Winning With Service [the broken link was removed] by John Teresko:
“From our viewpoint, machines are increasingly more difficult to differentiate for most applications,” admits Harry C. Moser, president, Agie Charmilles Corp., Lincolnshire, Ill. “There are many good competitors, and while we think our products are the best, for a lot of applications it is getting increasingly hard to prove, and therefore we have chosen to [also] differentiate via service.
Service can be a great differentiator, if you can do it well. Since, so often, service is poor in so many areas those that provide good service can set themselves apart. It is usually difficult for competitors to copy exceptional service.