Technological innovations, no matter how game-changing they are, generate value for businesses only after they are understood and deployed and their potential is exploited. Therefore, services that support customers to realise the value of technology are essential and highly appreciated. Involving customers, not only users, while integrating the technology with the business also facilitates a smoother adaptation.
People look at technological developments very differently. Engineers and technology companies are excited about them, while customers are unsure about the cost and risks and therefore hesitant to adopt.
For customers, technology is a tool to do a job for them or to serve their business. Adopting a new technology can make life easier but can also create confusion. A service thinking approach helps technology companies get customers on board so that they embrace the innovations.
Understand, deploy, exploit
Customers find a technology useful if they understand it. They must also be able to successfully deploy it, fully adapt to it and exploit the potential the technology offers. Providers of innovative technologies should help their customers go through these phases. Therefore, supporting your customers to integrate the technology into their business is highly valued.
When technology offers return on investment
From a technology company’s point-of-view, value is created at the moment when the technology is sold. But from a customer perspective, a technology starts offering a return on investment after it is implemented long after the sales. Therefore, the key moment in this seller-buyer relationship is not the sales, but when the customer sees the value being delivered.
Beyond the users
Technology companies might find it easy to think about their users while innovating. However, they find it challenging to also take into account of the thoughts, feelings and experiences of other stakeholders such as buyers and business managers. Their understanding of the technology and their involvement facilitate a much smoother deployment and adaptation, because they also understand the value of the technology to their business, not just to the users.
Services are not afterthoughts
Services are essential for any complex technical products or solutions. They are highly valued by customers because these services support them to deploy a technology and exploit its potential, creating value for their business. That way, customers realise they are not just buying a product, but a solution with the services they need.