No longer are business relationships mono-directional (the service consumer distant from the service provider) – To create value, an organization must do more than simply provide a service. It must also cooperate with the consumers in service relationships. Typically both the service provider and service consumer will consume a number of services at any given time.
This could be working in closer feedback loops with service consumers to understand exactly how they are using a service and suggest improvements to take advantage of products within the service which might be under-utilized. This close cooperation can also create new opportunities to also build additional service relationships which were previously never considered.
Service relationship model
When services are delivered by the provider, they create new resources for service consumers, or modify their existing ones.
[Real estate example] We can see the clear relationships where a training service relationship is providing certification and knowledge to our brokers. This training and knowledge is translated into value for our end service consumer through a brokerage service offering creating a new service relationship which can include other services (such as marketing a property, appraisals, etc). At the same time the service consumer might also be consuming services from other services providers (such as a mortgage broker, notary public, etc).
Service provisioning are any activities performed by an organization to provide services to the service consumer.
[Real estate example] Our brokers who are well trained will start a clients property search by meeting with a client, understanding the clients criteria and setting up a property alert on a web portal. This service provisioning is the first step so the client will start to receive emails once properties meeting their criteria hit the market. At the same time they are provided with a URL and login information (access to resources) in order to consume the service that was provisioned.
Service consumption are any activities performed by an organization which are needed for services to be consumed.
[Real estate example] Once a property alert has been configured for our clients it is now ready to be consumed. The client logs into the web portal provided by the organization and starts to favorite some properties they are interested in.
Service relationship management
Service relationship management are joint activities performed by the service provider and service consumer to ensure the continual co-creation of value based on the agreed and available service offerings.
[Real estate example] The broker starts to review the properties which the client is interested in. After this they will continue to go back and forth with the client, giving their own feedback and booking future visits. During this time the client might also wish to update their own search criteria which is communicated to the broker and carried out before seeing the updated listings.
Outside of just provisioning and consuming the agreed upon offering, many of our service consumers who are interested in purchasing a property might not be fully aware that they can get a better deal on their current mortgage offered by their bank. Our team will ask the right questions to understand where they are also at with their own financing and make a recommendation to a mortgage broker which could help them achieve a vastly better interest rate.
This relationship not only extends the current service by offering a separate service to help them save money, but also makes the client more likely to recommend us as a service provider based off the positive experience they have received.