By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
You didn’t attend Field Service USA last week in Palm Springs? Well let me fill you in on what you missed. Sunshine, palm trees, and picturesque mountain views. Bourbon tastings, cigar receptions, live music, and tasty eats. Mid-morning donuts, Irish coffee, and afternoon Bloody Marys and margaritas. Oh, you wanted to hear about the content? Ok, I can help with that too.
Overall, if I had to sum up the theme of the event it would be to expand your view of what optimizing field service means. If you are stuck in the mindset of simply cost cutting and improving productivity, you are selling your organization short. It’s time to start thinking beyond those standard goals. This theme was supported by a number of presentations I attended or conversations I had, starting with the keynote on Tuesday morning that featured Larry Wash, CEO of KONE. Larry spoke about all of the ways KONE is changing the game when it comes to field service, and it all led back to one thing - improving the customer experience. Technology as an enabler is important, but it’s really about so much more than that. Your people are your brand - they need to be equipped with more than just technology to represent your company in the best light. How you handle customer inquiries, issues, and interactions will ultimately determine your success or failure - it’s worth putting some serious thought into the strategy you have in place for customer relations. I plan to write a more detailed column on Larry’s presentation, but at the core he was adamant about the fact that everything you do needs to be centered around your customer and the experience they are having when interacting on any level with your company. This theme was echoed in many other presentations during the event.
I had a conversation with one of the new companies exhibiting at the event, Glympse, about how their technology is used to help your customers feel more actively involved in their service experience. Customers can view in real-time the status of their service appointment, and provide feedback quickly and easily at the end of the technician’s visit. This technology provides a way to make your customers feel involved and enabled, which could go a long way in improving customer satisfaction.
There was also some exciting news around the various field service automation technologies at the event too. From new product launches and many new companies on the exhibit floor to greater attendance than I remember in recent years, all in all it was an exciting week for the field service space and the folks like Field Technologies that serve it. Stay tuned for more insight gleaned from the event in the coming weeks!