Service strategy

Does service should have its own strategy? What a stuff - many heads would say/ They just repair equipment and nuts twist. What is the point to hammer their heads with some plans, figures, analytics. We have no strategy either in the sales: the customer called, the discount was made, sold it. Well, sometime went to the exhibitions, made some cold call. That's the whole sales strategy. A service doesn’t need that all in general.

A similar approach is typical for 80% of Russian companies. The truth is that, the number of those who copy Western models of business organization is gradually increasing, with increasing competition. Those who do not want to stay on the sidelines, take successful techniques for the basis and modify them to suit the specifics of their company. The understanding gradually comes that all these figures, graphs, competitive analysis, etc. all these are really connected with the money coming into the account of the company. This is not just the scenery in Hollywood films.

Why services strategies are not used In Russia?

Managers and owners who started a business in the 90s attribute their success to luck, personal connections, or simply: “we were at the right time in the right place”. “Successfully grabbed it in due time,” one businessman told me. But luck can't last forever. And “grab” is becoming harder and riskier. This practice cannot support the company every day. The system is needed. We need a long-term plan with a lot of details that even the most ingenious manager cannot keep in his head. And no plan makes sense if it is not embodied in practice, the benchmarks (what was wanted in a year - and what was got in reality) are not compared, and the plan itself, is not adjusted for current reality.

After managers understand the convenience of “getting the plan out of their head”, explaining it to their employees and analyzing all the “pitfalls”, they often start to go to other extremes: try to find a “magic pill” with the help of expensive consultants promising gold mountains, to raise in several months the company's profit to transcendental peaks.

When such an approach fails (and this is natural, because it’s impossible to get such a result in a couple of months, nor what planning will replace the routine work on changes, professional consultants never promise you this), business owners are disappointed in all these “consultants” and “strategists. " They coming back to proven schemes with kickbacks, dumping and total savings, forget about the long-term strategy and continue to live for today. The managers, playing the role of chain dogs, are coming back and army discipline is established in the company, instead of the “democratic approaches” of Western companies that have not justified themselves. The owners are even ready to get along with the theft of top managers, so that they force others to work and allow the owners to use their time as often as possible for traveling and for their family, and not for work.

Building a service strategy

By the way, the “democratic approaches” of Western companies are far from such “democratic”, they are simply more advanced systems, in which control is exercised not at the level of a single manager, but at the level of departments, which virtually eliminates theft. At the same time, for “squeezing the juice” and more efficient work, not real money is used, but complex grading and professional development systems that force people to work for the future. Such systems cannot be implemented in a business that lives in the same day and in conditions of an army dictatorship. Such a transformation can be compared with the transition from the use of a stone ax to the invention of airships in the evolution of mankind. And it takes time, at least 4 to 6 months for implementation and the same to stabilize changes in the average size of the company (up to 500 people). An attempt to get results in a couple of months in 90% of cases is doomed to failure.

Disappointed in building a strategy for sales, business owners do not even try to use the principles of long-term planning in the service. Meanwhile, the service is much more suitable for the implementation of "business as a system" than sales. It is less dependent on external factors. Equipment needs maintenance and repair always, and even in a crisis.

Moreover, a competent service strategy allows you to use the crisis to your advantage, gaining access to the equipment of competitors and their customers, ultimately increasing the sales of equipment and their market share.