In a down economy you’d figure companies would be doing any- and everything to cut costs in an effort to save every penny. But according to a recent study of U.K.-based field service managers, a few other issues actually top cost-cutting as business’ top priorities.

The study, called “The Road Ahead Report: The Future of Field Service Delivery,” found that among 100 field service managers and directors, customer satisfaction was by far the top priority (over 68 percent), followed closely by customer retention (also close to 68 percent). Increasing workforce productivity was also a higher priority than cutting costs, traditionally a top priority (and especially in a bad economy). Trimming costs was a key focus for just 36 percent of respondents.

Those numbers reflect an interesting trend among field service managers. We’ve written before (here and here) how top-notch service can impact a business’ bottom line, and now it’s becoming clear that field service firms are taking a more customer-centric approach to building their business. Customer service is being seen as a way to actually drive revenue, rather than a cost center.

“The report demonstrates that enterprises are becoming increasingly customer-centric in the field services industry,” said Mark Forrest of Trimble, the company that commissioned the study, in an accompanying press release. “In spite of worries surrounding fuel prices and operational costs, businesses realize the need to deliver the best service possible to stay ahead.”

Once just part of an organization’s many operations, the areas of customer service, retention, and workforce productivity now hold a significant strategic value and have become key revenue drivers.

More: How Customer Service Is Fundamentally Changing the Business Model.

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