Field service has rapidly evolved into a critical revenue center in many industries that formerly relied on new product sales for profits. Service organizations are in the midst of a business model transition in terms of how they deliver service, interact with customers, and develop new lines of revenue. Legacy operational models may no longer be sufficient to meet customer demands, remain competitive, or deliver the margins upper management expects to see.
Service organizations will face a number of challenges in the next several years, but by planning for and addressing these areas now; they can improve their competitive positions and position themselves to take advantage of new revenue opportunities in the future.
Astea and the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) have identified six primary areas that service organizations should focus on in order to be successful over the next year (and beyond).
Delivery Channel Optimization: Service isn’t just delivered via on-site visits anymore; in fact, leading companies employ a mix of service channels to improve responsiveness and reduce costs. Service organizations are shifting their support focus from on-site visits to call centers and remote support. According to a recent survey by TSIA, members reported eliminating 35 percent of truck rolls using “proactive technologies.”
Smart, Connected Products: Assets at a customer site can be remotely monitored, diagnosed and repaired, often before the customer even knows there is a problem. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up new possibilities when it comes to service delivery. Service companies should develop strategies now to take advantage of this potentially rich source of data — and revenue.
Engaging Technicians to Increase Revenue: Service technicians are the face of your company. As such, many service organizations are asking techs to increase end user adoption and consumption by providing information on new features or services, capturing best practices at customer sites, and helping customers achieve their business goals using the companies’ products.
Mobility and Video Technology: More and more organizations have improved dispatching, scheduling, and technician productivity through the adoption of mobile technology. According to TSIA’s most recent benchmark data, 81 percent of companies have implemented mobility platforms in the field. Mobile video is the next frontier, enabling technicians to collaborate with each other using real-time images of the service challenges they have encountered.
Talent Management: An aging workforce and shrinking talent pool have made recruitment increasingly competitive. Service organizations will need to adopt new strategies for knowledge management, retention, recruitment, and training and development in order to make sure they have enough hands on deck to meet customer demand, and to ensure those technicians are properly trained and equipped.
Spare Parts Logistics: As companies shift to outcome-focused strategies, reducing costs and improving response times are imperative. Service organizations have to find ways to source and deliver parts to their technicians faster and more cost effectively.
For more information, you can view the recent webinar and whitepaper here.