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December 17, 2021 | 2 Mins Read

Revisiting Old Articles: The Case for a Chief Service Officer

December 17, 2021 | 2 Mins Read

Revisiting Old Articles: The Case for a Chief Service Officer


By Tom Paquin

A few weeks back, I ran a quick retrospective on my first Future of Field Service article, then followed that up with a slightly less old article. Today I was to talk about an article from mid-2019 on the idea of a chief service officer for your business.

You can read the original piece here.

That article discussed in detail the servitization mindset impacting businesses at the time. As I outlined it in the original article:

  • A shift away from ownership towards products-as-a-service.
  • An oversaturation of products entering the market from new, global entrants and decreasing barriers to entry.
  • A fundamental shift in the economy away from product-focused businesses towards services-focused businesses.
  • The need to diversify product portfolios with low-overhead add-ons that simultaneously offer value to the customer beyond your competitors.
  • Best-in-class manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers creating pathways towards completely upending business practices with service.

Servitizaiton shows no signs of slowing, especially in the wake of supply chain issues that are projected to run into next year, changing consumer sentiment, and new technology tools for delivering seamless service for businesses wherein service would not have been a consideration eighteen months ago. 

And the best way to make it clear that service is not a line item on your balance sheet, but a new cultural pillar, is to align a Chief Service Officer.

Service is, as we know, more than ever, the primary touchpoint for businesses. With more ecommerce, and more channels for service through delivery and new business models, it’s reckless to slap service functions onto your business (especially by partnering with third parties) and expect them to carry your brand promise. 

The Chief Service Officer can help set that precedent in a meaningful way for your business. As I wrote in 2019:

So what does the Chief Service Officer do? This will obviously differ from company to company, but on a high-level, here are some general ideas:

  • Own the technology rollout for all of service.
  • Work with product to set rigid parameters for service execution.
  • Develop benchmarks, roadmaps, and dashboard to measure service’s impact on the whole company.
  • Set up and execute on service business development efforts within sales.
  • Own the service management platform, tie it to all areas of enterprise resource planning, asset management, and customer experience management.
  • Make the push that your company provides service because it wants to faster a stronger relationship with its customers.

This hasn’t changed, and having an actual human being behind these processes means that service can be executed, on every level, from a more well-informed place.