Becoming a service champion

Leading organizations manage their service and support business as a profit center, implying the presence of an executive (the Chief Service Officer — CSO) who has responsibility for operational and financial goals.

In Aberdeen Group's September 2010 research on the State of Service Management, leading organizations, as determined by excellence in customer retention, service efficiency, and service profitability, were 18 per cent more likely than all other companies to manage service as a profit center.

To achieve profitability goals, leading organizations indicated a strict focus on the revenue side of the equation for 2011 (see figure 1).

Customer satisfaction, customer retention and cost management continue to be extremely vital in ensuring the sustainability of a service business, but succumb to the need for revenue growth in the priority list for CSOs in 2011.

This focus on revenue was re-affirmed at Aberdeen's 2010 Chief Service Officer Summit, wherein 89 per cent of attendees were forecasting growth for their service businesses, primarily on the revenue side of the equation.

Where Does the CIO Come In?
To support revenue growth objectives, leading organizations are structuring their service operations around key pillars that not only impact, but also rely upon the support of Information Technology (IT) and the CIO.

- Integration of Service Functions:Aberdeen's March 2011 research on Service Performance Management revealed that more than 50 per cent of leading organizations had centralized the oversight of key service functions (such as, field service, parts management, call center and multi-channel support, contract and warranty management) under service leadership. Most of these areas had traditionally been treated as functional business silos or managed by supply chain related lines of business. The success of a centralized view of service operations is predicated on the improved and increased integration of information residing on function-specific applications.

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