Much of the content I read seems to oversimplify field service innovation. Maybe this is because I have so many conversations with field service leaders that, despite immense knowledge and vast capabilities, are still struggling to get a handle on the best ways to improve their businesses. You read about how companies are transforming with today’s technologies, and in many ways it looks easy, but the reality is it is just that – there are so many competing priorities, a multitude of options (a gift and a curse), and numerous paths to success.
As today’s field service organizations race to adapt to growing demands and new business models, we see technology after technology being introduced in an effort to maximize productivity, improve the customer experience, and share knowledge across the business. Your technology options today are virtually limitless, which is both exciting and intimidating. But as you evaluate how tools like a new field service software solution, IoT, AR, or AI can help you accomplish your field service optimization goals, you have to keep in mind one critically important thing – any of the technologies you have at your disposal will only have their intended impact if they are embraced by your workforce.
We’ve published a number of articles recently on the challenges field service organizations are facing with recruitment and hiring. In this article with Robb Origer of DISH and in this article with Roy Dockery of Swisslog Healthcare, we discussed how it is necessary for field service organizations to move away from hiring based on experience and begin hiring based on skills and abilities. However, despite this recognition, the field service industry is still struggling to diversify. You can read here the firsthand perspective of a female field technician on how the industry needs to up the efforts to become more inclusive.
Believe it or not, change management often gets overlooked when companies are transforming their businesses. I think this happens for a number of reasons – it seems like a given, so not much time is put into really developing a solid strategy; the team is so focused on the project itself that managing the change gets rushed or overlooked; everyone thinks someone else is in charge of this; and so on. While change management is a topic that is discussed a lot, my conversations with field service leaders have revealed that many times change management in practice doesn’t look like change management on paper.
You’re probably familiar with the value proposition of AR (augmented reality) in field service, particularly the impact it can have in the areas of training and remote diagnostics. I wrote in this column after Field Service USA in April that the interest in AR among the audience had grown exponentially from the previous year’s event. Since writing that column in April, I’ve talked with a number of field service leaders at various stages of introducing AR to their workforces. In fact, just last week I held a video focus group with some of our editorial board members to discuss in detail their adoption of AR.
Last week I wrote a column about the fact that Gartner recently reported that just 22 percent of customer experience (CX) leaders report their CX efforts exceed customers’ expectations. In that column I dove into three reasons I feel field service organizations are missing the mark with their customer experience initiatives — for this column I decided to ask some of our board members to share what they feel their organizations are doing right when it comes to CX.
I’ve had countless conversations with field service leaders that feel overwhelmed by the process of selecting technology to improve their businesses. This holds especially true for field service software, because there are so many solutions to evaluate. With the exception of large organizations that may have a dedicated solution selection and implementation team, field service leaders are trying to fit this process of solution evaluation in amidst their already busy “day job.”
Customer experience (CX) has become a major focus for field service organizations. While it is getting a lot of attention, recent research from Gartner indicates that CX initiatives are falling short. Gartner reports that “The goal of CX is to meet and exceed customer expectations, but while 48 percent say their CX efforts exceed management’s expectations, just 22 percent of CX leaders report their CX efforts exceed customers’ expectations.”
Replacing paper-based processes with a rugged tablet-based mobile solution makes employees 50 percent more productive by eliminating administrative tasks.
Field service management equips new service organization to handle tripled revenue growth this year.