What makes a service organization move from a cost center, to a profit center, to a powerhouse helping to drive future success? It boils down to one simple concept: they are always looking forward. But, for busy executives, it’s easier said than done. Forrester predicts that 20 percent of companies will fail in their digital transformation journeys this year. Digital transformation is not optional. If you don’t disrupt yourself, someone else will do it for you! The best-in-class service organizations are always evaluating the trends in service to see which ones will give them that competitive edge to stay ahead of the curve — and give them a leg up on the competition.

Trend #1: Technology Adoption

The first trend in service that will drive success is the adoption of technology, such as augmented reality. What was once seen as a gimmick, technology such as Google Glass has given technicians insight into diagnostics of the complex machinery they work on and comprehensive diagrams of the parts needed to repair the equipment. This leads to improvements in the metrics that service organizations are measured on such as: quality, consistency (first-time fix rate), and mean time to repair.

Trend #2: Collaboration

The second trend is the implementation of mentorships and collaboration within service teams. Pairing a younger, less experienced technician with a seasoned veteran allows the transfer of knowledge gained from years spent in the field, vastly improving the onboarding rate of technicians. Many companies are also adopting communities, where knowledge can be shared amongst the team to improve the work of all technicians in the organization. This knowledge can come in the form of articles, videos and training sessions, among others. The results are two-fold: younger technicians that are fully trained (and fully billable) earlier in their career, and seasoned technicians that have found another way to challenge themselves, resulting in a renewed sense of purpose in their role — and a higher likelihood they will stick with the organization during the transition to the next generation of service engineering talent.

Trend #3: Predictive Analytics

Finally, predictive analytics encompasses the utilization of data for modeling failures, ensuring that you are able to provide outcome-based service for your customers. Service level agreement attainment is becoming a key competitive differentiator for companies looking to distance themselves from the competition. By viewing the historical data coming off a machine, you can provide guarantees of service, resulting in zero unplanned downtime for your customers. When customers are happy, KPIs like contract attach rate, net promoter score (NPS) and upsell rates are all vastly improved.

ABOUT Daniel Brabec

Avatar photoDaniel Brabec is a former director of global customer transformation at ServiceMax. With a broad base of experience in training, course development and project management, Daniel brings a unique background to his role at ServiceMax. He has spent several years working in service technology, providing oversight to enterprise implementations of service management systems, and creating and delivering the training necessary for companies to change the way they manage global service organizations in North America, Europe, India, the Middle East and Asia.