meet the need
Unlike most products, services can be customized then and there to meet that need of your customer. This gives you the opportunity to custom-fit the service and provide your customers with a unique experience and meet their specific needs. Since your customers also become a part of the process of providing the service, they become your co-creators. Listening to them and creating a space where they can reach out to you with their ideas and feedback is another great source of fresh ideas for your innovation process.
Your customers, same as you, also like to be informed. Providing them with enough information about your service and business will more easily develop and build trust and make them more likely to choose you as the service provider. On the other hand, giving them the opportunity to cooperate and submit feedback and ideas will help you improve your service. Creating and enabling a constant flow of information between you, your customers and your team members will ensure the collection of vital data for your business.
How can Innovation Cloud assist you in improving your service and “wowing” your customers?
Innovation Cloud helps you cover all these areas of interest and even more. With its user-friendly design, it encourages collaboration between you and your team members. The bottom-up and top-down approach in the ideation process makes sure that everyone in your organization can contribute and be heard. On top of that our Crowdsourcing tool gives you the chance to include your customers in your innovation process as well and see what they have to say. More than that, it assists you in your every step of the way in your innovation process, providing you with all the necessary data. Innovation Cloud is the number one partner to have in the innovation process!