These two items are the critical components of growth for a service company. A term I have not discussed is Innovation Strategy. Innovation is not something that happens on its own, nor can it be developed in a two hour “think session”.
Continuous innovation starts with a pro-active plan, innovation strategy. The purpose of such a plan is to determine how the company goals can best be met through innovation. Innovation strategy does not work by itself; it must be carefully integrated into the overall business plan. The question that has to be answered is, if time and money is invested into a new service, will it meet the company goals?
What is the best way to structure innovation? The best answer I know of is to look at the benefits that you are currently offering your clients and continuously challenge yourself to improve on them. Differentiation and uniqueness are the ongoing goals in delivering a new customer experience.
Change involves calculated risk and it has to be customer focused. A question that always has to be considered is “How much risk am I willing to take?” it’s not a question of not taking risk, for growth without risk is virtually impossible.
Most traditional plans first develop company goals then focus on marketing so that the client base can be increased to meet the profit projections. Seldom have I seen the strategies developed to accomplish goals looked at from the client experience perspective.
In a recent blog I addressed the issues of customer service versus customer experience. If innovation is tied into bettering the customer experience, it will produce the desired results.
To always be a market leader in your industry you cannot remain status quo. New competitors enter, either copying your services or improving on them, customer needs change, market boundaries shift, etc.; thus innovation is the solution to sustainability and profitability.
Almost every advance in art, cooking, medicine, agriculture, engineering, marketing, politics, education and design has occurred when someone challenged the rules and tried another approach. Roger von Dech