Transforming Service in 2014

New research into the major manufacturing and service trends of 2014 suggests that it’s now vital for organizations to be able to differentiate themselves in the post-sales environment.

A recent study of over 150 organizations by The Service Council (TSC) shows that 70% of those surveyed plan to elevate the role of service and support while 51% have a formal initiative already in place.

Transformation of the service organization can mean many things, from new service delivery processes and service offerings to variable pricing strategies and much more.

At the beginning of our study, we asked responding organizations to define the term ‘service transformation’ as it related to their business and below are some of the responses we received:

“Developing a customer-centric strategy while moving from a transactional to a relationship-oriented model.”

“Having the business see ‘service’ as a priority with a great deal of focus on total lifecycle costs.”

“Having service involved in every level of the product lifecycle.”

“Creating and sustaining long-term value via best-in-class service delivery processes leveraged by optimal usage of capacity within a given cost structure.”

Reviewing this feedback, we see four levels of transformation:

Organizational: tied to raising the focus on service and treatment of service as a strategic contributor to the business

Service Execution: moving from reactive to responsive and predictive in order to better meet customer needs.

Business Strategy: integrating service information and feedback across various business functions in order to improve output, quality and customer experiences

Customer: defining service’s role as taking a stake in the customer’s operations and thereby equating value with customer success

Most organizations are still working through the first two levels of transformation and are dealing with significant cultural resistance in driving true organizational change.

Surprisingly this resistance continues to come in the form of a ‘lack of focus on service’ across the organization. Given the role that service plays in supporting customer loyalty, increased revenues and improved profitability, the lack of focus on service is unacceptable and a precursor to failure.

Organizations need to have a ‘everyone is in the business of delivering service’ mentality to truly embark on a successful service transformation initiative. Having the right tools and technology certainly helps, but establishing the service or customer-first mission of the organization is a vital first step.

When we asked respondents about the first steps recommended when embarking on a transformation, establishing a service culture was highlighted as a top step along with the following:

  • Establish senior service leadership and get executive buy-in
  • Develop clear goals for your transformation
  • Baseline current performance and processes
  • Understand customer needs and current gaps in meeting those needs

These steps are vital not only in support of a service transformation, but also in aiding the development of a service or customer-centric culture across the organization. With the aid of these steps, organizations can truly take a stake in delivering and enhancing customer success.

Join us on Thursday January 9 at 11am Eastern, when we’ll be sharing some more thoughts on the service landscape in 2014. This short 30-minute webinar will feature data and information from our 2014 trending survey.

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