Field Service Technician: The Next Great Superhero?

Field Service Technician: The Next Great Superhero?

What makes a great service experience? Is it whether or not the technician showed up on time? Is it whether or not the issue was resolved? Or, do you care if the technician smiled and told a few jokes? The future of service demands all of the above. Customers have more power than ever before, and technicians are expected to show up on time (within a shorter window), resolve the issue on the first visit, and interact with the customer on a personal level. This multi-layered profile of the emerging field technician demands a new way of thinking about field service – from hiring, to training, to investments in technology. As seen in Aberdeen Group’s report, Field Service 2016: Strengthen the Team, Bond with Your Customers (June 2016), the Best-in-Class focus on creating a new breed of technician who can do it all with the help of technology and improved workforce management. The Best-in-Class don’t just hope that their technicians are getting better. As you can see, they actively work to ensure continual improvement amongst field service staff. This level of investment in the technician highlights the importance that the Best-in-Class place on field service and their understanding of the impact that the field service experience has on customer satisfaction and retention. (Note: In our study, the Best-in-Class boasted a mean customer satisfaction rate of 92%!) Field service today has to go above and beyond the status quo and the SLA. To learn more about all the ways that the Best-in-Class work to turn the field team into customer partners, read the full report HERE. Image Source (Creative Commons): Leo...
The Convergence of Self-Service and the Internet of Things

The Convergence of Self-Service and the Internet of Things

Self-service is becoming the new customer service. Companies are putting FAQs and portals together to empower the customer with information on their own timetable. It is imperative, however, that service leaders and manufacturers not focus on self-service primarily as a cost reduction measure, but instead think of it as an opportunity for the customer to begin owning a portion of their own experience. This convergence between customer empowerment and self-service is being fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT) for the Best-in-Class. These top performers have tapped into the real-time intelligence coming off smart, connected machines to drive self-service insights for the customer. As seen in Aberdeen Group’s report, Field Service, Self-Service, and the Internet of Things (June 2016), 55% of the Best-in-Class have a customer portal in place to enable self-service, and these portals are being used to trigger service events, aid in scheduling based on customer preferences, and help in training for improved customer performance. Self-service is just part of the equation. The Best-in-Class, as you can see below, are leveraging the IoT almost as much for innovation and product development, and even more aggressively to uncover new service offerings. In other words, the IoT has the power to connect the customer to their own answers while also ensuring that service organizations can provide customers with a new value. Service doesn’t have to be reactive or simply on the manufacturers timeline; it can be triggered by the customer (or, more incredibly, the device or machine itself). To learn more about the impact of the IoT on service, read the full report HERE. Image Source (Creative Commons):...
The Magic of Mobility for Field Service

The Magic of Mobility for Field Service

In the past, field workers carried reams of paperwork to complete their orders in the field. Today, the average mobile worker carries just two devices to do the job. It may seem like magic. But behind the scenes there’s an IT department doing a lot of tricks to ensure that devices and the applications running on them deliver a seamless, productivity-boosting user experience. On June 30th, join Aberdeen Group and NetMotion Wireless for a discussion about what separates the best from the rest when it comes to solutions for your mobile workers. Who you’ll hear from: Aly Pinder, Senior Research Analyst Aberdeen Group John Knopf, Vice President Product Management NetMotion Wireless What you’ll learn: The state of the field service market How to deliver a seamless mobile experience How to improve troubleshooting and support in the field Common solution selection pitfalls What’s next for mobility We’ll show you the features you need to eliminate workers’ frustration, help them do more – and generally make them believe you’re a mobility magician.   Reserve Your Seat...
Just Fix It. Nothing Else Matters.

Just Fix It. Nothing Else Matters.

Why do customers complain? Is it because a product or piece of equipment failed? Is it because they had to wait too long for service? Is it because they didn’t like the polo shirt worn by the technician who showed up on site? All of these issues may play a factor in creating a dissatisfied customer. However, as shown in Aberdeen Group’s report, First-Time Fix: Revisit a Metric Driving Success (March 2016), the number one reason customers complain about service is that the technician was unable to resolve the issue they were called about. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it highlights a shift in the way service and customer interactions have evolved. In the past, showing up on-time or meeting an SLA is what mattered. Now, the customer is empowered and has options for spending their service dollar. As a result, just showing up is not good enough; you need to actually solve the problem… and you need to do it the first time. This shift has far-reaching ramifications for service organizations and manufacturers. Metrics, goals, strategy, and technology all need to be re-evaluated. What might have worked just a couple years ago is no longer relevant. However, you need not get too discouraged. In my recent report, I lay out a clear roadmap highlighting how organizations that excel at first-time fix got there. Don’t lose sight of what matters to your customers. Don’t give them a reason to complain, or worse yet, ditch you for the competition. Customers want their problems solved. Do that on the first visit. It’s not just a good idea. It’s the key to providing service that customers value. Image Source (Creative Commons): U.S Naval Forces...
Customer-Centricity: The New Face of Best-in-Class Field Service

Customer-Centricity: The New Face of Best-in-Class Field Service

Let your voice be heard! Take my latest survey: Field Service 2016: Strengthen the Team and Bond with Your Customers. Not too long ago, if your cable or major appliance repair person showed up to your house within a 12-hour window, you would have thanked them for showing up at all. Our expectation, as customers, was that we were at the mercy of the service organization’s resources and availability. We were happy just to see that white van or utility truck roll up to our house, even if we had lost an entire day’s productivity, had to call in sick to work, and didn’t actually have the issue resolved. Even typing that hypothetical makes me sad! In 2016, service organizations like the one described above are on their way out. Competition, customer empowerment, and the consumerization of traditionally B2B environments has changed the rules of engagement. Customers demand that service teams show up on our schedule, not the other way around. Service organizations have had to invest in technology to support their migration from a reactive to a proactive service model. And Chief Servicer Officers (CSOs) are beginning to track “soft” metrics such as NPS (Net Promoter Score), customer effort, and employee engagement. Early findings from my current survey – Field Service 2016: Strengthen the Team and Bond with Your Customers – show that a top pressure facing service leaders is the need to improve customer engagement. Just a few years ago, this concern wouldn’t have even made the Top 10. The service world is indeed changing. Field Service USA: Will I see you there? I can’t wait until later this month when I attend WBR’s...
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