How is the health of the field service industry heading into the last three months of the year? Fairly good on several key fronts — from service revenues to cost control to customer service satisfaction, according to a new quarterly report from The Service Council. The organization surveyed global field service providers over the summer and discovered some promising, and some not-so promising, trends. Here are a few highlights from Sumair Datta, the council’s chief customer officer:
- Revenues stable: “Seventy percent (70%) of organizations indicated that their service revenues were either ‘as expected’ or ‘greater than expected’ in Q3 2013 (20% reporting greater than expected), with 28% reporting ‘less than expected’ revenues. Less than expected revenues were primarily attributable to softness in the parts management and service sales components of the business.”
- Costs under control: “Eighty-five percent (85%) of organizations indicated that their service costs were either ‘as expected’ or ‘less than expected’ in Q3 2013. Eleven percent (11%) saw an increase in service cost primarily tied to the field service and contact center components of the business.”
- Customers satisfied: “Thirty-four percent (34%) of respondents indicated an increase in customer satisfaction scores over the previous three months compared to 6% reporting a decrease.
- Solid margins: “Service margins were relatively healthy at 31%, which sits in the overall range seen over the previous 12 months. Smaller organizations struggled with their service margins at 23% compared to mid-size organizations at 39%.” On the downside, field service executives overwhelmingly agree on the top two hurdles they faced this summer — and going forward:
- Challenges ahead: “Process inefficiencies and financial market volatility were selected as the top business challenges faced by service businesses in the three months leading up to September 2013, as seen by 46% and 42% of respondents respectively. Those organizations with global service coverage were much more likely to have their service businesses hindered by financial market and global geopolitical challenges.”
h/t: The Service Council