When is the best time to improve an existing product or service? When customers are complaining about it? When sales wane? When it has become so predictable it blends into the background of the industry? When analysts start writing off your company as yesterday’s news?
Let’s think about this from a different angle.
La Maison Troisgros is the most celebrated Michelin Three Star restaurant in the world, having held that distinction for an uninterrupted 50 years. Established in 1930 and located just northwest of the French gatonomic capital, Lyon, its signature dish, the Salmon And Sorrel, is often credited for its swift rise to fame. The dish relies on accurate execution of steps in astonishingly precise increments. Fifteen seconds of searing, kitchen to customer service within twelve seconds, customer plate arrival to first bite within six to seven seconds. If one aspect of the process is delayed it jeopardizes the quality of the entire dish. Culinary mastery at its finest. However, with mastery often comes ego and that can stealthily stunt innovation. In 1995 Michael Troisgros, the head chef and owner of Maison, removed the dish from the menu; stunning customers, critics and competitors alike. Many considered it a foolhardy mistake, potentially catastrophic to the business and a pall on the legacy his father had worked so doggedly to create.
Troisgros argued that we can only innovate with knowledge and it is knowledge that fuels movement towards the future. Knowledge can be throttled when we become dependent on mastering one thing and, he believed, it is knowledge that offers the path to survival and growth. Twenty-three years and three Michlen Stars later, Troisgros stands by his decsision.
Best time to improve a service is when it is publicly perceived as being at the top of its game:
While there is no rarified rating system in the technology services industry, those of us who are knee deep in it are nevertheless proud of the hardworking technical services consultants that populate software and hardware vendor teams across the customer landscape. They just keep doing their thing. Quietly. Professionally. Precisely. Successfully. Time after time.
At the moment, customers are thrilled that they are able to measurably prove positive results from the service engagement and the services and product teams operate in harmony. Maybe then, like Troisgros, the world of technical services should embrace success when it’s most apparent by choosing to make it even better. Which is exactly what the Expert Services arm of Oracle Marketing Cloud has done.
Technology reaches its potential through the people using it
When you’re in a position of goodwill with customers, it affords you the opportunity to examine what’s going well and what can be improved. Where are there gaps? What’s on the horizon that could pose a significant challenge for our customers? We are able to enhance our popular service, because we can get ahead of the need we expect our customers to increasingly face as they grapple with the rapidly changing dimensions of impact that come with deploying top-shelf technology in a disruptive business world.
As we (admittedly, a little drily) put it in our literature, our service “provides digital transformation consulting for the Oracle Marketing Cloud technologies you’ve invested in and for the implications and changes associated with the people and processes that manage and support them.” In other words, technology offers many wonders, but as anyone who has been at this game for a while can attest, it’s not the complete story. Simply stated, we believe that technology solutions are only as powerful as the brains that utilize them.
As a corollary to that, we also believe that innovation can only happen when superior technology is governed by superior intellect. If you are a service provider, you want to help your customers create the right environment in which to design optimal processes that leverage the most appropriate features of the invested technology. For example, at Oracle Marketing Cloud, we’re already leaders in delivering to market the best marketing automation technology. Now, we want to make sure we couple that with the best guidance for customers using that technology to equip, structure, and position themselves to leverage the platform to the fullest potential
Think of it this way, we can help our customers understand how they can heighten the value proposition of content marketing, for example, by ensuring they: hire right, focus on messaging that supports and advances the corporate vision, arm the team with the right data elements, and integrate their strategy with the larger marketing organization. This is the holistic approach we adopt when working with clients.
So now, even if our customers aren’t yet thinking about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Blockchain, we are and we’re evolving our practice to incorporate appropriate guidance around those more modern concepts for our customers. See this piece by Mark Hurd, Oracle’s CEO, in which he discusses how he and the company think about those technologies.
While the Michlen level fine dining scene continues to evolve, so do worlds of commerce and government. Customer needs and desires can change with very little warning; what was once a perfect fit for them might not seem quite right. It is crucial to anticipate the needs of your customers, where they want to go and what they will need in order to get there. That’s what we’ll be doing.
Check out how Oracle Marketing Cloud Expert Services could supplement and weild your technology stack for the best results!
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