2014-19-August-Stage-Fright.jpgBusiness leaders across the globe have confirmed that, in the midst of stiff competition and growing customer expectations, customer and field service differentiation is key to growing revenue and delivering an excellent customer experience. These are the findings of two new reports and an infographic released by SAP SE and The Service Council (TSC).

The reports, “Service Transformation: The Business Case” (pdf) and “Reviewing Field Service Strategy: Aligning Focus and Execution,” (pdf) provide important insights that executives should consider in redefining customer service and field service strategy. 

According to “Service Transformation: The Business Case:”

  • Almost 75 percent of survey respondents indicated that service is more important now than three years ago.
  • 71 percent of non-service professionals have seen an increased importance placed on customer service over the last 12 months.
  • 60 percent of respondents believe that service and support will be the key competitive differentiator in three years.

The studies find similar trends in the field service area, as the focus shifts from containing costs and improving internal processes, to providing customer solutions that improve customer satisfaction, profitability and maximum value.

  • 84 percent of respondents believe improved diagnosis at the first point of contact is critical to providing a first-time fix, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.
  • Organizations with a first-time fix rate of less than 50 percent struggle to drive customer satisfaction results, compared to those with a first-time rate of 90 percent or more.

“Customer service is actually the heart of your brand strategy,” said Jamie Anderson, global vice president product marketing, SAP customer engagement and commerce solutions. “The test of any relationship, business or personal, is not how you feel when things are going great, but how you feel when there is a problem and how that problem gets resolved.”

Here, Anderson offers three strategies business leaders can use to differentiate service offerings that boost customer satisfaction, drive revenue growth and help companies stay true to their brand promise.

1. Empower Your Front-Line Staff

In addition to having a very clear vision of differentiation, Anderson believes that the entire company, “from the C-level down to the person that is engaging the customer,” must feel empowered by leaders to take action based on that vision.