Field service has changed drastically in recent years – even in the past year. Whether you consider good field service to be an art or a science or something in between, what it takes to master field service is not the same as it was even a year ago. The result of that rapid and drastic change is that there are many field service organizations committing these field service “fatal flaws,” be it because they think the old way of doing business is working just fine, or because they just aren’t sure how to evolve.
Fatal Flaw #1: Missing The Opportunity To Leverage Field Service Strategically
Service is the face of your business. Service sells – customers can find products like yours elsewhere; service is your differentiator. Service has become a huge profit center for many forward-thinking and agile field service organizations. If you aren’t looking at your field service operation as a key aspect of your company’s strategy to grow, you are making a major mistake.
For many companies, service revenue has surpassed product revenue. While many are still working to get there, looking at service as a source to grow revenue is key to long-term success. Putting effort into fine-tuning and improving your service offerings, and looking for ways to create service contracts and recurring revenue are important.
Fatal Flaw #2: Staying Self-Centered
Historically, field service organizations were laser-focused on cost cutting and productivity metrics. There’s no denying that productivity and efficiency are crucial to any field service operation, but where this becomes a fatal flaw is focusing so narrowly on those internal measures that you fail to acknowledge the importance of the customer experience and satisfaction.
Customer experience has to come first. If your customers aren’t happy with the service you are providing, it won’t matter how efficiently you’re doing it. Yes, all of those things are tied together – efficiency and productivity contribute to a customer’s experience – but making the measurement of and improvement on customer experience a priority is essential for any field service organization today.
Fatal Flaw #3: Becoming A Laggard
In a customer-centric field service world, innovation is critical. Doing things the way you always have won’t work, and spinning your wheels will result in your competition passing you by. Modernization in line with a customer focus is key. You need to assess your field service organization’s mission statement, service delivery model, processes, and technologies used and get to work on making changes to align with your new strategic view of field service.
Modernization can’t happen all at once, but continual improvement is important. Start by fine tuning your mission statement and goals, both short and long term, and then identify the area to modernize that will provide the quickest benefit to your business. Accomplish that, and then keep moving down the list. There are so many ways to improve your business today that staying still is inexcusable.