Service today seems to be about doing something to somebody. We deliver a package to you. We send a tow to you. We install an appliance at your house. We send a technician to fix your airplane.
The prepositions in each of the above sentences imply a one-way relationship - doing something to you or at you.
But, those who study the science of service understand that service is a two-way street. Value in a service is created collaboratively between the provider and the recipient. [Service Dominant Logic - Axiom 2]
When we deliver your package, provide you a tow, install your appliance, or fix your airplane, you, the beneficiary, are part of what enables that service to be a success. We may need your help getting to your door, sending the right kind of truck to your location, understanding where to hook up the appliance, and the flight history of your aircraft.
So service should be about doing something for somebody collaboratively. And to collaborate, you need to communicate both ways and among everyone in the service ecosystem who has a role to play in delivering the service.
Yet, today, we check the box by telling you the driver is on their way and giving the driver instructions on how to get there. We have a model of the world and how to deliver the service successfully. We assume there’s no need for collaboration to deliver the service successfully. In the interest of scale and efficiency, we eliminate the possibility for communication between you and your driver and the dispatcher who sent the driver on their way.
We leave half of the people - you, the customer - out of every service.
You aren’t given a means to communicate quickly, efficiently, within the time constant of the service delivery, with the rest of the service ecosystem that needs to know what you know. As a result, we create a brittle system that breaks with the slightest variation.
What if, instead, we honored the understanding that service is a collaboration? What if we naturally included everyone who was necessary for the service to succeed in a conversation with everyone else for the duration of the service? If everyone could communicate instantly with everyone else when they needed information or had new information to share, would the system bend instead of break? Would your service never fail?
In a typical delivery scenario if a customer is not home, the driver would contact dispatch, dispatch would try to contact the customer all the while keeping the driver waiting. With a conversation approach, the customer can instantly notify dispatch that they are not home, dispatch can bring the driver into the conversation with the customer and they can coordinate a delivery time.
Check out Riptide
Riptide is the messaging platform for failure-free service and delivery. Our 3-way text messaging automatically brings everyone, who needs to be, in on the conversation. Whether you provide a few complex services a day or tens of thousands of deliveries a day, Riptide can help you efficiently achieve a truly failure-free experience for your customers and your clients.
Imagery from StorySet by Freepik.