Micheal Kuebel of Salesforce has been working with a number of companies to help them overcome the challenges of the global lockdowns. In this excerpt of the Field Service Podcast Kuebel identifies four key traits that he has seen emerge as common success factors amongst those companies he has seen adapt quickest and most successfully to the Covid-19 challenge.
Want to hear more? Head over to our podcast library @ www.fieldservicenews.com/podcasts and look for Series Five, Episode Three 'Adaptability, Customer-Centricity and Recovery ft. Lukas Fahnroth & Michael Kuebel'
Leadership, Customer-Centricity, Empowerment, Agility
There has been a lot of innovation on show of late. Of course, much of it has been born out of necessity as companies have frantically tried to adapt to the realities of a global lockdown as we deal as a planet with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yet, undoubtedly some companies have taken the challenges of the pandemic far more comfortably in their stride than others. Have there been some shared fundamental tenets of how those who adapted best were able to do so?
Michael Kuebel, Senior Director of Product Management, Salesforce has been working closely with many companies including Koenig and Bauer who were an excellent example of a company that was able to show agility and ingenuity in equal measure as they pivoted and adapted to the new scenario of a Covid-19 infested world. He certainly believes there are some shared attributes amongst those companies who showed the same levels of resilience that Koenig and Bauer did.
"We see basically four kinds of success factors when we talk to customers and see how they master this most turbulent of markets," Kuebel explained on the Field Service Podcast.
"Number one is strong leadership. We saw that when we talk to our customers and ask, 'how did you cope with the crisis?' We saw a common thread of companies establishing a clear understanding of customers and safety first. It was a time to come up with a complex strategy, it was a time for these simple clear directives.
"For all of the companies that we worked with, there was a focus on making sure their customers remained operational, and making sure that their employees, customers, their families and the society stayed safe. They execute this latest shift through a much more focused visibility. When in the past, they were looking at reporting cycles of a month, now it's more once a day or even intra-daily visibility. They need those KPIs right now, because it's such a volatile situation.
"Also, we saw that strong leadership must also lift the company through being a role model, creating trust and of course, making fact based decisions," Kuebel added.
"You need to make sure that your people are enabled, that they have the tools and they have the knowledge to make decisions when in the field..."
- Michael Kuebel, Salesforce
Indeed, this has been echoed through much of the reporting Field Service News has done on the topic and it does appear that there is a strong correlation between those organisations who were able to act swiftly but from a position of data-driven insight and those organisations that coped best with the lockdown scenario. Another strong link amongst such companies is also the willingness to have open and ongoing customer dialogue.
"The second aspect I mentioned, customer centricity," concurs Kuebel.
"We see customer engagement very much in focus. For practicality reasons at this time, we all need to enable our customers to help themselves better. That way they were creating a digital journey that the customer actually said, well, that's actually even effortless for me, it works and it's helping me stay productive. That is only possible if you have a 360 degree view on the customer and that you have processes that are centred around the customer.
"Then there is empowerment," Kuebel continues. "You need to make sure that your people are enabled, that they have the tools and they have the knowledge to make decisions when in the field. I think especially this factor of empowerment has been something that I think has received an enormous boost within the last couple of weeks during the crisis, just look at the amount of companies that suddenly have home office as the new normal - that was never a plan and now it works and it will be very difficult to turn this back.
"Once you create that level of trust, and you see that people are effective, even when they are not in the office, this is something that is there to stay. However, you need to have the right tools to enable people to work with them. You need to know if you have an on-premise solution, you have no chance in virtualising a call centre overnight, but with a cloud solution, the right tools, the right knowledge and the right information, it's no big deal to do that. We have a couple of customers that were virtualising their dispatching calls and jobs literally within hours."
The final factor that Kuebel lists is perhaps the secret sauce that separates those companies who are best-in class and the rest of the pack.
"Last but not least, you need this agile mindset and an agile platform that allows you to easily adapt to basically go into these MVP (minimum viable product) situations and roll it out with the view that it's good enough to stay afloat - and then, we see we can develop from there. When I look at Koenig and Bauer for example, when I talk to them, when I talk to their management, there's a very, very clear leadership. The way that they communicate with their customers, the predominant mindset is around customer centricity, agility and empowerment. It was therefore, no surprise to me that Koenig and Bauer were one of the companies that are able to manage through the crisis relatively well."
- Find the full episode of this interview and the entire back catalogue of The Field Service Podcast @ www.fieldservicenews.com/podcasts
- Read more about Digital Transformation @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/tag/digital-transformation
- Read more about the impact of Covid-19 on Field Service @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/en-gb/covid-19
- Connect with Michael Kuebel on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/michael-kuebel-fieldservice/
- Follow Michael Kuebel on Twitter @ twitter.com/michaelkuebel
- Find out more about Salesforce Field Service Solutions @ www.salesforce.com/uk/campaign/sem/service-cloud/
- Follow Salesforce on twitter @ twitter.com/salesforce
- Find out more about Koenig & Bauer @ www.koenig-bauer.com
- Follow Koenig and Bauer @ twitter.com/koenigandbauer