Better Service Strategy: Making Customer Value King

I want you to stop and think about how important you are. “Sure, I’m important,” you may say. “My family loves me. My staff at work needs me. My dog wiggles in excitement each night when I come home.”

But have you ever thought about how important you are to thousands of companies competing for your business?

You’re so important that the most competitive companies hire experts and implement changes throughout their operations to increase the value you get out of their products and service. They want to keep you coming back for life.

You are the key to their success in today’s service-driven economy. The voice of the customer—one customer—can influence many.

Or maybe you already know this because you are a service executive looking for strategic ways to improve your business and help drive customer value.

If that’s the case, perhaps you attended the recent Aberdeen Chief Service Officer (CSO) Summit in Boston where about 200 service leaders gathered to exchange ideas on this year’s theme the “Science of Service.”

The content was largely around ways to strengthen customer service and drive higher revenue and profits.

When Aberdeen analyst Sumair Dutta looked out at the audience during his opening remarks and said, “We need to innovate service offerings to deliver greater customer value,” heads were nodding. This compelling idea was already on the audience’s minds, and probably something that visited them nightly in dreams as they mulled over business challenges.

Delivering customer value is at the center of any successful business, yet getting there is sometimes illusive, often because of a fragmented service environment.

This was the subject of a breakout session in which 45 service leaders gathered to discuss challenges around lack of service functions integration, specifically field service, parts management and the contact center.

This is a common problem for OEMs who grow up as product manufacturers and over the years create separate reactionary service functions to meet product support requirements. Warranty and contracts could be added to the list above. The lack of integration inhibits the ability to capture and share vital service information and knowledge across functions.

The most competitive manufacturers are taking a more strategic approach and connecting functions to provide a single view of service information and knowledge. By doing so they can systematically plan, perform and analyze their service business to improve performance and increase customer value.

Achieving ‘the connected service enterprise’ is a best practice that more and more service leaders are striving towards. But where to start?

One idea that resonated well with the group of service leaders in the breakout session I mentioned earlier was to map the intersection points between field service and parts management. By integrating these two functions, field technicians can identify the part needed at the point of service. Integrating the functions also enables better forecasting of what parts breakdown more frequently to stock trucks appropriately.

In fact, integrating field service and parts management functions can improve first time fix rates and therefore customer satisfaction and retention.

Like some of the service leaders at the CSO Summit, are you struggling with a fragmented service environment? If so, what are some best practices your organization is looking to adopt?

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One thought on “Better Service Strategy: Making Customer Value King”

  1. Nancy MacDonald says:

    This was a great conference attended by a very diverse group of companies – all focused on the same issue: How to provide exemplary service to best affect a customer’s current experience as well as their future buying decisions. Ideas shared included best uses of technology, operational considerations and how to empower employees to make it happen in the field. Looking forward to next year’s conference!,

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