If you get a chance to reinvent your field service business, what would you like to change? What capabilities do you think could help you disrupt the market? Wouldn’t you like to become a market leader?
New technologies and tools enable you to open up to new possibilities. With IoT you can track and monitor every equipment, every person, and every activity in your organization. AI and machine learning can read and make sense out of your organizational data to recommend you the best options. AR and VR allows you to simulate the real-world environment and get more done with less resources without compromising on quality.
Emerging technologies are far from reaching their threshold and still have massive potential to transform your field service business. How can you realize the transformation? This is not a simple question to ask and only leadership teams can answer it.
Here we have identified three 3 key elements of field service business transformation. The presence of these elements is necessary in your strategy.
According to a HBR article, it is the customers who drive the disruption. In a survey, when asked to business leaders, who do they think drives the disruption in their industry, most of them pointed to technology. A few put their fingers on startups. But if you see the recent pattern of disruption, it indicates towards customers.
As in most companies that have successfully managed to disrupt the industry are those who have transformed the way customers deal with them. It is the customer activities they have transformed.
For example, Uber changed the way commercial vehicles were booked. They worked on the customer pain points in the area, and created a solution that enabled people to book vehicles more easily and at a fair cost.
Similarly, Xerox in the 1960s launched a new photo copier machine that changed the speed of the photocopying. For instance, at that time, the average speed of photocopy was 12 pages per day, whereas the new Xerox model could photocopy 2000 pages in a day.
But it had a problem; the machine was too expensive for the customers. To make the machine affordable for them, Xerox created a service based model, wherein customers would not have to pay for the machine, instead the outcome. In this case, customers would only pay per copy in excess of 2000 copies per month. The model helped Xerox become an alternate name for photocopying.
Discovering the customer pain points is essential for any field service business today. At any point, if you feel lost, your most unhappy customers could lead you the way. To reckon your unhappy customers, track every customer touch point from digital to physical, install a listening mechanism to capture their feedback, and remove barriers from scheduling and dispatch processes using software and tools.
Service transformations do not happen in vacuum. This is because disruptive companies are not relying only on products; they are providing solutions to the most challenging problems of the customers.
Modern products are a complex mixture of solutions. Take your smartphones for an example. Smartphones today are not only sold for their calling and camera capabilities, but also for the ability to run popular applications, games, and movies. Would you buy a smartphone that gets heated quickly or whose screen freezes frequently. The fact is modern products are an amalgamation of products and services. They are solutions.
For example, smartphones or tablets for field service business provides a number of solutions, including accessibility by allowing access to critical documents in the field, initiating payment processes, track and monitor field activities, and more.
In order to succeed in the modern field service landscape, you need to rely on collaboration with products and service providers to create an ultimate solution for your customers. Make use of field service management software to automate your service workflow, validate approvals, track and manage inventory, including spare parts availability and stock-in and stock-out updates, and reduce service response time.
Slow and steady may not win the disruption race. Transformation of field service business requires bold thinking and solid investment in disruptive technologies. If you are yet to adopt digitization or lack an innovative team, it may be a final calling for your business. Adopt or get ready to fall behind.
A workable approach here could be to use at least a slice of emerging technologies to streamline your field operations, empower your field service teams, speed up payment processes, and develop tracking and monitoring capabilities to provide quick resolution and improve customer satisfaction.
Being disruptive is a survival game today. You can’t think of running your business the old way and still manage to meet customer expectations and become profitable.