You will of product when you think of prototyping, but in reality prototyping refers to anything in the business cycle including service-based businesses. Today we’re going to explore just how exactly you can prototype a service-based business.
Building a Business Cycle for Any Service Based Product
Now as we discussed, prototyping is all about building a cycle, incorporating feedback and refining your idea. So obviously you can do this not just for a physical product, but for any service-based product. Now immediately you may think of legal accounting consulting is your typical service based companies, but really any company that provides continued support is a service-based concept. So if we look at an app concept, most of those companies are also service based companies in addition to their physical apping concept.
First thing that I like to tell people to do is map out every touch point you have with your customer from your first experience, how they find out about you, their evaluation of your service, the sales cycle, and then follow-up support. It’s tempting to have a linear fashion and map things from one point to another but we’re going to show you how to make this circular so that it fits with our prototyping concept.
The first point of contact your customers can have is how they found out about you. What’s their first impression of your website, of your business, and of your concept? Now in the next stage of this video, we’ll talk about audience building and how to get people in to the first point of contact, but for now let’s talk about the general evaluation of what your service or concept is,
Make a Clear Value Proposition for Your Customers
Your consumers are always going to be busy. They don’t have a lot of time to scramble through your website, figure out what jargon you’re using and then evaluate that service that you’re going to perform. The key is clarity: make your value proposition crystal-clear and make your customer want to engage you, whether it be through email, a quote or the actual service evaluation. So let’s say you of the customer who’s interested in your service. They’ve done the evaluation and now they actually want to make the purchase.
Make Your Process Seamless
It’s also important to note that the sales process is also a touch point map. How do you get your customer to pay you and engage with you as quickly and seamlessly as possible? Don’t make them go through various different touch points with creating an account, entering their information, entering the payment information, waiting for confirmation and then engaging the service. You want to streamline this as quickly as possible so that your customer goes from a valuation to engaging in the sale to completing the sale as seamlessly as possible. Let’s not forget all the work that’s gone into getting your customer to your website, having them evaluate your service, actually purchase your service. You actually haven’t begun to fulfill your value yet. At this point, you want to begin to make sure you fulfill every promise that you’ve made to your customer.
Service is what’s going to separate your business from the competition and it’s what’s going to make customers come back to you send you referrals time after time again. So keep in mind that the service part of this touch point is where value is actually created.
Tied to fulfilling the service and providing the value that your customers already purchased from you is providing the support to make sure your customer’s happy with the experience. Support could probably be the most valuable point of this touch map, and we’ll explain why when we take this straight line and make it into a cycle. The key to any business, and any successful business person tell you this, is getting repeat customers. Getting that first customer that enters your site organically, that finds out about you from a friend, to bring them through the process of engaging with the value that your company creates and then re-engaging them so they continue to pay you. Recurring revenues are eight times as profitable as first-time revenues, and recurring revenues are much more likely to add referrals to your business, so keep in mind. You want to have your customer continually engaged so that they reengage with your business continue to support its growth.
About Frank Pobutkiewicz
Frank Pobutkiewicz is the owner and Managing Director of the All-American Model United Nations Programs and Whiteboard Youth Ventures, two education companies that work with high school students from around the world. Over the past six years, Frank has launched or advised the launch of multiple companies, including an international not-for-profit, a consumer electronics company, his two education ventures, and a men’s fashion company, among others.
In 2017, Frank will be publishing a book and multiple games and exercises to help teach entrepreneurship to high school students. His specific views on entrepreneurial education combine skill building, project management, marketplace validation, and rapid prototyping. In addition to teaching and advising, Frank is currently launching three direct-to-consumer product companies and documenting his progress on Medium.
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