ServiceSource survey reveals keys to service success

By Paul MacDonald, ServiceSource

The highly anticipated results of AVB’s “ServiceSource Service Survey” are finally here. 

Based on a comprehensive member poll, this extensive study offers invaluable insights into the latest trends, customer preferences and industry benchmarks shaping the future of service excellence, and will help BrandSource members gain a competitive edge by leveraging the report’s data-driven strategies and best practices.

The complete survey results are available in the Backroom, and I will also provide a four-part commentary on your responses here on YSN, beginning with the topic of marketing, below.

Whether you’re a service manager, business owner or industry professional, these findings are essential for staying ahead of the curve and delivering exceptional customer experiences. Read on to unlock the keys to success in the ever-evolving service landscape.

Part I:  Marketing Your Service Business

1. Self-Service vs. Full-Service

 The recent ServiceSource service survey indicates a significant trend in dealer behavior within the BrandSource membership base. Results show that 44% of members prefer a self-service approach, indicating a growing preference for restricting their service offerings to customers they sold.

On the other hand, a majority of 56% opt for full-service, highlighting the enduring value of providing service for customers who may have purchased elsewhere. Companies experience increased new customer acquisitions by providing full service.

2. Service as a Separate Business

 Six percent of the membership runs service as a separate business, while only 26% of respondents have separate financials for their service operations. Separate financials for each line of business are crucial for several reasons. First, they provide clarity and transparency, allowing stakeholders to understand the financial performance of each business segment independently. Department financials enable better resource allocation, investment and strategic planning decision making.

Moreover, separate financials help identify which lines of business are profitable and which may require improvement or restructuring. Having separate financials for each line of business promotes efficiency, accountability and informed decision making across the organization. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

3. Advertising Your Service Business

 The survey of member service dealers has revealed a notable trend: a significant portion, 57% to be precise, actively promote their services beyond the confines of their brick-and-mortar establishments.

Advertising your service department offers several advantages. First, it helps increase awareness among current and potential customers about your services, such as repairs, maintenance and installations. Advertising your service can lead to higher customer retention rates as existing customers become aware of additional ways you can serve them beyond just selling products.

Second, advertising your service department can attract new customers who may require repairs or maintenance for their appliances or equipment. You can establish trust with new customers and potentially convert them into long-term clients by showcasing your expertise and reliability in servicing products. In addition, promoting your service department can differentiate your business from the big-box competitors who may only focus on product sales, giving you a competitive edge in the market.

Lastly, advertising your service department can also increase revenue streams, as service and repair work often have higher profit margins than product sales alone. Advertising your service department can help drive customer engagement, attract new business, differentiate your brand and increase overall revenue.

4. Soliciting Online Reviews

 Surprisingly, the data from the recent survey highlights a somewhat underutilized aspect of digital marketing among service dealers: only 40% actively solicit online reviews. In an era when online reputation holds significant sway over consumer decision-making, this figure suggests a missed opportunity for most dealers to harness the power of customer feedback as a promotional tool.

By encouraging reviews, businesses demonstrate transparency and confidence in their services and benefit from the positive impact on search engine rankings and consumer trust.

5. Customer Retention

The latest insights into the marketing strategies of service members reveal a diverse landscape of approaches. Surprisingly, 50% of these members actively utilize social media platforms to attract new customers, leveraging the wide-reaching and interactive nature of these platforms to expand their clientele.

Additionally, a significant portion, 22%, relies on the timeless power of word-of-mouth referrals, recognizing the trust and credibility inherent in recommendations from satisfied customers.

It’s noteworthy, however, that 28% of service members have yet to implement any specific customer acquisition strategies, potentially missing out on opportunities for growth and engagement in today’s digital age. These statistics underscore the importance of proactive marketing efforts in staying competitive and relevant in the ever-evolving customer acquisition landscape.

6. Service-Specific Websites

 Survey data on service members’ online presence presents a mixed picture of adoption and utilization. Not surprisingly, 48% of these members have opted for AVB Marketing websites, recognizing the benefits of a tailored platform designed specifically for their industry needs. A smaller percentage, 6%, have chosen to utilize outside website services, investing an average of $216 monthly to maintain an online presence.

It’s concerning, however, that a substantial 46% of service members still lack any form of service website altogether. This statistic highlights a missed opportunity for these members to establish a digital storefront and effectively showcase their services to potential customers. In an increasingly digital marketplace, the absence of a service website could potentially hinder their visibility, customer engagement and overall competitiveness in the industry.

Thus, there’s a clear opportunity for these members to explore the benefits of establishing an online presence to enhance their reach and attract new business.

7. AVB Marketing for Service Operations

The survey findings have unveiled a surprising knowledge gap among members regarding AVB Marketing’s digital services. While 92% are aware of AVB Marketing’s advertising and e-commerce offerings, a staggering 70% of members seem unaware of the services provided by AVB Marketing specific to the service sector.

This statistic underscores a significant opportunity for AVB Marketing to enhance its communication and outreach efforts to better inform its membership base about the range of service marketing solutions available. Addressing this awareness gap could empower more members to leverage AVB Marketing’s expertise and resources to amplify their marketing efforts, ultimately leading to improved visibility, customer engagement and business growth within the industry.

Up Next: Part II, Service Technicians

Paul MacDonald, AVB’s senior ServiceSource lead, ran his own 38-tech service business and is a past president of the UASA. He currently operates The Expert Service Program, which helps servicers run their operations more efficiently and profitably. You can reach Paul at (647) 500-7785 or at Paul.m.Macdonald@brandsource.com.

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