Monday, January 24, 2005

Innovating services

How to innovate something as intangible as services?

Fast Company’s weblog gives us eight basic principles, courtesy of Jeneanne M. Rae and Tim Olgilvie from Peer Insight:

  1. Create a clear challenge statement, expressed in terms of a customer need, not a business need, that focuses on the "white space."
  2. Do strong ideation: a well-designed, well-facilitated process that includes participation from many departments and disciplines and sources of edge-thinking.
  3. Emphasize developing concepts that combine multiple elements of innovation (from your business model and IT platform to the channel) to increase the impact and distinctiveness of the idea.
  4. Use techniques and structures that counter-balance the natural forces of criticism and risk-aversion.
  5. Employ a design that is guided by a base behavioral model of the customer's underlying needs.
  6. Communicate high aspirations for the overall customer experience to stretch the design team's thinking.
  7. Use customer-centric analytical tools to measure the customer experience.
  8. Make creative use of tangible artifacts to reinforced a distinctive experience, the way an ADT lawn sign signals that service or the way Mini Cooper's roadside assistance service is signaled by its window signs.