Written by 6:00 am Digital Transformation

Don’t give me more data, give me actionable data

Aberdeen’s Aly Pinder asks are we smarter than we were in the past, or do we just have better access to data?

When was the last time you asked someone for directions, or used a phone book, or waited for the day’s forecast on the morning news?

Well, that last one is probably something you still do out of habit, but the others are things which have left our consciousness as we can just “Google it” from our smart phones. The emergence of technology and the IoT has flooded the service leader with more data than ever before. Machines talk to machines, technicians collaborate with each other via mobile devices while in the field, and customers interact with the service team in real-time owning their experience.

But with all this access to information and data comes a few challenges. How much is too much data? How can we turn this data into actionable insights? Who needs to know what and when?

These are all questions that the Best-in-Class service leader is tackling right now. As seen in Aberdeen Group’s recent State of Service Management in 2016: Empower the Data-Driven CSO (March 2016) research, one of the top goals for service leadership was improving the quality and relevance of data for the service team. This is a top 3 goal, only trailing the need to improve customer retention and drive service profitability.

Happy customers, profits, and then data quality in that order shows how the impact of data is rising on the agenda of the senior service leader today. But how do we get to a place where data is useful?

Is the answer to our data problem more technology?

Top performers recognise that ensuring the service team has actionable data is a journey and not something that can be solved with one-off investments. It takes a strategy, leadership, and resolve. Connecting the field team to insights helped these organisations resolve issues faster, deliver more value to the customer conversation, and make the field team better at their jobs! [quote float=”left”]“Top performers recognise that ensuring the service team has actionable data is a journey and not something that can be solved with one-off investments. It takes a strategy, leadership, and resolve…” [/quote]

All these are great, and the Best-in-Class have some lessons for the rest of us:

Empower the service team with the data they need to make decisions, more isn’t always better.

Top performers ensure the field team has customized data views which provide only the pertinent information for technician for the specific task they are working on. Having the data necessary to solve complex issues at the time of service is integral to ensuring resolution can occur on a first visit, technicians are efficient, and the customer can be back up and running with minimal downtime.

Give the field team the mobile tools to have access to insights.

The field workforce is rapidly changing. We have been fearing the aging workforce for some time now, and it is finally here. But the Best-in-Class ensure that as technicians leave the business, their knowledge does not. They are able to capture best practices and expertise, and store these insights in an accessible location which can be tapped into via mobility in the field.

Leverage machine, customer, and technician data to identify the future of service excellence.

The IoT means different things to different people and industries. But the value isn’t just in the fact that we more devices are connected. The value of the IoT is in connecting the service chain to resolution, value creation, and collaboration. Smart machines and products open up a whole new world of possibilities as savvy organisations can take this data and better understand how to optimise assets performance, build better machines, deliver more targeted services to customers, and ensure technicians know the answer to the problem before they even get on site in front of the machine.

The proliferation of data in this era of the empowered customer can be a challenge for many organisations. Too much data leads to delayed action or inaction altogether. Top performing organisations have invested in technology and their internal processes to ensure they can turn all of the valuable data being captured every minute into actionable insights which drive value.

Top performers were able to take improved data capabilities and turn that into outperformance in key metrics such as customer retention, SLA compliance, and worker productivity.

Don’t be left behind looking at a phone book or reading a map. Tap into real-time data to make the decisions which will lead you into the future of service excellence.