From The Editor | October 12, 2018

TruGreen Balances Customer Experience Strategy And Tactics

Sarah Nicastro

By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
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We’ll be featuring lawncare company TruGreen for an upcoming Field Technologies’ cover story, discussing how the company has been on a mission since 2014 to put technologies in place to transform its operations and better serve its customers. While I was talking with Ken DeWitt, CIO of TruGreen, for the article, he spoke about how one of the keys to success with a customer-centric approach is to have a solid strategy that guides every aspect of your tactical approach.

“You have to develop a big-picture strategy before you start working on tactics. Think of it like building your house. If you you want to build a 5000-square foot house, you’re not going to build it one room at a time. If you don’t have the right design, the right architecture, the right end result expectations, you’re not going to end up with the lovely 5,000-square foot mansion that you want. You’re going to end up with something where you can’t get from rooms to floors and having to do things over because you didn’t think in advance,” he says. “With large initiatives like customer experience, you always have to think big, strategize and architect big, and then come up with what are appropriate tactical steps to achieving that strategy.”

Technologies That Support A Customer Focus

The list of technologies TruGreen is using to support its customer experience strategy is impressive and includes an internally-developed mobile sales application, a telematics and mobile service app from Verizon Connect deployed on Samsung tablets, a customer application and e-commerce site, and the recent addition real-time location technology provided by Glympse. The implementation of these technologies has been an ongoing effort since 2014, all with the company’s larger customer experience strategy in mind.

“Sometimes technologies are deployed concurrently, sometimes they’re serial. But the release strategy is set to build value along the way, while having an end game strategy in mind,” says DeWitt. “The one thing that doesn’t work these days is that you can’t spend tens of millions of dollars and multiple years to develop a solution, because by then, technologies change, business needs have changed, people have changed, and you will ultimately flounder or fail. You have to have a strategy of where you want to go, and you have to employ tactics to get there in an incremental way, so you’re always adding value.”

This iterative approach is becoming more common among field service organizations that recognize how quickly both the industry and the technology landscape are changing. The ability to work toward a big-picture goal, but do so in an agile manner, has been demonstrated by other organizations we’ve featured in Field Technologies this year, including ServiceMaster and National Grid. The rigidity of a traditional approach simply doesn’t work in an environment that is very rapidly evolving.

Stay tuned for more on what TruGreen has accomplished with the technologies the company is using to enable its customer-centric strategy.