We’re constantly hearing about all the big, new changes in technology and the support of that technology. And, yes, some things have changed rather dramatically. “Tweeting” for customer technical support? Who’d have thought of that even five years ago? However, some things really haven’t changed; we at ASP have long noted that service is often the forgotten element in a company’s profitability.

Way back in the “good old days” when technical support still largely meant on-site “break/fix” of hardware and even software, the actual service (properly negotiated and priced) was (and continues to be) often the more profitable component of the business mix, shoring up the rapidly disappearing margins of product sales. These days, while service still often doesn’t seem get the respect it deserves from CEOs, CFOs and marketers, an increasing number of companies recognize that service can be a key competitive differentiator, with smaller companies able to move more quickly and effectively to respond to and even anticipate service opportunities. This is why the “conventional wisdom” that larger companies should have an inherent advantage to marketing services isn’t always so wise.