Creating value for customers is now about involving them on the journey, getting their feedback and baking it into a product or service. For organizations, this is the evolution from service provider to value co-creator.
This has become especially focused during this period of remote working and restrictions on normal activities.
For example, the idea of remote exercising has powered the Peloton phenomenon along with remote workouts such as the Fight Camp interactive boxing experience. This has proven that you can obtain services to help keep in shape at home without investing in an entire home gym. And, in terms of cost, it probably works out at less than you might spend with a gym membership over time.
In a business environment – particularly with IT services – virtually every business is now an IT business, whether you’re in banking or brewing beer. Meeting the service needs of these organizations is now more about tailoring the technology to their specific needs rather than trying to wrap an off-the-shelf tech product around what they’re doing. This agile approach is happening more than ever and, for customers, is preferable to the “take it or leave it” stance in previous times.
Providers are always looking for ways to monetize their business and, clearly, the best way is to be embedded with the customer. This is even more essential as the internet has driven the customer’s involvement in co-creation of value, for example through review sites and social media. Where the message was once “buyer beware!”, it’s now shifted to “seller beware!”.
Why build co-creation into ITIL® 4?
The appearance of value co-creation in ITIL 4 has been, in my experience, welcomed and adopted within organizations.
However, those businesses whose take-up is inconsistent or not happening at all, will either evolve, transform into different businesses or fail.
We can see this played out in the organizations supporting people working from home during Covid-19. For example, Zoom is making changes to its product with constant, new releases to update user experience, such as the number of people allowed in meetings, screen backgrounds, etc. The company’s response to customer needs – releasing new things fast and often – is making remote working both more do-able and enjoyable.
Part of value co-creation in ITIL 4 is its focus on continual improvement within the service value chain. This ensures that companies and individual employees are constantly working to improve the service they’re providing and striving to offer something new or different.
Take the example of Nike and its approach to continual improvement: a company as successful as this could, potentially, lean back and produce similar kinds of shoes year after year; instead, it uses constant innovation to create better and better running shoes.
What’s important to remember about co-creation of value is if you’re not doing it, then one or more of your competitors will be. Customers’ expectations are not reducing any time soon.
More and more industries need to recognize this reality and be part of the disruption rather than being on the receiving end of it.