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6 Keys to Creating a Successful Service Delivery Model

If you were to ask any business leader what their primary goals are, “improving customer satisfaction” would likely be high on their list — doubly so for service-based organizations.

In today’s dynamic service environment, where customer expectations continue to rise as competing companies jockey for position, the most effective way for service-based businesses to meet this goal is to reimagine their service delivery model — a process that requires investing in new technology, engaging in new ways of thinking and going deeper to understand customer needs.

In this article, we’ll provide helpful insights into how service-based businesses such as yours can create a successful, multichannel service delivery model — one that meets the needs of your current customers while offering the flexibility to adapt for the future.

What Are Service Delivery Models?
What Are Common Types of Service Delivery Models?
The Changing Landscape of Service Delivery
How Businesses Benefit from a Multi-channel Approach to Service Delivery
6 Tips to Creating a Multichannel Service Delivery Model
How GPT Helps Businesses Build Successful Service Delivery Models

What Are Service Delivery Models?

Search the phrase “What is a service delivery model?” and you’ll find no shortage of generic definitions that sound something like this:

A service delivery model is a framework or approach that an organization uses to provide its products or services to customers or clients. It should outline the processes, methods and strategies an organization must follow in order to deliver its services effectively, efficiently and in accordance with company goals and objectives. These include what the service offering actually is, what resources the organization needs to allocate to support service delivery, quality standards, cost structure and more.

Service delivery models can vary widely across different industries and organizations, depending on the nature of the services they offer and the needs of their customers.

Although every word of this definition is true, it leaves out a key detail: that no matter what industry your company operates in, what services you deliver or who your customers are, your service delivery model should be designed from the customer’s — rather than the business’ — perspective. Put another way, a service delivery model is only one half of a whole, with the other half being relationship-based skills training.

While service delivery models provide the structural framework for how your business delivers services to your customers, relationship-based skills training ensures that your representatives approach every customer interaction with empathy and sensitivity. This is key to the success of any service delivery model because it enables service representatives to understand the full scope of your customers’ pain points and act fast to resolve them, strengthening the customer relationship.

What Are Common Types of Service Delivery Models?

Service delivery models come in many different forms. Here’s a fairly comprehensive list of the different models businesses can use, and how they work.

  • Traditional In-Person Model: As its name implies, this service delivery model involves face-to-face interactions between service representatives and customers at physical locations such as brick-and-mortar stores and service centers. For field service providers, the traditional in-person model also includes on-site visits to the customer’s location.
  • ECommerce Model: A service provider delivers its services through an online platform, enabling customers to purchase and access services via the internet. Depending on the nature of the service being rendered, the eCommerce service delivery model may also come with home delivery options.
  • Subscription Model: Customers pay regular fees — typically on a monthly or annual basis — to access a set of services, thereby creating a recurring revenue stream for the service provider.
  • On-demand Model: The opposite of the subscription model, this service delivery model enables customers to pay for services only when they need them. With the on-demand model, services are often facilitated through digital platforms or mobile applications, providing customers with immediate access to services.
  • Freemium Model: A service provider offers their basic services for free, but makes premium features or content available for a fee, encouraging customers to upgrade for additional functionality.
  • Self-service Model: Customers have the ability to access and utilize services independently without assistance from the service provider, often through online resources or interactive tools.
  • Mobile Application Model: The provider primarily delivers their services through mobile applications, making it convenient for customers to access services via their smartphone or tablet.
  • Franchise Model: An entrepreneur or franchisee operates an individual business location — or, in many cases, multiple locations — under the brand and with the support of the service provider, following established processes and standards.
  • Outsourcing Model: A service provider contracts another external provider to perform specific tasks or deliver certain services on their behalf, often to reduce costs or access specialized expertise.
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Model: Individuals or entities interact directly with one another to exchange services or assets; these interactions are often handled through online P2P platforms.
  • Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Model: A service provider delivers their products or services directly to consumers, bypassing traditional intermediaries such as retailers.
  • Virtual Service Model: A service provider delivers their services through entirely online or virtual means, such as video conferencing or web-based platforms. This service delivery model fully eliminates the need for a physical presence.
  • Hybrid Model: A service provider utilizes multiple service delivery models to meet their goals and the needs of their customers, thereby taking a multichannel approach to service delivery.

The Changing Landscape of Service Delivery

In an era marked by continuous innovation and evolving customer preferences, the service industry is in a state of transformation. Thanks to the proliferation of digital technology and the internet, customers expect convenient, effective and highly personalized service. This has compelled providers to embrace a new approach to service delivery, one that leverages multiple delivery channels to meet the diverse needs and demands of customers.

Technological innovation has played a pivotal role in reshaping service delivery, with mobile applications, online platforms and other digital channels enabling customers to interact with service providers at any hour of the day, from anywhere in the world. Moreover, the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence has enabled businesses to provide more personalized and predictive service offerings, enhancing the overall customer experience and heightening expectations.

