Chief Customer Office of The Service Council, Sumair Dutta, recently released the report Service Transformation: The Business Case, which summarizes the results from a recent global research study.  This study polled executives to gauge their mindset on customer service’s role in their organization and how they may be transforming both the role and their mindset on.

Having had responsibility for customer service in previous roles, it’s been clear to me that customer service is not “just” a support role, but is a company’s face to their customer, an extension of their brand with the ability to generate brand advocates and incremental revenue.  I have seen numerous times where customer service can break a relationship or save it and build it into a better one.  For example, no matter what their fees, I will always be an American Express customer.   When my wallet got stolen after a flight, I was able to go into their local office and immediately get help.    When there are questionable charges on my card, they are proactive and immediately call to make sure it’s me making the purchases.   One time it was me in Italy; twice it was not me in the UK!

This study by The Service Council, demonstrates that 75% of companies are now placing more importance on service than ever before – ah… music to my ears!   60% now have formal initiatives in place to transform their service business to support enterprise-wide revenue and growth objectives.  No other business group can claim the impact that service has on the customer relations as well as on the internal business processes and relationships.   While we’d expect the customer service teams to promote the increased importance of service excellence, more than 50% of leaders from other business functions noted service being much more important to their business than it was three years ago.  

Additionally business leaders noted customer attrition is attributable to a combination of non-competitive pricing and poor customer service.  While price cuts may be a short-term tactic, it is not a sustainable strategy, especially if you’re delivering poor service.  The advantage delivered by differentiated service is long-term, more sustainable and revenue generating.  

Has your organization started to the service transformation process?  New business opportunities from current customers, a highly competitive environment with customers more open to change, the cost of acquiring new customers coupled with lost revenue from former customers, and the amplified effects of social media are the key reasons companies are looking to transform customer service to a more strategic business function. 

To learn more about the business case for service transformation, The Service Council is hosting a webinar on July 22nd at 1 pm ET. Sumair Dutta will discuss the findings from the study.   Taking into account busy schedules, this will be a 30 minute webinar. Those registered for the webinar will receive a full copy of The Service Council report.   Register here to participate in this informative webinar and receive your copy of the report.

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Lisa Teore, a senior marketing director at SAP, helps customer service professionals deliver service excellence and create brand advocates. Follow Lisa on Twitter – @lisateore.

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