Case Visma

Value proposition deepened customer understanding

Case Visma

Value proposition deepened customer understanding

Value proposition deepened customer understanding

When wishing to launch a product in a new market, you need both information on what would get customers to change their current tools and a value proposition that stands out. Visma Public Ltd solved this challenge with Gofore.

“We wanted to find out if there is room for our services in a market that is new to us, and if so, in which segments, and with what kind of a service portfolio and message we should enter it,” says Jari Kontkanen, Business Area Director responsible for payroll administration and HRM solutions at Visma Public Ltd.

The market for HRM and payroll administration systems is mature and full of competition. Nearly all organisations already have the related tools, and changing them is not an easy task. At the same time, the industry is being shaken by strong driving forces and suppliers are required to continuously develop.

In order to understand which current problems or future challenges require a solution that would make customers seriously consider switching to a new partner, Kontkanen and his team wanted to seek support from an external expert.

“For a long time, we have been doing great work in understanding our customers. Now we needed to shake things up a little bit and get some new perspective.”

Bold value proposition created with an easy-going approach

Gofore’s service designers Minna Puisto and Maiju Kinnunen approached the task by combining methods of business and service design.

“Both of us are familiar with customer-driven development of services and business operations, as well as productisation, through our previous work history. It was great to dive into this project.”

The work began through interviewing potential customers from various industries. They were asked about the current problems in payroll administration and HRM, as well as their own needs and views of the industry’s future. The interviews revealed that customers expect suppliers to be bold both in terms of actions and associations. This strengthened the mandate that Puisto and Kinnunen had received from Visma. As a result, various methods were creatively utilised in workshops. Kontkanen particularly recalls the exercise involving use of emotions. “Pondering emotions really took off and we had a very good time. In the process, we realised that we shouldn’t bring yet another neutral service to the market. In order to stand out, we need a bold value proposition.”

The intentionally provocative and thought-provoking value propositions produced during the workshops were presented to potential customers through prototypes of the service’s front page, made specifically for this purpose, and their feedback was collected. Evaluating the value propositions stirred emotions and challenged customers to think more deeply about why they would switch their partner.

“It is important to know what is considered annoying and what doesn’t stir any feelings at all,” concludes Puisto.

Valuable understanding instantly utilised in everyday work

Kontkanen is very pleased with both the methods used and the results achieved. “Throughout the process, we had a shared idea of what we were doing and why. The customer’s activities, problems, concerns and wishes were a good starting point for working out the value proposition.” The results are valuable, regardless of whether Visma decides to enter the new market or not.

“The most valuable information for us was the triggers for partner switching and finding out whom our message should be directed to. We have already utilised this in developing our services and marketing.” Kontkanen also gives credit to Puisto’s and Kinnunen’s unprejudiced and compelling approach to work as well as the concrete ideas, propositions for measures, and recommendations that resulted from the work.

“Minna and Maiju were absolutely excellent. We would have never achieved this result on our own.”

Project highlights

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Visma wanted to find out if launching payroll administration and HRM services in a new market would be profitable and, if so, in which segment and with which service portfolio.
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Building customer understanding through interviews and gathering information from the material to map out the development of the industry and to offer the interviewees valuable information on their peers. Forming value propositions using service and business design methods. Validating value propositions with potential customers by using prototypes.
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Visma now has a value proposition that stands out and it received answers to its three questions: 1) What would get customers to switch their current solutions to new ones 2) What are the customers’ key problems 3) What kind of views do customers have about the future.

"Throughout the process, we had a shared idea of what we were doing and why. The customer’s activities, problems, concerns and wishes were a good starting point for working out the value proposition."

Jari Kontkanen

Visma Public Oy

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