Should Your Customers Help Define Your Service Strategy?

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Should Your Customers Help Define Your Service Strategy?

A robust service strategy is an essential part of an organization’s development and is vital to ensure services remain aligned with the market and customer needs. Service strategies can include productcustomer, or market-led strategies. Organizations must be able to define what their ‘superpowers’ are to know their areas of strengths and ability to provide excellent services.  

Cloud businesses that implement customer-led strategies differ from product or market-led businesses by remaining flexible based on the demands of customers, focusing on what will give them the most value. This strategy relies heavily on customer feedback and sets KPIs based on the value provided to constantly develop their services.  

Whilst implementing customer-based feedback is important when developing a service strategy, it is also vital to understand how it affects the business as a whole. Cloud businesses much like any business must stand by their North Star to guide them. While there is great value in customer insights, there can also be pitfalls in basing your offerings solely around these insights. So the question arises, how does an organization balance customer feedback whilst ensuring the services align with the business as a whole?   

Service strategy and Utilizing customer insights   

Utilizing customer insights is a strategic way to find gaps within the market to develop services. It is also a useful way for Cloud businesses to assess if the services customers want to align with your business’s key objectives. It enables constant feedback which can be used to innovate not only their services but the market as a whole.   

Before this functionality can truly be streamlined and implemented, Three pillars should be in place. These are SkillsProcesses, and Technology.  

Skills  

This involves developing a strong workforce with the knowledge of core tools and processes to understand and integrate customer data into a Cloud business.   

Processes 

Building robust and clear processes into an organization is also key to being able to take this data and effectively harness it to its fullest use.  

Technology   

Developing the correct digital tools into a Cloud business that can correctly manage and help give a clearer understanding of customer insights.  

Cloud Businesses must evaluate if they have the correct infrastructure in place to effectively execute these services. This includes having the correct tools, processes in place and experienced team members to use them. However, when developing services, it is easy for an organization to focus on the appeal of generating revenue through several different services. This however needs to be balanced carefully. If a business tries to spread its resources between too many services to catch customers, the delivery of the services may suffer. Therefore it is key for Cloud Businesses to traverse a line between quality and quantity. To learn more about this click here to our article, the need for honesty when assessing your service offering. 

Creating a strong foundation of specialized services and then building upon that foundation and adapting services with constantly evolving customer insights should be the starting point for any forward-thinking Cloud business that wants to evolve with ever-shifting expectations and needs.  

What to be aware of.  

There are benefits and potential issues in all service strategies, this includes customer-led service strategies. A major benefit of adopting this approach in an organization is that businesses maintain an understanding of the customer’s needs and once a revenue stream is established it can develop its services through the use of gathered customer insights.  

Issues that may arise with the adoption of this customer-led approach are that organizations may lose some opportunities due to not staying competitive as the customer’s needs can pivot quickly. As well as this an organization may struggle to define and build upon its superpowers due to the developing market.   

A customer-led service strategy can be a valuable resource to continually develop and innovate a Cloud business using continuous customer insight in an ever-evolving market. However, having a strong foundation and framework is key to being able to correctly assess and effectively execute this form of strategy and developing a balance between sticking with key objectives of the business whilst catering to customer’s needs. 

Subtitle

The massive uncertainty around COVID-19 has fixed some companies—and managers—in place, making them unable to react quickly to the changes affecting their business. But for others, it’s been a catalyst for change and an opportunity to gain new insights about their customers’ needs and to demonstrate their agility to adapt and grow.

One leader who has adopted the latter approach is Keith Choy, the head of the Asia–Pacific unit of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Consumer Healthcare group. Choy is encouraging his team of 6,000 people to consider the pandemic a call to action, a chance to double down on existing digitalization initiatives and strengthen end-to-end supply chains to even better respond to emerging consumption trends across the 23 Asia–Pacific markets the company serves. All while speeding up the cadence of the company.

In October, Choy spoke with McKinsey’s Kenneth Bonheure and David Schwartz to describe how GSK is responding to COVID-19, how the company is guided by its values, and what global companies can do to succeed in Asia during COVID-19 and beyond.

The Quarterly: Describe the business environment right now. What are you seeing? What are you focusing on?

In October, Choy spoke with McKinsey’s Kenneth Bonheure and David Schwartz to describe how GSK is responding to COVID-19, how the company is guided by its values, and what global companies can do to succeed in Asia during COVID-19 and beyond.

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