Before I talk about how to productize services, I want you to imagine a situation that’s sure to ring a bell.
You have a lot of work, a lot of clients have hired your services, and you’re overwhelmed. You don’t know where to start.
It’s an unpleasant feeling because everything gets out of your control, and one of the solutions you can implement is to productize your services.
WHAT’S WITH PRODUCTIZING SERVICES?
First of all, let’s look at the differences between products and services.
A product is somewhat standardized, inflexible and tangible; that is, it can be measured in some way.
The services are adapted to the customer, they are more tailor-made, and above all intangible, which makes every time you have to provide the same service, everything is different.
What about this? For a product can always be sold and delivered in the same way and following the same procedure – more or less – and service does not.
In short, the sale of a product is more scalable than that of a service.
At this point, what are productizing services?
It’s not about making the service more uncompromising; it’s about detecting parts of the process that are systematized and that offer a benefit for you and your customer.
BENEFITS OF PRODUCTIZING SERVICES
The usual thing in the provision of professional services is that there is a small part of the process that is systematized (about 10%) and the rest (around 90%) is work developed by or in collaboration with the client.
Thus, the central premise when it comes to productizing services should be to increase the percentage of systematization (benefit to you) and decrease the customer’s participation in tasks that contribute nothing to the final result of the service provided. Therefore, at the end of the process of productizing services, we will obtain repeatable, standardized, and automated tasks that speed up the provision of the service and increase the value perceived by the customer.
Other benefits to mention include:
- Reliability: Productizing services means eliminating superfluous steps, shortening times, and also reducing critical points where mistakes can be made.
- Tangibility: By standardizing the procedures, we managed to make some parts that weren’t measurable before.
- Scalability: If you do it right, you’ll have a replicable service delivery map, which makes it more scalable, because you need fewer resources to get the same results.
- Differentiation: One way to differentiate yourself from the competition and stand out can be to productize services, and it can be decisive for the positioning of your brand.
- Outsourcing: Developing a guide on how to provide a service and document it is essential to be able to outsource some of the provision of the same so that your business will be even more scalable and you will be able to work with more customers without burden.
7 STEPS TO PRODUCTIZE SERVICES
The time has come. If you’re convinced by what you’ve read so far, which isn’t incompatible with the traditional way of doing it, I encourage you to try implementing this guide to productize services:
#1 SETS A GOAL THAT INCREASES VALUE FOR THE CUSTOMER
If you are going to productize services, the first thing you have to ask yourself is what your client is going to win with the change, because this should be your primary goal. For example, imagine that you are a graphic designer specialized in corporate image design. Usually, you call your client and hold a phone chat before you start your work, in which he gives you his tax details (to the bill) and in which you do a short interview with typical questions to get an idea of what exactly he wants.
You find this talk time-consuming, which isn’t right for you or your client (you both have more to do), so your goal may be to reduce this time.
#2 DEFINES WHICH PARTS OF THE PROCESS YOU CAN SYSTEMATIZE
What tasks are always repeated in the provision of your services?
Write them down, because they will be the main element that will help you be more effective in your work.
In the example above, if you always make an initial call and always ask the same thing, you can rate these ideas:
- To arrange the time of the market, you can use utilities such as Calendly or Doodle, which facilitate this process and avoid unnecessary email exchanges to coordinate agendas.
- Instead of a call, you can use Skype and record the session and then review it.
- If you want to avoid the initial call, because you have detected that neither you nor your client gives you value, you can send him a form to fill out and then meet with him to verify everything.
#3 THE KEY TO PRODUCTIZING SERVICES: MAP THE PROCESS
What steps do you take when doing your work?
A key element for productizing services is creating a process map.
There is no need to complicate your life; you simply have to review each of the steps you follow in providing the service and document them. So you can better identify the critical points of your work.
This analysis is valid for both the customer prospecting process and the service itself, and even customer service.
My recommendation is that you do this while doing a job, and here are a few ideas on how to do it:
- Record yourself while you’re doing the job. This way, you can play and document all the steps. You can use tools like Jing, ScreenFlow, or Camtasia.
- Take screenshots if you can’t record them, select images from the process that you can then document. I recommend you clarify this.
- Design a flowchart. If your work is more offline, this method may be right for you. Grab a pencil and paper and start diagramming each step of providing your services. If you prefer to do this on your computer, you can use Cacoo.
#4 AUTOMATE WHAT YOU CAN WITH ONLINE TOOLS
I’ve given you clues to this before with the example of the logo designer and how to automate appointments for calls, meetings, or other interactions.
To productize services is to inform you to automate everything you can, and the internet offers you thousands of options to do so.
#5 DESIGN A CLOSED PRICING PLAN
Another advantage of productizing services is that it allows you to control costs (time, effort and money), and therefore offer closed prices.
Now you will be able to list the characteristics and benefits of your services with their corresponding price, without having to waste so much time on preparing budgets because everything is more delimited.
Easier for you, clearer for the customer.
#6 FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Everything tangible must have a positive emotional impact on the customer.
- If you have a data collection form, its design should be eye-appealing and easy to complete.
- If you provide documentation after the provision of the service, the presentation must be unique.
Productizing services also means improving the customer experience, and for this reason, you have to take care of the details to the fullest.
#7 INVOLVE YOUR COLLABORATORS
In addition to training your collaborators, engage them in the process of productizing services. They may give you a point of view that you’ve overlooked.
Especially implore them in the philosophy that is the engine of all this work, which is nothing more than offering more value to the customer.
Now you no longer have an excuse to productize services and make your business more scalable. And if you have any questions, I’ll wait for you in the comments.