If you empower your field service technicians to be service ambassadors you build strong partnerships and increase revenue.
For some organisations, field service is a post-sale, cash-draining obligation. For others, it’s an opportunity to engage customers, deepen relationships, and increase revenue.
Field service has traditionally been viewed as cost center but continuing to think like that is a lost opportunity. An efficient field service technician can significantly increase revenue for your organisation. Have you considered that your technician can be your best sales rep?
Increase revenue by building trust and loyalty
Field service can have a high impact in your long-term revenue by creating trust and loyalty. If you are in B2B business, broken machines or downtime means lost revenue for your customers, so it must be avoided. If you can build a field service organisation that keeps your customers’ machines up and running and minimise downtime, you make your organisation a trusted partner who helps your customers to reach their goals.
With new technologies like Internet of Things and Machine Learning, you can even build predictive and proactive maintenance models -and fix the issues before they become problems. By transforming field service into a profit center, you can reorient your service delivery teams toward the needs of each customer. In doing so, you succeed in tying customers closer to your systems, services, and products – fostering brand loyalty and strengthening relationships.
Find new revenue streams
Field service technicians are in a perfect position to establish the kind of valuable customers relationships that make the up-selling of services and equipment possible at a very low cost of sale. After all, who knows your customer better than the technician who goes onsite and sees exactly how they run their machines? Who earns your customer trust better than the engineer who goes onsite and fixes the problems quickly and with confidence?
It is not about going to the customer and making a sales pitch, but it is about understanding the customer and recommending products and services that add value to him. If I order a technician to fix the copy machine at the office, I don’t want him to try to sell me a coffee machine, but I might be interested in automatic paper delivery based on the usage of the copy machine – or I might be interested in a copy machine cleaning set that keeps the machine in a good shape. Again, it is about you helping your customers to reach their goals.
Empower your field service technician to be service ambassadors
You can’t leave your technicians alone, but you must ensure they have the necessary training and the information they need about the customer and products. By providing an easy mobile access to the relevant information you can empower your technicians to become brand ambassadors, capable of advising your customers on ways to improve productivity and uptime by suggesting additional goods and services.
Combined with their years of experience, this data can help technicians to spot aspects of an installation that may not be right for that customer and offer advice on improvements. For example, they can suggest training, part replacement, upgrades, maintenance services or new equipment. By keeping your customers’ machines up and running, you build strong partnerships and increase revenue.
Transformation in action
A great example of a company who successfully turned field service from cost center to profit center is Markem-Imaje, a global printer company. They automated many of their field service processes, integrated their field service solution into the back-end systems for streamlined data-flow and equipped their technicians with mobile tools. As a result, they can now help more customers with the same amount of technicians and minimise the downtime for their customer organisations
They were able to significantly cut the time it takes to fix customer issues -benefitting both themselves and their customers. In addition to improved customer service, they also found new revenue streams, as their technicians can now recommend value-adding services, like service contracts, training or consumable products. After starting their field service transformation project, they have been able to increase lead generation and improve the lead conversion rates significantly. And their journey continues.
This article originally appeared on the Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce.