Finding Opportunity in Service Complexity

In my last post, “Nobody Said Service Was Easy!” we learned that service is complex. There are so many different components that affect service that we almost always expect something to go awry.

I recently attended the Smarter Services Executive Symposium where Larry Wash, president of global services at Ingersoll Rand, spoke about how recent technology advancements have helped to drastically raise the bar in service. Digital information via the cloud, for instance, enables access to accurate, relevant technical information to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

The benefits of having access to up-to-date, product-specific intelligence (via a mobile device) create significant competitive advantages during service such as:

  • Accurate, high-quality 3D information
  • Easy-to-find, easy-to-trust, easy-to-understand information
  • Improved speed and accuracy of diagnosis and resolution
  • Increased first-time-fix rates
  • Better technician utilization and effectiveness
  • … all of which result in reduced service costs!

Having on-demand access to service information while out in the field, however, is just a single (albeit crucial) cog in a much larger machine. It’s not just about nifty cloud technology. A service organization must be a well-integrated and strategic entity within the larger company to successfully deliver on the promise of customer value.

Company leaders need to move away from the break/fix paradigm, and strive for greater scale and efficiency, said Gartner analyst William McNeil at the Executive Symposium. Companies need to standardize processes globally, close the gap between service and product design and ultimately use service as a brand differentiator, McNeil concluded.

To summarize McNeil’s findings:

  • Or, to over-simplify a very complex initiative:
  • A more mature service organization results in…
  • a better service experience which results in…
  • strengthened customer loyalty which results in…
  • increased revenue and profit margins.

Let’s consider all the things that went wrong with the service of my refrigerator in “Nobody Said Service Was Easy!” Every step along the way, every time the technician failed to deliver – those were all opportunities to improve service.

What initiatives has your organization implemented to further enhance your service business and strategy?

Photo Credit: MTA, New York on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This entry was posted in Best Practices, Service Lifecycle Management and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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