What Service 4.0 is not

“Lalo, I’m interested in knowing more about the use of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and mobile devices to provide a better service for my customers. I’ve heard that’s Service 4.0, and want to know more…”

A good friend asked me about service 4.0 and how to use Information Technologies –things like emerging technologies, apps, big data, artificial intelligence, or the cloud– to improve customer experience. 

Photo by Lennon Cheng.

 This is my answer:

None of those are Service 4.0. It is not mobility. It is not the Internet of Things. It is not using smartphones. It is neither Big Data nor Analytics. It is not augmented reality. It is not virtualizing. It is not service-on-demand. It is not cloud services. Service 4.0 is none of those.

Let me use a day-to-day example: Carpentry.

If i say “I am a carpenter”, and have a numeric control saw, go to a web page to purchase wood, and have an app which allows my customers design their furniture, does that make me a carpenter?

No. Carpentry has nothing to do with the use of tools: Neither a saw nor a web page nor an app will make a carpenter of me. They might be necessary, but I can not be called a carpenter because of the tools I use in my shop, but for the results, the quality and beauty of the finished piece of furniture.

·    ·   ·

Same things happen with Service 4.0. All things mentioned are tools, and none is mandatory, even if technology vendors and consultants say so. Why do I say so? Because customer satisfaction, customer happiness, customer loyalty, are not dependent on technology nor tools… they are dependent on results.

A customer will not hire you because of the technology you use. She will do it because of how capable you are to satisfy her wishes. She will do it because of your ability to satisfy her needs and desires. A customer will hire you because of your value proposition and how capable are you to fulfill it, and deliver what you promised or more. How will you do it is less relevant.

That’s why none of those technologies is Service 4.0. You are looking for the triple crown –satisfied customers, happy customers, loyal customers– and to achieve it you will work in an impeccable manner, always, to fulfill your promises, using the tools you need, not what others tell you.

Service 4.0 is a way of working, a corporate culture where you integrate three elements: competent people, customer centric processes, and emerging technologies.

Competent people, to design, manage and deliver service, with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed to satisfy their needs and wishes.

Customer Centric Processes, designed to ensure all of your supply chain is able to deliver your service with the promised quality level, always.

Emerging technologies, a combination of digital and emerging technologies, which ensure the processes work and satisfy the quality levels customers require.

Deciding wether to use Big Data, Augmented Reality, or a mobile app, will depend on your product and your value proposition. Your goal is to satisfy your customers’ needs and wishes, always, as digital economy mandates. That is Service 4.0.



Service 4.0 has a simple goal: satisfying your customers’ needs, always.

Extra treat.

In Alive & Well! I explain the COS Model. Read it and use it. Is a good starting point for Service 4.0

Extra, extra treat.

Want to know how to turn your company into a true Service 4.0 company? Call me. Let’s talk and find the way. 

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