The ability to customize our products to meet the needs of our customers better than our competitors. The more you know about what your customers want and what your competitors are doing, the clearer you will be about what to focus on and what to invest in. Getting a breakthrough in terms of innovation can make the difference for a managed services business. This could be a platform-related breakthrough, technology support, or a unique core process supported by skilled professionals. On the other hand, the breakthrough you need is often not an incredibly brilliant idea. Whatever the idea, it is important to involve the customer at an early stage. Don’t invest a lot of time and money without getting feedback from the people you really need to. If you feel that an idea has merit, then work with the client who provided you with the idea.
You can do this for free at first, but then get feedback from the client and adapt. You can also set up an ongoing client advisory council. You could set up an advisory council and make it an integral part of your strategic plan. For me, the most important thing is to move from a whiteboard to a real operational solution. Again, breakthroughs don’t come from internal meeting rooms or the opinions of offer managers, but from the voices of actual operational customers.