Following on an Aberdeen Group report from last fall that discussed why Chief Service Officers are upbeat about growth prospects, analyst Sumair Dutta has come out with a new whitepaper that suggests a handful of key tactics for driving revenue growth — and capitalizing on customer goodwill and the sector’s solid foundation, despite an overall economy that remains soft.
In addition to laying out a rosy outlook for the service sector as a whole — 89 percent of service managers who responded predict growth in 2011 — Dutta identifies five tips for service businesses to maximize revenues:
Don’t wait until it’s broken. By stressing preventative, proactive service, businesses can win major points by heading off problems before they arise — whether it’s furnace failure in the Minnesota winter or summertime A/C troubles in Arizona.
Consider mobile. Mobile devices can boost technician productivity and bring big savings to a service business. Dutta suggests: “Move away from manual, paper-based scheduling and reduce time and errors associated with paper-based records and forms in the field by investing in mobile tools for field-based automation.” Your workforce is mobile, so why isn’t their toolbox?
Knowledge is power. Information is the key to successful service, so make sure employees have access to all relevant customer and case information. — in the field, where they’re working. Mobile devices and cloud-based applications offer affordable, familiar entry points.
Train techs in sales. Technicians interact daily with customers, so consider training them on how to sell additional services. Technicians likley don’t fancy themselves sales experts, but a little training can go a long way.
Collaboration is essential. Break down communication barriers by allowing employees to tap the company’s collective knowledge base. Again, mobile devices and smartphones are among the easiest ways to connect employees in the field.