A Team of Employees and Third-Party Contractors

In the final excerpt from a recent e-book sponsored by Salesforce, and now available at Field Service News, we analyze how developing relationships with third-party contractors is essential to achieve a positive customer experience.

 

With field service often outsourced to third-party contractors, the chances of disconnect increase even more. If they’re not connected, contracted field service may not be able to quickly determine if a broken part is covered by a warranty contract. Addressing such issues is paramount to delivering a compelling CX.

 

While serving as Xerox’s international service director, overseeing much of the company’s operations in Europe, Glover was always on the lookout for partners to outsource field service to in various countries.

 

He quickly discovered the need to develop true partnerships with contractors, making sure they earned high enough margins to stay invested in the work. “You don’t want a mismatch of incentives, where they lose interest,” he says. “You want them to have skin in the game. You want to keep a contractor in good fettle, completely involved in your business. They carry your brand. You want to make them feel part of your family.”

 

Contractors should be treated as if they were internal employees, Glover says, and get access to any company information needed to make an efficient field-service call. Ideally, he says, this means avoiding vendors who handle service-level agreements (SLAs) for multiple companies, which may lead them to prioritize another client’s interests.

 

Serving too many companies can also affect how much of your data a contractor can access. “In some countries, especially where contractors worked with many clients, they would use their own data systems,” Glover says. “In some cases, that made it difficult to send them a richness of data about the device, and the nature of the customer’s symptoms, and give them the same access to diagnostics techniques as internal employees had.”

 

“In one case, Glover says, he saw a company support some of their managers who wanted to launch their own businesses, and the company outsourced the work to them. “They were happy to use the same system, because that’s what they have been doing before,” he says.

 

From Cost to Profit Center

 

When all the pieces come together, and the data silos are eliminated, field service can have a significant impact on the company. As trusted customer advisors, the field-service team is positioned to turn into a pre-sales force when set up for success with training.

 

“Field service is a soft way to generate revenue,” Leggett says. “Because they are onsite with the customer, they have a better understanding of the way the customer is using the product.

Data usage note: By accessing this content you consent to the contact details submitted when you registered as a subscriber to fieldservicenews.com to be shared with the listed sponsor of this premium content Salesforce who may contact you for legitimate business reasons to discuss the content of this briefing report.

This content is available for FSN PRO members and also for a limited period for FSN FREE members. Please make sure you are logged in to access this content. 

Not yet subscribed? Instantly unlock this content and more on our forever-free subscription tier FSN FREE

Unlock with FSN FREE

As trusted customer advisors, the field-service team is positioned to turn into a pre-sales force when set up for success with training.

 

They can help the customer get more value from the product, while soft-selling additional complementary products that will add even more value. That will make the customer happier with the product and more likely to stay with you.”

 

This has been the case for Cruz of Fresenius Medical Care North America. “We’re trying to move to become a true P&L,” Cruz says. “We are heading down the path of becoming more than a cost center.”

 

Turning field-service workers into a pre-sales force requires training. They need to learn how to pair a customer- centric approach with technical know-how to give their recommendations more weight.

 

“We want the field-service force to be better communicators of our products and services,” Cruz says. “We want customers to understand we’re factory-trained technicians who can provide end-to-end services. This isn’t an official program, but we want to make sure the message is consistent and standardized.”

 

Conclusion

 

In many companies, field-service operations still tend to focus on products and physical assets rather than on the CX that service brings. “The problem has been a historic fragmentation of the role,” Cantor says. “People accepted those departmental and functional silos. Maximizing every touchpoint is essential to changing that and making field service workers into true ambassadors.”

 

Customers’ acceptance of these silos is also waning in light of Covid-19, which has increased the demand for technical support while changing how customers want to interact with field-service technicians. Exceptional customer service is the top differentiator for field-service organizations, significantly higher than lower costs and the speed of service, the Field Services News survey found.

 

As companies develop omnichannel efforts to improve CX, they often overlook the criticality of field service. However, field service is the litmus test for how well a company delivers CX, Cantor says.

 

“Your mobile workers in the field are by definition the people who are most disconnected from the rest of the organization,” he says. “Field service should be a test case. If they feel connected to your organization and have the access to information and internal experts they need, that confirms you are delivering a good customer experience throughout the organization.”

Do you want to know more? 

 

For a limited time the white paper this feature is taken from will be available on our forever-free subscription tier FSN FREE as well as being available to all FSN PRO subscribers. 
 

If you are already a subscriber you can access the report instantly on the ‘read now’ button below. If the button is showing ‘Join FSN FREE’ please log-in and refresh the page. 

 

If you are yet to subscribe simply click the button below and complete the brief registration form to subscribe and you will get instant access to this report plus a selection of premium resources each month completely free. 

This content is available for FSN PRO members and also for a limited period for FSN FREE members. Please make sure you are logged in to access this content. 

Not yet subscribed? Instantly unlock this content and more on our forever-free subscription tier FSN FREE

Unlock with FSN FREE

Data usage note: By accessing this content you consent to the contact details submitted when you registered as a subscriber to fieldservicenews.com to be shared with the listed sponsor of this premium content Salesforce who may contact you for legitimate business reasons to discuss the content of this briefing report.

(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)
Close