17 Service Innovation Tactics for Creating Value in Business

a woman depicting service innovation

Innovation in service is a powerful way to create value and distinguish your offerings from competitors. Here’s a detailed how-to guide on 17 service innovation tactics for creating value in business:

1. Added Value

How-To: Bundle additional services into your primary offering at no extra cost.

Example: A software company includes 24/7 customer support in the base price of their product. A car dealership includes a year of free maintenance with the purchase of a vehicle.

2. Automatic Adjustment

How-To: Design services that adapt to the customer’s usage patterns , or that scale according to customer usage.

Example: A cloud storage provider offers scalable solutions that automatically adjust pricing based on the amount of data stored.

3. Concierge

How-To: Offer high-touch, personalized service that performs tasks on behalf of the customer.

Example: A high-end hotel provides a concierge service to book tours, restaurants, and transport for guests.

4. Customization

How-To: Allow customers to modify the service to suit their individual needs.

Example: A fitness center offers tailored workout plans for each member based on their fitness goals. A pizza restaurant lets customers build their own pizza with a choice of crusts, sauces, and toppings.

5. Guarantee

How-To: Provide a promise to customers that protects them against certain risks.

Example: An electronics retailer offers a money-back guarantee if the product fails within a certain period.

6. Lease or Loan

How-To: Give customers the option to pay for a service or product over time.

Example: A car dealership offers leasing options where customers can drive a car for a set period without the full cost of ownership. An appliance store offers a leasing program where customers can rent appliances with the option to buy at the end.

7. Loyalty Programs

How-To: Reward repeat customers with benefits and discounts.

Example: A coffee shop provides a loyalty card that gives a free drink after a certain number of purchases.

8. Managed Service

How-To: Actively handle aspects of the customer’s business or needs.

Example: An IT company manages all aspects of a client’s IT infrastructure, ensuring systems are up-to-date and secure.

9. On-Demand

How-To: Make services available whenever the customer requires.

Example: A ride-sharing app provides transportation services at any time with the touch of a button.

10. Personalization

How-To: Customize the service based on personal data from the customer.

Example: An online retailer recommends products based on the customer’s browsing and purchase history.

11. Realtime/Scheduled

How-To: Offer immediate service or allow customers to schedule services at their convenience.

Example: A grocery delivery service allows customers to choose immediate delivery or schedule a delivery slot.

12. Self-Service

How-To: Provide tools or platforms that enable customers to help themselves. Empower customers to use tools and systems to serve themselves.

Example: A bank provides ATMs and online banking services for customers to carry out transactions without teller assistance.

13. Superior Service

How-To: Deliver service that surpasses that of your competitors in quality and experience.

Example: A cable company ensures technician arrival within a one-hour window, guaranteed.

14. Supplementary Service

How-To: Add services that complement the primary offering.

Example: A software provider offers training workshops to enhance customer knowledge and skills.

15. Total Experience Management

How-To: Engineer every interaction with the customer to be positive and seamless.

Example: A resort curates every aspect of the guest’s stay from arrival to departure, including dining, activities, and accommodations.

16. Try Before You Buy

How-To: Allow customers to experience a service or product before committing to a purchase.

Example: An online subscription service offers a one-month free trial before charging the subscription fee.

17. User Support Systems

How-To: Create a community or platform where users can get help with products or services.

Example: A software company provides a user forum where customers can get help from other users or company representatives.

Implementing Service Innovation Tactics

  1. Understand Your Customers: Deeply understand customer needs and pain points to identify where these tactics can add value.
  2. Employee Training: Ensure your team is well-trained to deliver the new services effectively.
  3. Technology Investment: Invest in technology that enables personalization, self-service, and on-demand services.
  4. Feedback Mechanisms: Put systems in place to gather customer feedback on new services.
  5. Iterative Improvement: Continuously refine and improve services based on customer usage and feedback.

By implementing these tactics, businesses can create a service offering that not only meets customer needs but exceeds their expectations, leading to greater customer loyalty and a stronger competitive position.