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February 5, 2021 | 2 Mins Read

Back to Basics: What is Outcomes-Based Service?

February 5, 2021 | 2 Mins Read

Back to Basics: What is Outcomes-Based Service?


By Tom Paquin

This is part of an ongoing series on the state and standards of service management software in 2020. Here are the previous articles in the series:

In our last “Back to Basics” piece, we discussed “Servitization”, which has become the buzzword of choice in recent years among manufacturing and adjacent industries. As we barrel headfirst into an increasingly service-oriented economy, rethinking customer-centric business models around services rather than products has been a priority for many businesses.

Outcomes-based service takes that premise and extends it across all businesses that offer service functions. For many businesses, getting servitization right in the first place means focusing it on outcomes-based functions. But even businesses with well-established service functions have seen the benefits of outcomes-based service models.

So: What is Outcomes-Based Service?

Outcomes-based service is the act of restructuring service contracts to focus on desired and provable outcomes, rather than warranty, maintenance, and break-fix.

Imagine, for instance, that when you bought a new computer, you were guaranteed five years’ maximum efficiency. Perhaps that requires an upgrade after year two, new RAM or a new video card, or perhaps that requires something be repaired. All of that is baked into the price of the outcomes-based contract. This also ensures that all service emanates from the OEM. And it builds customer loyalty and ensures that when a new machine is purchased, that it’s purchased, used, and enjoyed for half a decade.

Different businesses will engineer outcomes differently for their customers, of course, focusing on some big areas. A recent study saw companies focusing out outcomes in the following areas, ordered by prevalence, from top to bottom:

  • Performance metrics
  • Asset uptime
  • Time-to-service
  • Fail rates

Obviously, for many businesses, this is a huge shift not just in go-to-market, but in how service is tracked, managed, and optimized across businesses. That’s where employing best-in-class service, asset, and project management software becomes even more important to the bottom line, and to your relationship with your clients.

We’ve explored a lot of instances of best-in-class outcomes-based service over the course of the last few years here at The Future of Field Service. Here are a few interesting stories and articles to help you see what outcomes-based service looks like in practice.