Profiting from Services and Solutions

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Leaders of product-based companies are under an enormous pressure to stay competitive by shifting revenues from selling goods to delivering services and solutions. Yet few executives realize the extent to which they must change their organizations to succeed in growth through services. In this webcast, Dr. Mary Jo Bitner, Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Services Leadership at W. P. Carey School of Business and Dr. Steve Brown, Emeritus Professor and Strategic Partner of the INSIGHT Group, talk about their new book Profiting from Services and Solutions: What Product-Centric Firms Need to Know, which draws on the authors’ years of academic research and consulting work with several Fortune 100 member companies.

In the webcast, the authors introduce “The Service Infusion Continuum” framework and highlight two of the six important success factors, Capabilities and Collaboration with Customers, that are critical for product-centric companies in their business transformation as they move along the continuum from products toward higher valued services and solutions.

Foundational research for the book was sponsored by the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University and several of its Fortune 100 member companies. Profiting from Services and Solutions: What Product-Centric Firms Need to Know is available on Amazon and Business Express Press website.

Our readers are invited to receive a special offer on the book from the CSL partner, International Society of Service Professional (ISSIP). The International Society of Service Innovation Professionals promotes the professional development, education, research, practice, and policy work of its member individuals and institutions working hard to improve our world’s diverse, interconnected, complex service systems.

To receive special book offer from ISSIP, follow the steps below.

Show you care: initiating co-creation in service recovery

NLP-course-for-customer-serviceBy Dr. Yingzi Xu

Customers are no longer passive receivers of service offerings from companies, but rather value creators themselves. Companies realize that involving customers in service production and co-production is a cost-saving strategy and an effective way to satisfy customers. Co-production expands to co-design of new services as well as to co-recovery, which allows companies and their customers to work together to find a solution in the event of a service failure.

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25 Years of the Compete Through Service Symposium – an interview with Dr. Mary Jo Bitner


Pictures from CTS 2013

This November in Scottsdale Arizona, business executives, academic faculty and students from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds will come together to be part of the 25th Annual Compete Through Service Symposium, hosted by the Center for Services Leadership (CSL). 25 years ago, it started with humble beginnings – the CSL had crafted a presentation at the request of its board of advisors to present the latest knowledge in what was then a new field: the study of services as a source of competitive advantage in the marketplace. The CTS Symposium is now widely considered to be one of the foremost business conferences in the services field in the world. We speak now with Dr. Mary Jo Bitner, Professor and Executive Director for the Center for Services Leadership, on this year’s program, the enduring as well as the newest topics in services, and on the Compete Through Service Symposium experience.

Q:  This year’s Symposium is structured around three main topic areas in the services arena – Service Innovation, Customer Experience and Engagement, and Service Revenue and Growth. Could you tell us a bit more about these themes and how they were chosen? Continue reading

Service-Dominant Logic in a Nutshell

LuschBy Robert F. Lusch

There is no other Business than a Service Business

Ingrained in our mindset, through schooling, industry practices and government accounting is the belief that the economy consists of primary or extractive industries such as mining, fishing, forestry and farming; secondary industries such as manufacturing which takes the outputs from primary industries and produce stuff (units of manufactured goods); and tertiary industries, referred to as services, which are essentially defined in contradistinction to what is not primary or secondary or what is not “tangible” or “goods” like. These industries include finance, insurance, government, transportation, wholesaling and retailing, education, healthcare and many others. These industries produce intangible units of output vs. the primary and secondary produce tangible units of output. In Service-dominant logic (S-D logic) Steve Vargo and I show that is blatantly incorrect. Continue reading

When Technology Gets in the Way of Customer Service

security_perch_business_img_bbBy Nancy J. Sirianni

It is increasingly rare for customers to complete retail or service transactions without swiping their own credit cards or engaging with point-of-sale terminals. From hotel check in kiosks to tableside tablet computers in restaurants, firms are implementing customer-facing devices in service situations in landmark numbers. It’s no wonder, as frontline technology infusion, or the practice of deploying technology into service encounters, enhances efficiency between employees and customers. From a productivity standpoint, the benefits of technology infusion are clear — but what happens when a firm’s use of technology collides with its customer service strategy? Continue reading

Demystifying The Black Box – How To Design, Manage, And Measure The Most Profitable Customer Experience (CX) Strategies

BBS  Philipp Klaus 1A copyBy Phil Klaus

CX blogs, consultants, programs, workshops, conferences, indexes, frameworks, awards, summits, metrics, NPS – CX is everywhere and widely considered the next competitive battleground. Managers, consultants, scholars, and even politicians seem to agree that the age of the customer has finally arrived and we are better going to be ready for it. The new customer needs new solutions, and blue chips companies like Siemens, IBM, Adobe, Google are standing by, ready to deliver. CRM is proclaimed dead, and CX management in an area where the customer calls the shots is the declared new silver bullet for companies worldwide. Managers read the great CX stories of Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks, and are left wondering how this will apply to their business? Moreover, while we still struggle to coherently define what constitutes CX, we already discuss the next generation of CX management, the role of social media, cloud networks in delivering excellent experiences in the CX revolution you tube channel. Continue reading

How Customer Participation in B2B Peer-to-Peer Problem Solving Communities Influences the Need for Traditional Customer Service

Bone_SterlingBy Sterling Bone

Can peer-to-peer interactions in a customer support community reduce the need for one-on-one traditional customer support service? New research sponsored by Arizona State’s Center for Services Leadership and published in the Journal of Service Research (JSR) attempts to address this question. Firms that leverage the collective wisdom and knowledge in their customer communities quickly see how promoting peer-to-peer problem-solving can result in greater operational efficiencies – ultimately driving financial outcomes for the firm.

Providing fast and helpful customer support service is critical for all service firms. To address customer problems, firms offer a range of support services providing customer help needed before, during, and after purchase. For business-to-business (B2B) relationships, many companies are increasingly turning to firm hosted collaborative technologies, like virtual peer-to-peer problem solving (P3) communities, to fulfill some of their customer service needs. For many years, the traditional outlet for support or problem solving has been this one-to-one customer support model in which the customer calls a customer service agent to solve a problem or answer a question. Continue reading