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Book serialisation: Beyond great service

Oct 30 • Features, Management • 1207 Views • No Comments on Book serialisation: Beyond great service

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Field Service consultant and author Jim Baston begins a new series in which he has kindly agreed to serialise his industry focussed book Beyond Great Service for Field Service News readers. Here in the first part of this new exclusive series he introduces the series…

Welcome to the first in a series of articles based on my book, Beyond GREAT SERVICE – The Technician’s Role in Proactive Business Growth.

Beyond GREAT SERVICE is written for those who are responsible for field service operations and who believe that the technician’s role is more than maintaining, troubleshooting and repairing equipment. It is for those business leaders who recognise that the proactive effort of technicians to identify and recommend products and services to their customers is a valuable service.

We will see how his perception of the role of the field service team changes and how that change allows him to clearly see the task ahead of him

The book is a fictional account about Charlie, a service manager who discovers the secret of successfully engaging his field service team in conversations with their customers about the products and services they provide. As part of his education, he uncovers the pitfalls that will limit his success, and plans a way to address them. Most importantly, Charlie comes to recognise that the proactive efforts of his team are a critical part of the overall service his company provides, not an add-on selling activity. This last point brings clarity of purpose to the initiative for everyone involved and allows his team to move forward with enthusiasm.

In this series of articles, I will be following Charlie’s journey and draw on the lessons he has learned along the way. We will see how his perception of the role of the field service team changes and how that change allows him to clearly see the task ahead of him. I will end each article with a series of questions that I hope you will find helpful in analysing your own service business.

The themes that will be covered in these articles include:

  • Recognizing the role of field service in business promotion as a service. Here we will examine what we are asking the field service team to do through their proactive efforts and why. Although the field service team’s efforts are often confused with selling, we will explore the importance of ensuring that everyone involved recognizes their efforts as a critical part of the service provided. This is an important concept to grasp, as it will guide the direction the initiative will take and provide inspiration for those involved.
  • Understanding the critical factors that will determine success. Here we will consider those factors that will be critical to the success of the initiative. In my experience, some of these are “elephants in the room” (we know they exist but don’t want to acknowledge them) and others may not have been considered. Regardless, these are all factors that, if not addressed, will greatly limit the success of the initiative.
  • Involving the customer. As Charlie develops the plan, he seeks feedback from key customers to get their reaction and input. We will examine the value of taking this step and provide suggestions on how it can be accomplished.
  • Differentiating based on the field service team’s efforts. If the proactive efforts of the field service team are indeed a service to the customer, shouldn’t we treat it as we would any other service that we provide? We will consider how we can differentiate our service business by promoting the efforts of our field service team to our customers. This is the opportunity for a service company to stand out from its competitors by truly working collaboratively with their customers.
  • Measuring, monitoring and continuous improvement. Here we will look at what we can do to measure the effectiveness of our efforts and use that information to fine tune our service offering.

My hope is that these series of articles will be of value to service companies in all stages of engaging their field service teams in business development – from those who have not yet started, to those who have formal initiatives in place.

My goal is to provide a blue print that you can follow to help you achieve your goals faster and avoid some of the common pitfalls. For those already underway, my hope is that these articles will provide inspiration and ideas that will contribute to the effectiveness of your initiative…

For those not yet started, my goal is to provide a blue print that you can follow to help you achieve your goals faster and avoid some of the common pitfalls. For those already underway, my hope is that these articles will provide inspiration and ideas that will contribute to the effectiveness of your initiative.

The book, Beyond GREAT SERVICE – The Technician’s Role in Proactive Business Growth is available on my website at www.jimbaston.com. There you will also find a copy of my latest book, the Beyond GREAT SERVICE Planning Guide.

The Planning Guide is a step-by-step approach to planning and implementing a strategy to focus the entire field service organisation on identifying and recommending actions that their customers can take to be measurably better off. The Planning Guide is intended to help you to ensure that all aspects of your field service organisation – from technicians to supporting infrastructure – are aligned and focused on delivering a service which is “Beyond GREAT”.

An electronic copy of my book is available for download from www.amazon.com or www.amazon.ca. Just type in “Beyond GREAT SERVICE” in the search bar.

I value your feedback about my articles and insight into your own experiences in engaging your field service teams in business development. You can reach me by email at jim@jimbaston.com.

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