What if you could design a service proposition once and use it for multiple customer segments, meeting needs arising in different situations? Then you would have the initial ingredients of what we at Neos Chronos call a "polymorphic service proposition" (abbreviated as PSP). This article provides a quick introduction into the concept and highlights a number of reasons why a CEO, CMO, CTO of a company should care to learn more and act.
To clarify the notion of polymorphism in the context of service propositions we will use the following 3 examples. The title of each example reflects the mechanics / underlying implementation of the proposition, while the text describes the user experience.
1. REVERSE-CHARGED CALL HUNTING
Consumer: A mobile carrier offers a children safety service, as a "Call the Parent" phone number. Charges for this service are paid by the parents. A call to the number rings consecutively each parent, optionally assigned family relatives, and finally a dedicated 24/7 emergency number to ensure calls from children to their parents are always answered.
Enterprise: An company offers clients a no-charge "Contact Sales" number. When a client calls the number, it rings consecutively all members of the sales team. If no one is available to answer, the call is forwarded to a 24/7 line so that the client can always reach the company.
2. PERSISTENT COLLABORATION
Consumer: A Communications Application shows the thread of messages, files, voice calls and videos exchanged between users whenever a communication session is set up. This provides the communicating parties with a quick context of the previous interactions.
Enterprise: A Contact Center Operator Console brings up the history record for a calling client. This allows the operator to review previous interactions and handle client issues faster.
3. GUEST SERVICE LOGIN
Consumer: A WiFi Router with a "guest login" feature is used at home to offer an easy login for friends visiting the family without revealing the router's password.
Enterprise: A WiFi Router with a "guest login" feature is used at a small startup / company to provide WiFi access to visiting clients and partners.
There are many more such examples that can be "uncovered" or "invented". In fact, every well-designed software makes use of polymorphism techniques to add flexibility, and reduce duplication. The reason why such cases are becoming obvious at the service proposition level originates from a simple yet intriguing
The consumer and enterprise personas and their associated behaviours are converging. This is due to the exposure of Millennials from young age to technology, and the natural resulting convergence of usage patterns in every service being created to serve their needs. The "surfacing" of more and more polymorphic service propositions simply reflects our evolved ability to recognise these common and reusable service patterns (which always existed within well-designed software).
The reason a CEO, CMO, CTO of a company should care about PSPs is that thinking and acting in terms of polymorphic service propositions has several benefits:
An organisation needs to take a number of transformational steps to take full advantage of polymorphic service propositions. Here are some indicative examples in the context of Communication Service Providers:
The consumer and enterprise personas and their associated behaviours are converging. This is due to the exposure of Millennials from young age to technology, and the natural resulting convergence of usage patterns in every service being created to serve their needs. The "surfacing" of more and more polymorphic service propositions simply reflects our evolved ability to recognise these common and reusable service patterns (which always existed within well-designed software). To fully benefit from polymorphic service propositions it is necessary to critically review the technology strategy and the organisational division between consumer and enterprise marketing and move from offering silo-service propositions towards offering integrated user experiences.