By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
If you’ve found yourself feeling frustrated or overwhelmed lately about all of the ways that field service is changing, you are not alone. Keeping up with the pace of change, and understanding — let alone embracing — all that is going on, is a tall order. But the reality is you are being forced to adapt to a new landscape — and you can’t drag your feet in doing so. There’s largely a new approach to service today — the function has become a focus area and revenue opportunity for many businesses, and therefore is viewed and handled differently. There’s far more of a focus on the customer right now in service than ever before, which brings about new objectives and challenges. And there are new technologies to understand and deploy. It does sound overwhelming — but you can handle it. Here are three pieces of advice I have for how to embrace the changing service landscape.
#1: Don’t Fear Change
Change makes everyone uncomfortable — but you can’t let discomfort turn into fear, because fear is paralyzing. Change is opportunity, and there is a wealth of opportunity in the service industry right now. Try not to get stuck in the “but we’ve always done it this way” mindset, and instead open your mind to the new possibilities. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. In fact, what you should really fear is remaining stagnant. Ride the wave of change and allow it to transform your business.
#2: Study Industry Leaders
The expectation for service is far higher today than it has ever been, and there are many companies leading the way that make for great case studies. You don’t necessarily need to find an example in your own industry — you can easily study what some of the leading service organizations are doing, regardless of industry, and think of how it would apply to your business. The overall goal is to streamline service and make it a seamless, positive experience for your customers. Watch how leading service organizations are doing this today, and think about what changes you could make in your people, processes, or technology to mirror some of the aspects of their service that make it great. You don’t have to copy any one company, but you can take bits and pieces of what certain organizations are doing well and make them your own.
#3: Don’t Procrastinate
The reality of the changing service landscape is that if you hesitate to embrace it, you may quickly be left behind by your competition. The changes that are taking place are not hypothetical; they are happening. There’s a difference between research and procrastination. There’s a difference between due diligence and overanalyzing. You want to be smart about the ways your business needs to change, but you can’t wait too long. The majority of today’s service organizations are actively making changes to how they conduct business, and you need to do the same.