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Service Innovation: How to Go from Customer Needs to Breakthrough Services

Service Innovation: How to Go from Customer Needs to Breakthrough Services

4.5 2
by Lance Bettencourt

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Advance praise for Service Innovation:

"To the CEOs of all service companies I deal with: READ THIS BOOK!" — Dave Wascha, senior director, Bing Product Management, Microsoft Corporation

"Lance Bettencourt deftly blends his academic and consulting experience to provide an example-rich, readable, practical, and innovative discussion of


Advance praise for Service Innovation:

"To the CEOs of all service companies I deal with: READ THIS BOOK!" — Dave Wascha, senior director, Bing Product Management, Microsoft Corporation

"Lance Bettencourt deftly blends his academic and consulting experience to provide an example-rich, readable, practical, and innovative discussion of service innovation." — Leonard Berry, coauthor of Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic

"Provides the robust framework to design services that unlock growth opportunities for every business." — Lance Reschke, vice president, Ceridian Corporation

"The tools and guidance in this book will inspire companies, small and large, to create effective and innovative services that are desperately needed." — Mary Jo Bitner, Ph.D., W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, and coauthor of Services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm

"Cracks the code from the fuzzy front end through the complete life cycle of Service Innovation." — Angelo Rago, division vice president, Global Customer Services, Abbott Medical Optics

"Filled with rich examples of how firms can innovate service through helping customers get jobs done." — Stephen W. Brown, Ph.D., W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

"Any leader intent on providing distinctive value to customers must read Service Innovation." — Michael Reynolds, staff vice president, Commercial Marketing, WellPoint, Inc.

If there’s one truism about the service sector, it's that businesses don't succeed by inventing a better mousetrap; they succeed by finding the best, most cost-effective way to get rid of their customers' mice.

In industries ranging from heavy machinery to health care to financial services to consumer goods, service innovation is helping businesses find new revenue streams—and enhance existing ones—by satisfying their customer's need to get things done.

Few understand this better than Lance Bettencourt,
a strategy adviser at Strategyn and a leading educator in management innovation consulting. And in Service Innovation, Bettencourt gives a master's class on the art and science of creating breakthrough service products.

True service innovation demands that you shift the focus away from the solution and back to the customer. To achieve this shift in your business—one that takes you from making educated guesses to building a clear model to guide service innovation—Bettencourt instructs on the finer points of how to rethink your approach to the customer's needs: how the customer defines value in a product or service.

Bettencourt mines nearly 20 years' experience in teaching and advising clients with service- and product-dominant businesses to demonstrate proven ways you can build, streamline, and focus your company's service product innovation processes.

Among the numerous key ideas and practices are:

  • Insight on understanding the different types of clients you serve—and how your products deliver value to them
  • Ways to design specific frameworks for discovering service innovation opportunities for new, improved, and supplementary service products
  • Practical guidance on staying focused on the "fuzzy front end" of service innovation
  • The fundamental elements of a winning service strategy

Finding new ways to help people solve problems and get things done is why there are goods and services in the first place. And in Service Innovation, Lance Bettencourt fills a vital need by delivering the essential guide that can put your business on the latest frontier of value creation.

Product Details

McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.28(w) x 6.46(h) x 1.07(d)

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Meet the Author

Lance Bettencourt, PhD, brings a combination of academic rigor and practical insight to the innovation process. A former professor of marketing at Indiana University, he is an expert in product and service innovation, marketing strategy, and research design and analysis.

As a thought leader on the topic of marketing strategy and innovation, Dr. Bettencourt has published dozens of articles on marketing strategy and innovation in both academic and practitioner publications. Recent contributions including The Customer-Centered Innovation Map (Harvard Business Review, May 2008), Giving Customers a Fair Hearing (Sloan Management Review, Spring 2008), and Client Co-Production in Knowledge Intensive Business Services (California Management Review, Summer 2002).

As a Strategyn senior consultant, Dr. Bettencourt has supported innovation initiatives at some of the world's leading companies, including Microsoft


Colgate-Palmolive, Hewlett-Packard Company, State Farm Group, TD Bank Financial Group, Kimberly-Clark, Advanced Medical Optics, Mead Johnson Nutritionals (a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb), Chiquita Brands, and Ethicon Endo-Surgery (a division of Johnson & Johnson).

In addition, Dr. Bettencourt is a key member of Strategyn's education division. He is a regular teacher/mentor at the Strategyn Institute and has provided customized education programs to Rockwell Collins, Neenah Paper, Trend Micro, Masco


and Covidien.

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Service Innovation: How to Go from Customer Needs to Breakthrough Services 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ZoliPiroska More than 1 year ago
If there is a takeaway from this book, it is that innovation is not art, it is science. You can learn it, you can be trained how to innovate and you can control the process of innovation. In today's world it is absolutely critical for most organizations to innovate as that is how they create sustainable competitive advantages. As such, you cannot afford to think of innovation as an unmanageable proces, an art form as that leaves your ability to sustain your competitive advantage up to little more than luck. Lance Bettencourt's book provides insight into an extremely practical approach to manage your innovation process and by applying his methodology you can create innovative and competitive services. One of the key things the book argues is that your customers articulate their needs by communicating solutions or desired solutions, which help you little in creating new services. Ultimately what the consumer wants is not a solution, but rather they have an objective they want to accomplish by using a solution. This objective, Mr. Bettencourt refers to as a job; your customers want to get a job done. For example, people use a credit card because they want to make a payment. For each job there are one or more metrics by which your customers measure how well they do on that job. These metrics the book refers to as outcomes. Outcomes for making a payment may be convenience, accuracy, time it takes to make a payment, etc. These jobs and outcomes are independent of solutions and independent of technology and do not even change much over time. 100 years ago people wanted to make payments and they cared about the convenience, accuracy and the time it took for such payments to be made. Lance Bettencourt's book argues that it is this mindset that can enable you to collect the right information from your customers which you can use to come up with innovative solutions. If you deeply understand what jobs your customers want to accomplish and how they measure the success of their ability to accomplish those jobs, you can easily gather information on what jobs are important for them and what those jobs are for which they have inadequate solutions. You will in fact understand how they measure such inadequacy. Once you are equipped with this information you can focus your internal resources on coming up with alternative solutions that address those particular jobs. In some cases your solutions may be completely different than the incumbent solutions (i.e. cars vs horses to get the job of transporting people from point A to point B) and in some cases they will be evolutionary. In all cases, however, you will have a pretty clear map of what you are trying to accomplish with the innovation and by what metrics your customers will judge you. Lance Bettencourt makes your innovation process predictable. If you are in a decision making capacity about your company's services (or products for that matter), I highly recommend that you read this book. You will be able to use it as a reference for decision making for years to come.