According to preliminary findings of Service Council’s 2024 KPIs and Metrics Survey, 2024 is predicted to be an exciting year of growth, with further emphasis on customer-focused metrics around satisfaction, engagement, retention and expansion. These results are particularly exciting coming off the heels of 2023’s “preservation” focus, though that’s not to say it will be without its challenges.
With geopolitical climates intensifying, an upcoming U.S. election year, and the wild west territory of Artificial Intelligence (AI) expanding, service leaders have a lot on their minds. Over the course of each year, the Service Council team conducts six benchmark quantitative studies and talks with hundreds of service leaders to gain insight into anticipated trends…and what’s keeping them up at night. Here are a few common themes we’ve seen looking ahead to 2024 based on these efforts.
In this blog, we’ll cover just three out of the eight trends we’re tracking for 2024. To get an overview of all eight anticipated trends and predictions, join us on Thursday, January 11th at 12PM ET for our webinar: The Top Predictions for 2024 that Every Service Leader Should Know.
Trend 1: More Service Leaders Get a Seat at the C-Suite Table
Historically, service leaders weren’t often present in the boardroom, joining in only for operationally focused discussions. However, with growth expected for many organizations in 2024, we believe the value and importance of servitization and customer experience will make way for a cultural shift in the boardroom. As service begins to play a more critical role in companies’ overall business strategies, more Chief Service Officers (CSO) and Chief Customer Officers (CCO) are emerging on the executive team.
And yet, we are still seeing instances where these roles aren’t given a seat in the boardroom, even in mature industries and organizations. According to Deloitte, only 20% of CCOs regularly receive invitations to attend board meetings. Will 2024 be the year this changes? We believe so. In early data shared from our 2024 Service Leader’s Agenda Survey, 44% of polled service leaders already believe they have a seat at the C-Suite table. We will continue to monitor this metric in the coming year to track service leader growth.
Trend 2: Employee Engagement (Particularly Frontline Engagement) Dictated by Career Pathing
Difficulties with technician hiring and retention, and loss of tribal knowledge through retirement, are likely here to stay, but there are steps organizations can take to bolster the engagement of their current employees and attract new ones. Many organizations have already made a concerted effort to remove friction for field service engineers (FSEs) in the day-to-day (as they should—after all, 80% of FSEs claim administrative and paperwork is their least favorite part of the job).
While this can help with disengagement, we believe that creating a clear career trajectory for the FSEs in your organization, either through the career ladder or lattice opportunities, will be even more critical. While some FSEs may want to move up in their career as a technician—and organizations should support their journey accordingly—organizations should also identify adjacent opportunities in sales, customer support, operations and other departments to retain their workforce.
View our latest one-page research insight to see the average salaries for field service engineer career progression by industry, salaries for adjacent opportunities, as well as other tips to help drive engagement. Check that out here.
Trend 3: AI Investments Will Enable Self-Service
It will come as no surprise that most service leaders in our community are piloting or implementing AI technology. In fact, over the past year, we’ve found many organizations barely need to justify an AI pilot thanks to all the hype surrounding its potential.
While AI found its footing in 2023, we believe that AI investments in 2024 will be prioritized for self-service enablement—for both employees and customers. On the employee side, this self-service use will be another critical component in increasing frontline engagement. Using generative AI tools can help decrease the time for onboarding, assist in guided workflows, and help make service work “cool” again with cutting-edge tools (imperative for Gen Y and Z technicians). One member we spoke with is using an AI-enabled chatbot, for instance, to serve up service manual information to a technician’s phone, tablet, or laptop in the field—resulting in faster onboarding and reducing repair times and calls to support.
Don’t forget, this blog overviews just three of the eight trends we’re tracking for 2024. Join us on Thursday, January 11 for an interactive webinar led by CEO John Carroll to hear more: The Top Predictions for 2024 that Every Service Leader Should Know.