Innovation – a word that is on everyone’s lips.
Companies, regardless of whether they are large or small, locally or internationally oriented, agree that innovations are deciding their competitiveness. Product, process or service innovations are the desired goal of organizations to improve their ability to cope with rapidly changing environments and with rapidly changing conditions.
Every company from every industry needs an innovation strategy – be it high-tech product innovations, packaging innovations for consumer goods or process innovations for financial services companies.
Today more than ever, innovation is the key to achieving growth, competitive advantages and a long-term increase in shareholder value.
What is needed most nowadays are solutions that handle personal concerns quickly, easily, reliably and can be used anytime, anywhere.
ATMs replaced the walk to the counter a few years ago. Self-service terminals at airports allow passengers to check-in independently. After ATMs and terminals, the Internet has increasingly become the focus of service solutions.
In the meantime, it is mobile terminals that make digital service even easier and more independent for customers. Everyday tasks should be able to be carried out independently without much effort using the appropriate technical solutions. Interaction with a service employee becomes unnecessary.
This will become easier and simpler for customers with modern technical help such as smartphones and tablets. E-tickets, banking via an app, opening an account via video chat, shopping on billboards using a barcode scan, sending medical statements to the health insurance company directly via smartphone – all this is no longer a dream of the future.
The do-it-yourself trend is constantly and unstoppably transforming the way customers live and work.
The phenomenon of increasing mobility is more and more creating demand among customers for services tailored to their specific situation. This is because, in the future, customers will no longer reward standard information, but will demand an individual service based on their specific situation, i.e. their particular context.
The improved positioning possibilities offered by GPS, Near Field Communication (NFC) or Beacon technology in combination with context-sensitive apps and wearables now make it increasingly easy to offer situation-specific information as an individual customer service using sensor control. The more background data about people’s daily activities, interests, appointments, whereabouts, and priorities become digitally available via mobile devices, the more precise information, product suggestions, and services can be provided for specific customer situations.
Service is changing and slowly but surely conquering the world of new technologies such as the Web, mobile and cloud. Only a modern service provider delivers the services the customer wants.
Centralized mobile and cloud-based service management solutions simplify the administrative tasks in service – from incoming customer calls to the organization and access to customer data, service technician scheduling, and repair work at the customer’s site. Overcrowded, confusing archives with folders full of service reports are a thing of the past.
And the interaction and integration of these new technological approaches is the necessity for a successful service transformation. Intelligently networked service makes a significant contribution to pursuing a consistent, results-oriented marketing strategy. And that, in turn, is crucial to building and consolidating an intensive relationship between customers and companies.
The availability of networked devices, machines, and systems allows manufacturers to offer active, predictive maintenance and services. Appropriate system solutions provide appropriate insights into the current machine status and, by analyzing the machine-generated data, the service can be scheduled in a targeted manner.
Customers of today
The customers of today are enlightened, informed and media competent. They also often use customer self-services because they want more independence. These services free the customer from existing restrictions – such as going to the store or keeping opening hours. The smartphone, which is available 24/7, is increasingly becoming a key technology for meeting customer’s desire for greater flexibility.
Nowadays customers find the “traditional” service less efficient. Active participation in self-service gives them the feeling of being more effective and efficient. Customers also appreciate active participation in the service creation process, as it gives them a feeling of control and independence. The customer is independent of third parties – such as service personnel.
More and more companies – regardless of size and location – will discover and implement the advantages of networking and the use of modern technology (cloud, mobile, web).
The service will become much more individual in the future due to new areas of application for digitization. A central role will be played by the increasing inclusion of the user’s context. New symbiotic connections between customers and companies will emerge. In the future, customers will no longer reward standard information but will demand an individual service based on their specific situation, i.e. their particular context.
The creation of new competencies in companies will be decisive for the implementation of individual customer service. This is because, with the classic organisational structures and processes, it will be difficult to achieve active cooperation between the very differently oriented disciplines.
However, companies that want to generate added value or secure competitive advantages should start looking at offers and solutions now. This is the only way they can successfully transform the service sector with a focus on customer success and the implementation of successful business strategies and processes.
Offering successful service with the right technology or software solution is not easy – but with good implementation – definitely a worthwhile undertaking. Companies that invest in new service innovations prove that they have understood what their customers really want in today’s world. And sooner or later, their customers will thank them for this by simply doing it themselves in the future.