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Top Field Service Trends for 2024: Service as a Brand Differentiator

Top Field Service Trends for 2024: Service as a Brand Differentiator

As we continue our series on the technology trends that will likely be in the 2024 spotlight, next up is trend #8: Service as a company or brand differentiator.

In today’s era of globalization and increased competition, companies struggle to stand apart from the sea of almost-alike competitors. Being recognized by price alone is dangerous, as there is always some competitor willing to go lower to buy market share.

Chains with broad buying power and deep pockets can afford to discount products and pilfer market share by offering one price-slashing promotion after another.

No-frills competitors that focus on single product lines and niche opportunities are also upending traditional commerce strategies. These pop-up companies rely on simple go-to-market strategies that bypass brick-and-mortar locations and focus on e-commerce, fast delivery, and free shipping.    

Download the Top Field Service Management Technology Trends for 2024 now.

 

Focus on service over price

For many small- to mid-sized organizations, matching the price of these value-focused competitors is not sustainable. Whether a mom-and-pop shop, a specialized boutique, or a retail brand with storefronts, organizations are looking for ways to differentiate themselves—other than price.

Offering exceptional service is the logical choice. Depending on the product line, service could be in the form of delivery, installation and set-up, ongoing routine maintenance, or break-fix repairs.

Service, in each of its forms, is of high value for customers. Outstanding service leads to brand loyalty and repeat purchases. Customers are 2.4 times more likely to stick with a brand when their problems are solved quickly, according to Forester

Typically, low-cost competitors find it difficult to compete around service. They often fall short when it comes to building relationships and don’t have the personnel or processes in place to support the labor-intensive dimensions of service.

To perform service well, employees often need specialized training, such as service technicians trained in diagnostics and repairs of machinery. As goods become more complex, incorporating high-tech elements, technicians need to be highly skilled in electronics, computerized features, and display panels with LED lights and microchips for programming and automation.

Providing services to consumers today also requires a myriad of software solutions and internal operational processes, from portals for submitting requests to collaboration tools for communicating with the technician. Consumers expect self-service capabilities for scheduling and submitting questions, a responsive call center, and timely dispatch if a technician is needed.

Not every low-cost company cares to invest in these tools necessary for engaging with consumers. They simply opt out of offering service.

This provides an opportunity for other organizations to double down on service as their key differentiator, promoting narrow delivery windows, same-day service, or service agreements for routine preventive inspections. Service can be the billboard-worthy feature that is promoted in-store and through social media, slogans on trucks, and even snappy phrases embroidered on technician caps. Service is memorable.

Modern field service management (FSM) solutions allow organizations to offer exceptional service—while still maintaining profitability.

Important capabilities:

  • A call center with highly informed agents that can answer questions and triage dispatch priorities
  • Online, self-service abilities for consumers to submit a service request or inquire about a warranty
  • Timely dispatch of technicians, with the right information and the right tools and parts on the service vehicle
  • The arrival window should be narrow with the ability for the technician and consumer to communicate if there is a delay or need to reschedule
  • A technician who is trained and skilled and can act as a trusted advisor explaining if a repair or replacement is needed
  • The technician should be able to sell parts or replacement units on the spot, including credit card processing

With these capabilities in place, the organization can focus on offering exceptional service as a differentiator, something competitors will have trouble matching.

Read the full Top Field Service Management Technology Trends for 2024 report here.

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