People typically regard innovation as being about creating a new product (“a thing”) or technology. However, regardless of what your service offering is whether it be legal services, graphic design services or maintenance and repair, there are three ways you can innovate your business to increase revenues, clients and ultimately grow your business.
Digitise your offering
Consider if you can convert manual processes, physical products or your traditional services into mobile/web-based offerings.
For instance, could your start-up or SME provide reporting, training or advisory/consulting services online?
Benefits of digital offerings:
- Lower costs
- Reach and access to new markets and clients
- Exposure to new clients that could not typically afford your offering
Expand according to your strengths
Could your company create new services that either:
- Complement what your company is already doing or
- Meets additional needs you have identified by listening to your customers
Possible ways to expand your current offering include providing:
- Business audits and assessment
- Maintenance and reporting services
- Coaching and/or mentoring
- Strategy development
- Program management
Be the “One Stop Shop”
Explore creating comprehensive business customer solutions or “bundles” of products, services, support and information that help them to achieve a specific outcome.
Customer solutions can be developed for any business customer.
They are particularly common in industries such as:
- Professional services (accounting, law, consulting)
- Financial Services
Components of a business customer solution
Case example: An IT company’s service offering
Main Service Offering
|IT Systems Planning and Implementation|
|Additional Services “Value Adds”||System Maintenance & Repairs
|Customer Service/Support Provisions||Service level guarantees (for inquiries and repairs)
Extended hours (e.g. 24-hour support) Financing/payment options
Tips to remember when developing customer solutions
Business customer solutions are not necessarily a “one size fits all”.
They can be tailored to meet the needs of key customers, markets or customer segments
Listening is the key to creating meaningful bundles that customers are willing to pay for!
Benefits of Customer Solutions
- Tailored to customer needs
- Helps to create customer loyalty and “stickiness”
- Can help generate greater revenues and better cash flows for your business
Take action now!
Review your company’s current offerings
- What services is your start-up or SME currently particularly good at as shown through your sales, customer feedback, or any rewards or recognition your company has received?
- What are some unmet or underserved customer needs that you have observed through your customer listening?