Speaking of heightened expectations, customers now seek flexibility in terms of how they access services and engage with businesses, whether it’s through self-service portals, in-person interactions or virtual chats. Multichannel service has become essential to accommodating these diverse preferences, which is why now is the time for service providers to expand their offerings and coverage to include both digital and physical channels.

How Businesses Benefit from a Multichannel Approach to Service Delivery

Changing consumer expectations and technological innovations aren’t the only reasons why a growing number of businesses have adopted a multichannel approach to service delivery. Here are just a few ways your business can tangibly benefit from offering a variety of service delivery models:

  • Increased Accessibility: By adopting a hybrid, multichannel approach to service delivery, you can make your services accessible to a broader audience. This is ideal for service providers looking to grow their business by connecting with new potential customers or expanding into new markets.
  • Increased Customer Engagement: Part of the appeal of a hybrid service delivery model is that it enables you to meet your customers where they are. Rather than guardrail customers into a specific type of interaction, multichannel service delivery offers them the flexibility to interact with your business and receive services through their preferred channels, improving engagement and overall satisfaction.
  • Greater Flexibility: Speaking of flexibility, a multichannel approach to service delivery enables your business to adapt to evolving market conditions, changing customer expectations and emerging technologies. The more agile your company is, the more resilient it will be in the face of disruption, enabling you to more easily recover from setbacks and sustain growth in a competitive environment.
  • Stronger Competitive Standing: From established players to new entrants, the competitive landscape across all industries has become increasingly crowded, making it difficult for businesses to stand out. Multichannel service delivery is one way to differentiate your business because the more channels you support, the more opportunities existing customers have to engage with your company and prospective customers have to learn about your services.
  • Greater Redundancy and Continuity: When a business relies on a single channel, any disruption to that channel could lead to a complete service outage. By adopting a hybrid service delivery model, you can build redundancy into your operations, so that if one channel were to experience issues, customers could still access your services through other available channels.
  • Customer Insights: Last, though certainly not least, with more service channels comes more opportunities to engage with your customers. And with each engagement, you have the chance to “go below the waterline” — a term that we at Global Partners Training have coined to describe the experience of addressing customers’ unspoken concerns and meeting their unmet needs, rather than simply resolving surface level issues. By going below the waterline, service representatives come to truly understand the customers they serve, which strengthens their rapport and leads to longer-lasting customer relationships.

6 Tips to Creating a Multichannel Service Delivery Model

Creating a multichannel service delivery model isn’t as simple as offering your existing services through additional channels — to ensure long-term success, there are a few things you should do before you get started.

  • Do your research, starting with your customers. There are any number of ways to do this, from conducting surveys to collecting data, but the most effective means of uncovering what it is your customers are looking for is by engaging with them directly. Don’t be afraid to go below the waterline to find out what their frustrations are and build your hybrid service delivery model in such a way that it eliminates those frustrations.In addition to learning from your customers, it’s also important that you conduct competitor analysis to see which channels your competitors are successfully leveraging, and market research to identify emerging trends in your industry.
  • Decide which channels to support. Use the results of your customer engagements, competitor analysis and market research to determine which channels make the most sense for your business to support and align best with the services you intend to offer.
  • Map the customer journey. You know which channels you intend to support — but how do you anticipate customers will engage with those channels, and what resources will you need to support them? Mapping the customer journey and the various touch points throughout will help you define your service delivery strategy, allocate the appropriate tools and personnel and even identify opportunities to optimize service.
  • Integrate your systems. From customer relationship management platforms and ticketing systems to eCommerce platforms and workflow automations, there are a wide variety of tools and technologies you can use to support service delivery. You may even use different systems to support different channels. If you do, be sure to work with your solution providers to integrate these systems so that your service representatives can seamlessly share information, and so that your company can deliver a consistent, cohesive customer experience, regardless of which channel a customer is interacting with.
  • Provide your teams with adequate training. Each service delivery model and channel comes with its own set of nuances and challenges, so it’s important that you set your representatives up for success by providing them with the tools and training they need to deliver effective service. This not only includes systems training — new technologies may require some getting used to — but also comprehensive relationship-based training.
  • Put your customers at the heart of everything. This particular bit of advice isn’t specific to setting up new service channels — it should inform absolutely everything your business does. Having a dedicated customer focus and developing a customer-centric culture have a direct impact not only on customer satisfaction, but on business outcomes.

How GPT Helps Businesses Build Successful Service Delivery Models

At Global Partners Training (GPT), we understand that improving customer service and satisfaction is the key to achieving almost any business, from boosting revenue to reducing costs. That’s why we developed Total Customer Focus™ (TCF), a relationship-based family of service training programs that provides service representatives with the skills they need to dig into deeper issues lurking below the waterline and build meaningful customer relationships that add real value for both parties.

We’re firm believers in showing, rather than telling — to see TCF in action, check out any one of our customer success stories. Then, if you’d like to learn even more about TCF, you can set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a member of the GPT team.

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