Aberdeen advisory: Service Automation has taken its seat at the IT table

High levels of customer satisfaction ultimately lead to new opportunities for revenue recapture, as well as opportunities for revenue creation by increasing current customer "wallet-share" through up-selling and customer referrals. As a result, Service and IT professionals agree that post-sales service improvement initiatives are a high priority.
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff September 6, 2007

High levels of customer satisfaction ultimately lead to new opportunities for revenue recapture, as well as opportunities for revenue creation by increasing current customer “wallet-share” through up-selling and customer referrals. As a result, Service and IT professionals agree that post-sales service improvement initiatives are a high priority.
Successful integration of vital service initiatives not only ensures that service automation projects are completed on time and within budget, but it also facilitates improved service and asset performance for customers. A recent survey conducted by Boston-based Aberdeen Group finds Best-in-Class companies are 37 percent more likely than Industry Average and Laggards to regularly review service initiatives against IT strategy. By focusing resources on service initiatives, Best-in-Class companies are nearly six times as likely as Laggards to complete their automation projects as per pre-stated time lines and budgets.
Of Best-in-Class companies, nearly 59 percent cited customer demand for improved asset performance as the top pressure causing them to focus on service operations. This percentage suggests that Best-in-Class firms realize the true value of customer service and the role that it can also play in competitive differentiation, identified by 44 percent of the Best-in-Class as the second most relevant pressure. The Best-in-Class deploy a number of different strategic actions to improve asset performance, but a high percentage (69 percent) agree that aligning service initiatives with corporate strategies to ensure executive visibility, oversight and support is the most important step to take.
“Service performance can be improved in two ways: by assuring the customer improved asset performance, or providing faster, better service. Best-in-Class take an asset-centric view of service operations. This is a pre-emptive strategy and one that ultimately delivers the most up-time to the customer,” says Cindy Jutras, VP of ERP and Strategic Service Management research at Aberdeen Group. “Speed of service, while vital to performance, is only part of the overall service equation. Without the right parts and expertise, a service ticket may still go unfulfilled even though the technician is on time.”
The research shows that aligning service initiatives with corporate strategy and integrating post-sales service tools with other critical enterprise support systems will ultimately satisfy the demand for improved asset performance.
A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by underwriters Lawson and Servigistics. Visit http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4104