Now that we are half way through 2018, I wanted to take some time to look at where the Field Service industry is right now. Here are some of my thoughts on the biggest struggles facing Field Service Organizations (FSO), where some of the greatest opportunities lie, and what trends to look for in the coming months and years.
Connected Customer Experience
One of the most pressing concerns among field service executives is the impending shortage of skilled workers. These concerns are well-founded. The U.S. labor market is expected to face a shortage of approximately 8.2 million workers by 2027, reports Thomas Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors.
Durable goods manufacturers and their service partners rely on skilled field service technicians to provide installation, inspection, repair, and maintenance services at customer locations. Many companies are currently managing the field service touch-points through multiple systems and department silos; using phone calls, emails, shared files, sticky notes and paper forms. The inefficient field service processes and systems result in increased customer churn, unproductive service technicians, and missed revenue opportunities with customers.
Over the last month I’ve spoken to over two dozen Field Service Executives about challenges they are facing when it comes to generating additional service revenue for their companies. I observed several common themes. First, every executive I interviewed indicated that they would like to sell more service contracts. However, they were experiencing resistance from customers as evidenced by low contract attachment rates. Second, these executives were concerned about whether or not their prices were too high or if their customers really needed service contracts. After all, this was the feedback they were receiving from their sales teams and even first hand from the customers that had spoken to directly.
If in the past you interviewed any great business leader about what it took to build a great business,
they would probably have pointed to three (3) basic elements:
- People – Comprised of all layers of personnel, from C-suite executives to the warehouse clerks, who bring vision, creativity, leadership, and passion to bringing products and service to market, and pleasing customers.
- Process – The structured and disciplined series of actions, steps, and procedures personnel must complete to perform the work of the company. These processes are only as good the people who design, manage, and perform them.