Very few corporations currently have a Chief Service Officer on their payroll, just five per cent according to those polled in a recent study.
But as more product categories become commoditized, as product-based profit margins slim over time, and as competition stiffens, companies will increasingly rely on their post-sales service organizations for revenues, profitability and competitive differentiation, says Mark Vigoroso, vice-president, service chain management research for the Aberdeen Group.
Historically viewed as a temporary crutch when product sales wane during economic downturns, service and support is emerging as more of a consistent revenue-driver.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) used to competing on product features and functions are now edging competitors with premium service offerings, extended warranties, remote asset diagnostics, and other value-added services. As such, keeping close tabs on service chain performance has become mission-critical for many companies.