From The Editor | August 23, 2012

From Service To Sales: How Mobile Technology Can Help

By Sarah Howland, Editor In Chief, Field Technologies magazine

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about the role your service techs can play in your sales process. Some companies prefer to think of these roles as completely separate, but if you really consider the idea, it makes a lot of sense — your techs are face-to-face with your customers when they’re called upon in a time of need. Enabling them to engage in the sales process can help your company to capitalize on opportunities you may not be aware of or able to get to quickly otherwise, thereby optimizing revenue.

There are countless ways to configure how the sales process will fit into your service techs’ daily routine. Regardless of the configuration, here are some tips for how technology can help make your techs effective at the sales process:

  • Make a good first impression. The best way to get a sales interaction off to a bad start is to make a bad first impression, and the easiest way to make a bad first impression on a service call is to arrive late or unprepared for the task at hand. Leveraging technologies such as optimized scheduling/routing solutions, GPS fleet management, and navigation helps to ensure your techs arrive on time and prepared for the job. This will put your customers at ease, giving your techs a better chance at incorporating sales into the appointment.
  • Be knowledgeable and confident. The most important thing for a service tech to be armed with at a call in order to engage in a sales conversation is information. Using a mobile computing solution to provide real-time access to customer history information is essential. This data allows your service tech to see what opportunities exist to suggestively sell to the customer they’re visiting. In addition, being armed with the customer history information needed — as well as any information that might be needed to get the current service job done, such as diagrams or troubleshooting information — gives your tech a level of confidence that is essential to successfully executing a sales conversation.
  • Be ready to close the deal. So your tech is on-site for a service call and has identified an opportunity to incorporate sales — be it a system upgrade, replacement, or add-on, or an extended warranty or service agreement. With the real-time information he has available, he’s well-prepared for the conversation and it goes well — the customer is sold. What happens if the tech just notes this, relays the information back at the office, and then someone follows up later to close the deal? The opportunity could disappear — the customer might change their mind, forget the conversation, etc. Your best bet is to provide your techs with the technology they need to close the deal then and there. A mobile device with signature capture and mobile payment capabilities enables techs to have the customer sign a contract or even pay for the upgrade/add-on immediately following the conversation and their acceptance — ensuring the sales opportunity isn’t lost.