One of the most influential shifts in the business world in recent history is XaaS: Everything (X) As A Service. We see this model reflected in everything from entertainment (Netflix), to software (Adobe). Gone are the days of buying an individual product. Today, for a subscription, we contract a service that evolves with our needs.
Geoffrey Moore, in his article: The Product-Service Shift Comes in Several Flavors: Which One is Yours?, remarks that this change in value delivery from product to service is “… the most profound change in enterprise computing in this century to date…”
Watching the XaaS evolution unfold over the past decade, I am surprised at the businesses and industries that have not yet adjusted to this new value paradigm. Simply selling a product and walking away is no longer acceptable when competitors provide services that bring continuous value to the customer.
Indeed, Service means more than just getting paid for your time and IP; it means taking responsibility for the success of the customer, and doing whatever it takes to help them achieve maximum value.
Here are four touchstones we keep in mind at Mereo, as we serve our customers and provide them with maximum value:
- I need to understand my customer’s pains – Business, Financial, and Personal pains. I must actively LISTEN to them, uncover their pains, and reflect back to my customer that I have heard and understood them.
- I must relate my customer’s pains to their root business causes (synthesize).
- I need to constantly be familiar with leading practices in my customer’s industry, and how these leading practices are to be employed by my customer to eliminate their business problems (integrate, analyze, recommend & / or develop solutions.)
- I need to help my customer navigate and implement various choices for improvement (even if the solutions do not come from my business and personally benefit me.) By helping my customer achieve the solution that most relieves their business pain, they will realize value.
The success of the customer must become your personal goal, and you must shoulder that responsibility. By embracing your customer’s success as your personal goal, you create rare, unforgettable service that will keep your clients coming back to you as their trusted advisor.
This is why, at Mereo, we seek to serve, not to sell.