Customer service blooming at Voeu

A flower may not seem like the obvious metaphor for project service delivery. However, Voeu believes that the flowers of service could transform the model for project delivery.

A flower may not seem like the obvious metaphor for project service delivery. However, Voeu believes that the flowers of service could transform the model for customer service project delivery.

The traditional service delivery concept is evolving, and infrastructure project delivery is no exception.

By adopting a customer-centric approach, delivery contractors can significantly enhance the perceived value of their services. Recognising that project delivery extends beyond physical assets to include relationships and experiences is essential. A holistic perspective can lead to improved customer satisfaction and better project outcomes.

The Flower of Service concept was initially introduced by Lovelock and Wright. It offers a valuable framework for expanding the notion of service delivery. It likens the core service to the bud of a flower, with the petals representing additional elements that enhance the overall customer experience.

Voeu Managing Director Jason Marshall believes that project delivery needs to look beyond the physical assets.

“The Flowers of Service concept also considers the relationships and experiences built around the project,” Marshall said. “Applying this approach to infrastructure project delivery gives a comprehensive view of the entire value chain. It emphasises the importance of the relationships between service providers and recipients.”

Facilitating and enhancing services

Enabling services can be broken up into two groups. There are facilitating services that support the delivery of the core service. There are also enhancing services that enrich the customer experience beyond the core service itself.

Facilitating services incorporate the supporting information required for a customer to consider the contractor’s services. It includes technical data, plans, product information, pricing, and other documentation. Elements necessary to deliver the core service possible are also considered facilitating services. They can include things like traffic control and flow management.

Enhancing services can support the delivery of the core services or features that enrich the overall customer experience. Providing final CCTV footage, work as executed submittals, progress reports, and monthly claims, support core service delivery, although they are not a direct part of delivery.  Proactive community relations are another example of an enhancing service. They are not necessarily required to deliver a core service but enhance the overall customer experience.

“Contractors who provide comprehensive facilitating and enhancing services delivery a better customer experience,” said Marshall.

Trenchless lining delivery

Trenchless lining provides an excellent example of service delivery under the flower of service concept. The core service typically represents around 80 per cent of the delivery cost. The enabling services, shown as petals in this example, make up less than 20 per cent of the contractor’s expense.

“The successful delivery of the core service is a base expectation of project delivery,” said Marshall. “Enabling services impacts how the customer considers the quality of service delivered and greatly influences the overall perceived value.”

It is commonplace for the core service to be delivered successfully in terms of time, cost, and quality, but the customer is disappointed. This happens when the contractor needs to pay more attention to the enabling services that carry significant customer value.

“Not submitting a final CCTV on time after delivering a problematic project is a good example,” he said. “It’s where the contractor has gone above and beyond on-site but, in the eyes of the customer, has not performed.”

The flower of service model has further evolved to acknowledge that standards and specifications are integral to the project delivery environment. Although they do not directly impact the execution, they play a vital role in ensuring the quality of the core service.

“80 per cent of perceived customer value comes from less than 20 per cent of the contractors’ project cost,” said Marshall.

Adopting a flower of service approach to customer service delivery

Delivery contractors can revolutionise infrastructure project delivery by adopting the flower of service concept and reengineering their service offerings. This transformation can be achieved without significantly impacting costs, resulting in a remarkable improvement in the customer experience and delivered value.

By focusing on improving, facilitating, and enhancing services, contractors can redefine what constitutes project success. This approach transcends the mere delivery of physical assets and embraces true customer-centricity.

Embracing the flower of service concept allows infrastructure delivery contractors to differentiate themselves in the market, cultivate strong customer relationships, and ultimately enhance their reputation and foster business growth.

Who is Voeu?

Voeu is a specialist water sector advisory and consulting practice that delivers advice and improvement projects for infrastructure owners, operators, and delivery providers.

To find out more about Voeu, visit

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