From The Editor | May 22, 2014

Technology Is Awesome, But Don't Forget The Human Side Of Field Service

Sarah Nicastro

By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
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Field mobility is pretty amazing. I’ve become a bit of a nerd about this stuff in my tenure at Field Technologies, which I never really saw coming. It’s happened because I’ve witnessed so many incredible stories about how readers such as you are leveraging mobile technologies to truly transform organizations. And in my time here, the technologies and tools themselves have evolved so much — what’s available to you today to enable your mobile workforce is truly incredible. But while the technologies available today ARE incredible, at the end of the day they are just tools. It’s your workforce that really matters. And we talk a lot about how to engage your workforce in mobility rollouts, how to create employee buy-in, all of that. But what I want to talk about right now is how the human aspect of field service can truly impact your customers. Let me share a story with you.

In April, I was at WBR Field Service USA and heard Renee Cacchillo, VP, customer and brand strategy at Safelite Group, speak (you might remember Renee from our October 2013 issue when we featured Safelite’s workforce optimization strategy). She shared a story that I found very moving. Safelite had a field technician who noticed that a client he’d be visiting for service was deaf. He didn’t know sign language and began thinking about how he could communicate with that client so that the client would feel comfortable with what was going to happen during the service appointment. The tech took it upon himself to approach one of his coworkers who knew sign language and asked if he could record a brief video on his smartphone to introduce him and summarize what would be happening during the appointment. The technician then played this video for his client when he arrived on-site. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture that required fairly little work and made a huge impact on the client. Safelite took notice of this tech’s initiative and has since created a video all techs can use when they have an appointment with a deaf client.

Using Mobility As An Enabler
What this story made me think about is the fact that while the smartphone was an important tool in delivering the video to the client, what really made the impact was the tech’s thoughtfulness — the human aspect. That tech was thinking first about the customer experience and then using his technologies/tools to help him deliver great service. I can’t imagine a more perfect illustration of how field mobility should be used — lead with what your customers want and need, and then think about how today’s technologies can help you deliver it.