On 19-21 October 2015, Global Partners will be sponsoring and attending the Field Service Europe 2015 conference in Amsterdam. This conference started in 2002 for leaders in customer care, service and support to discuss the future of the industry.
The first day of the conference will focus on finding value for customers. Here is a short overview of what will be covered:
“There has been a massive shift towards a value proposition in service: how do you create more value from the things you’ve done in the past? What do customers truly value? What are they willing to pay for? Field Service Europe 2015 kicks off with a look at how customer value affects service.” – Field Service Europe
Field service people have many opportunities to uncover real insights about your customers and find value for them. Technology Services Industry Association research indicates that service people are in front of their customers on average 70 times per month. That’s 7,500 opportunities every month, in an organization with 100 field service people. And, unlike sales people, service people are generally regarded as ones whose sole purpose is to address the customer’s challenges, rather than sell them something.
So how exactly can field service find value for customers? Here are 3 ways.
1. UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMER’S BIG PICTURE
As we know, customers want suppliers who are focused on helping them achieve their larger business outcomes. And in order to do this, you need to know what these outcomes are. You need to understand your customer’s big picture.
What is your customer trying to achieve as an organization? Reduce costs? Increase productivity? Increase growth? Become more competitive? Maybe they are focusing on a couple of these areas at the same time. The point is, if you understand what your customer is trying to achieve, you can begin finding value for customers in the areas that matter most to them.
2. UNCOVER YOUR CUSTOMER’S REAL PROBLEMS
When dealing with a customer request, do you take time to understand their problem? Not their technical issues, but their real, root-cause problem. An easy way to illustrate this concept is with an iceberg. At the top of the iceberg, above the waterline, we experience the technical related issues that we can easily see. However, at the bottom of the iceberg, deep under the waterline, there are typically bigger problems that are harder to uncover.
The problems deep under the waterline are the ones that can cause technical problems to resurface. Sometimes customers themselves aren’t even aware of these problems. It could be a personal issue or an organizational barrier. By discovering and addressing real customer problems, problem solving becomes much faster and clearer.
3. COME UP WITH WAYS TO DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMER
What are your customers’ expectations of your field service people? Things like solving their problems and fast response times might come to mind. Your customers expect you to do these things well. These are the types of things that your competitors do too. However, if you don’t do these things well, you end up with dissatisfied customers.
Field service can differentiate your organization by looking for ways to delight your customers. By being proactive and looking for these types of opportunities, you’ll begin to pull ahead of your competitors and build Trusted Business Partner relationships with customers. Embracing things like understanding your customer’s big picture and uncovering their real problems will enable you to more easily find these types of opportunities.