Innovating Service Delivery

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Section framework from the HBR article on “How to create more value for your customers and you” by Kamalini Ramdas, Elizabeth Teisberg, and Amy L. Tucker

The Structure of the Interaction.

The interaction structure of the “Reinventing Service Delivery” article is a segment in which works most notably and efficiently in markets that involve a generalized introduction during a first visit, session, or meeting. One general example in the 4 Ways to Reinvent Service Delivery” was reinventing how a medical clinic could make visits to medical professionals more efficient.

In this example the reinvention of the service interaction created efficiency for the medical professionals as well as the ability to see more patients in a shorter amount of time. On the patient side of the medical visit, the patient was shown to have an increase in satisfaction by value, disregarding the fact that their medical visit was performed in a group setting and not the traditional one-on-one patient/doctor structure of interaction.

This delivery system does not seem to be a new concept, but using the concept to innovate certain industries is new and innovative. I believe that this portion of “Reinventing Service Delivery” is contingent on the type of organization that could be potentially reinventing itself. For instance, this interaction structure seems to work well with B2C relationships more so than B2B relationships. I believe that a group interaction setting also varies by certain industries. For example a food distribution company (B2B) that essentially sells to businesses that either make a finished product or resells the distributed food good, might find it more efficient to do an initial business pitch to a group of restaurants or stores to introduce the initial relationship, service offerings, finance options. This group interaction setting could also initiate a greater amount of questions spawned by group interaction and involvement.

In contrast to other B2B organizations a MARCOM agency could find trouble in using an open group format for new business pitches. Although a group interaction format could be possible for advertising and branding agencies and its current clients. The MARCOM agency could have the opportunity to create a group conference to showcase new service offerings, innovations in technology, as well as new integration programs that could further expand a client’s marketing presence. The MARCOM agency would be able to educate and pitch new service offerings to a wider range of their clients. On the client side the group of clients that are attending the group conference will benefit in terms of value by the increased interaction between both the client attendees and the MARCOM agency that is presenting. An example of such a concept would be comparable to the APPLE Keynote Events if the attendees were strictly end-users instead of members of the press and other stakeholders. This group interaction setting would have to be open to clients that would not compete in each other’s market places and the MARCOM agency would also have to market its service offerings to larger organizations that are already involved in marketing their businesses.

A smaller MARCOM agency could gain an efficiency advantage by using an open interaction format method to reinvent its service delivery. Smaller clients of a MARCOM agency generally do not usually have marketing departments, large marketing budgets, or the resources and knowledge to market their product in today’s competitive environments. A smaller MARCOM agency could gain a significant efficiency opportunity by using this open group interaction format to pitch their marketing service offerings to a group of small to medium size business owners in a conference or event based setting. The MARCOM agency would receive an efficiency advantage in educating and pitching new business to a larger range of clients all at once. The prospective small business clients gain value in learning more about marketing opportunities and a significant increase in awareness during the event due to the increased interaction directly from the open forum interaction format.

The Service Boundary

A MARCOM agency can incorporate a strong program of complementary services in a variety of ways to increase services offered, offer integration opportunities, and increase the post-project deployment support. A MARCOM agency can build a stronger complementary services program by discovering the relationships between its different services offerings and marketing the relationships to its clients. Adding additional services that support current services will allow advertising and branding agencies to strengthen the back-end support of its service offerings.

Integration opportunities are also a possibility when creating a strong complementary services program. With the discovery of current and future cross-service relationships, advertising and branding agencies can create a network of integrated marketing services that provide a stronger complementary services system. This more advanced network of integrated marketing services that complement each other will result in a strong increase in communication, collaboration, and efficiencies in a client’s marketing initiatives. The MARCOM agency benefits from an increase in sales from the network of complementary services and a stronger client/agency relationship. The client benefits from a more streamlined marketing program that is managed by a single entity eliminating the need for additional layers and stakeholders in the marketing campaign process.

The Allocation of Service Tasks

Firms are notorious for the misallocation of its production and service tasks. Not being able to utilize personnel, systems, and automation can significantly limit a firm’s product or service efficiencies therefore decreasing the performance of the firm. The medical industry was a major example in the 4 Ways to Reinvent Service Delivery” article that showcased how standard medical visits, treatments, and operations were delivering their services very inefficiently, which in turn hurt the end-user by the increased costs associated with the medical service, as well as, the medial professional itself whose expertise were outweighing its task. Aravind, an Indian eye hospital, is an excellent example of how a firm should allocate its resources by the required expertise. In Aravind Eye Hospital the surgeons only perform about 30% of the eye surgeries conducted in the hospital thus giving a lot of the labor to other non-doctor medical personnel that have the expertise that are more closely aligned with the tasks at hand. In the example of “Aravind Eye Hospital”, the result of improving these resource allocation activities on the task level allows for a more efficient procedural workflow and a lower cost component from the hospital side, which in turn is passed down its patients. These revised task allocation systems in the case of “Aravind Eye Hospital” were naturally developed from the lack of medical professionals in third world countries, as well as, the lower amount of disposable income that could be used for health care needs.

This innovation in service and product workflow can be applied to a variety of industries in both B2B and B2C relationships. Applying this efficient “task = expertise” framework to other organizations that misallocate task resources is important in reducing a variety of value added components that ultimately increase the final product or service. We could apply this framework to their current service workflow by reassessing the reasoning behind what tasks are performed by which team member and if their expertise is properly aligned with its task level. At a glance the implementation of this framework could be used in a variety of service offerings in advertising and branding agencies today in particular its integrated online marketing campaigns.

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