The real role of service software
The simplistic way of looking at service software is that it is a solution designed to bring about interaction between customers and customer service. But in today’s digitally transformed world, it plays a much more integral role in the success of a services industry organisation than previously imagined. Thanks to changing customer expectations, the need to differentiate in service is more important than ever.
Without harping on too much about events of the past two years, the reality is that people have become more informed about available solutions. And demand a level of service from providers that focus more on personalisation and understanding them as individuals.
Concepts like cross-organisation integration, outcomes-based contracts, and zero-touch service quickly become the buzzwords of choice in the services industry. Therefore, companies must rethink how they approach service software as a business enabler to build a competitive advantage.
Thanks to the availability of more advanced technologies and innovations in service, organisations that are adept at mastering the layers of change needed will be the ones that seize new opportunities. It is as much about delivering personalised experiences as it is about being agile and open to continuous transformation wherever that might take the business.
With service, the goal has always been to allow the technology to make completing actions seamless. However, there is a subtle nuance now to contend with, thanks to digital transformation that sees the entire service process enhanced while not negatively disrupting the customer significantly.
Of course, service firms consist of complex ecosystems of interconnected solutions, technologies, and services. Trying to fit service delivery into a singular purpose amidst a rapidly changing business footprint that is growing thanks to acquisitions, change of partners, new vendor solutions, and so on is virtually impossible.
Think of the employees
The customer experience will always remain key to any service business. But companies must never forget one of their most important stakeholders – the employees - as workers want flexibility, hybrid environments, and other benefits due to the new normal.
This will force companies to refocus on reducing churn and keeping talented employees happy. As part of this, service organisations will need to reflect on company culture, the quality of leadership, and the value proposition for the employees when it comes to upskilling, reskilling, and career development.
If an employee is happy, the service support delivered to customers will be high quality, resulting in more satisfied end-users. This self-fulfilling prophecy creates an exciting cycle in the business where the opportunity to innovate has never been greater.
Through this, leaders will play a critical part in mentorship, recognising good work, and encouraging employees to go the extra mile. Having engaged employees are even more important than the products being developed. If workers are not satisfied, then no solution in the world can create customer interest and loyalty in sticking with the business.
Shift in service
Moving attention to the customer, organisations should consider designing for the moment of services. This is a point of view from which companies can see their business from the perspective of their customers. For instance, a flight landing on time at the chosen destination, a mobile network having reception anywhere in the country or the power in a house turning on whenever needed, every day, without outages – load shedding be damned.
Going with this service-centric approach will provide business and technology leaders with a fresh perspective on how to optimise their entire operation. This will position the business to effectively create solutions and interactions with customers to achieve the end goal.
Additionally, the organisation will get to the core of what the customer wants and use those insights to launch profitable services geared toward today's digital environment. This sees the need to think differently about how solutions are architected for the cloud. Scalability and flexibility must be at the core of high-performance computing-led updates, a natural outcome of rapidly adapting to what customers want.
A return to service
Yes, unprecedented turbulence has resulted in continued uncertainty around what the service environment will bring. But those companies accelerating their transformation strategies and putting new business models in place will be the ones that continue to be relevant.
This is a never-ending process. The focus must always be on evolving to meet new customer demands and understanding the intricacies of the digital economy.
The moment of service will be essential in this regard. Organisations can drive improved loyalty and sales amidst more sophisticated customers who are demanding more from a business by designing for the service delivered instead of products.