Service Innovation Creates Customer Loyalty

Being inspired and inspiring others is an invigorating experience. One of the many things I love about my job is having frequent opportunities to engage with creative, forward-thinking movers and shakers who challenge me to think differently. These types of conversations ignite passion within me and they open my mind to a whole new world of possibilities. I would like to share a story with you that might inspire your thinking.

Last week over lunch I had the great fortune to engage in a stimulating conversation with, Lee-Anne McAlear, Program Director of Schulich’s Centre of Excellence in Innovation, consultant, training specialist, and speaker.  Lee-Anne challenged me to re-think how we describe our business purpose and client services at The Kingbridge Centre. My initial response was, “We are a residential conference centre that offers venue space as well as providing effective meeting engagement strategies and services to our clients to help them expand their thinking.” Lee-Anne encouraged me to think deeper. She then asked me not to start by defining “the what” we do but instead start by defining the “why” and “how” we serve the clients. When I answered these questions in a different order I had one of those ‘aha’ moments. I realized that we aren’t just a conference centre that provides meeting space to clients; we are a solutions centre. In fact, our “Specialness”, our differentiating mojo, is in the “How” we create the customer experience.

I also realized that we are more than hospitality service providers. We are connectors, linking our clients to the right people, the right space, the right expertise, the right experience and the right solution. We have created a place where the ideal conditions exist for new possibilities to bubble up when people and ideas collide. I paused for a moment after answering the questions differently and noticed Lee-Anne had a huge grin on her face. I asked her why she was smiling, “When people hear the word “innovation”, Lisa, they invariably think of product or technological innovation – they think of Apple, for example. While 75% of innovative efforts are indeed in the product/technological space, all that effort delivers only 10% of the value in the market! It is the other types of innovation – process, business model, and SERVICE innovation that deliver the big value. And what you have just captured defines why Kingbridge is a different kind of residential conference venue. You are “Service Innovators” dedicated to continually innovating your clients experience for better business solutions!”

For those of you interested in learning more about Lee-Anne’s methodologies for innovation, here is an article she shared with me or visit her website.