ClickSoftware experts release new book

Jun 06, 2016 • ManagementNewsmanagementbooksC;ickSOftwaresoftware and apps

Best practices, customer insights and recommendations distilled from 20 years of experience are included in the new book written by Mike Karlskind, Stephen Smith, & Alec Berry of ClickSoftware 



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FSN_Issue12.inddOver the last 20 years, ClickSoftware’s customers have managed billions of successful service engagements, and have seen firsthand just how hard service delivery can be.

Our new book Service is Hard: Turning Common Field Service Challenges into Customer Engagement Opportunities, contains insights, best practices and recommendations from experts, thought leaders, and analysts, representing hundreds of person-years of experience.

This book addresses eight of the toughest challenges in achieving consistently exceptional service, from best practices for customer experience to managing spare part consumption in the field.

The book’s chapters collect insights from leading service companies, implementers, industry experts, and software developers and provide recommendations on steps to take to successfully address each challenge.

They are:

  1. Holding the customer’s hand – why customers expect superior service
  2. Aligning conflicting stakeholder interests
  3. Metrics for measuring field service management
  4. Integrating field service management and legacy systems
  5. Managing in-day schedule disruptions
  6. Integrating parts into field service management
  7. Achieving mobile application adoption
  8. Turning the Internet of Things vision into value


The Customer Service Imperative

Global economic growth over the past century, driven by the manufacturing and selling of products, has created two groups of unsung heroes whose work is mainly out in the field: technical professionals who install, maintain and repair products; and service-based people who provide services such as home-based health care.

You no longer compete only against others who do what you do, or sell what you sell. You compete with every experience that your customer has with every company that provides your customer any type of service.

Both groups have typically been viewed as operational cost centres to be contained and optimised. The more recent realisation is that these service heroes are the driving force for effective customer engagement, the brand ambassadors who present the employer’s face to the customer.


These companies—from the smallest service contractor to the largest global enterprise—see superior service as a primary competitive differentiator and growth engine.

This shift in thinking recognises important truths about business today.

Customers want (and can mainly get) what they want, when they want it.

You no longer compete only against others who do what you do, or sell what you sell. You compete with every experience that your customer has with every company that provides your customer any type of service.

A Business and Technology Perspective

The nature of assets, equipment, tools, and knowledge used by service-led businesses addressing different vertical markets is unique.

Today’s FSM solutions need to support an approach that can consistently deliver against the defined strategy, meet regulatory requirements and deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction while addressing the variability of each business and industry of operation.

Regulators, competitors, geography, customers and the supply of qualified service professionals are some of the varied characters of these service operations’ external influences, while internal influences include available capital, corporate history, reporting structure and executive strategy. Regardless of type of business or industry, Excel spreadsheets and legacy tools historically used for field service management (FSM) have facilitated only tactical and reactive approaches to the field service challenge.


While these tools allowed individual managers or dispatchers supporting a small part of a business or service to make decisions that suited a granular part of the business, achieving total operational awareness was not possible, much less efficiency and effectiveness. Today’s FSM solutions need to support an approach that can consistently deliver against the defined strategy, meet regulatory requirements and deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction while addressing the variability of each business and industry of operation.

Embracing the challenge is only step one.

Customer service excellence is a journey rather than a destination, a cliché that is as true as ever in the context of transforming service.

As noted in our book’s title, “Service is Hard” - it is challenging to implement business changes to improve service delivery and enhance the customer experience at the same time. Our advice: keep your eyes on the prize.

Building world class operations is not easy, otherwise every business would already have done it. Focusing on the top 8 challenges with the right team, the right mindset and the right technology solutions makes excellence in field service operation possible for any organisation.



Want to know more? Field Service News readers can pre-order a signed copy of this book now! Register for your copy @



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