Differentiating Service Through the Field Team’s Proactive Efforts

Dec 16, 2020 • FeaturesmanagementBBA Consultingfield service managementJim BastonLeadership and Strategy

This is the first in a series of blogs on “supercharging” revenue generation through the field service team. If you encourage your field team to promote your products and services to your customers and you are disappointed in the results so far, please read on.

Our field service teams represent an excellent opportunity to increase revenues and profitability by proactively making recommendations of our products and services to our customers. They need only bring their ideas to the customer’s attention while they’re on site performing maintenance. And the revenue generated in this manner can be highly profitable. No increase in overheads. No additional travel or other incremental costs. Profits go straight to the bottom line.

It sounds too good to be true. And for some of us this must seem to be the case. Despite our best efforts, we struggle to get our teams as engaged in business promotion as we would like them to be. We fail to meet our revenue generation goals. We continue to be disappointed in the results of our efforts.

In this blog series entitled Supercharging Revenue Generation Through the Field Service Team, we’ll look at the possible reason why our results fail to reach expectations and look at specific steps that we can take to turn those results around. We’ll examine how any service organization can supercharge their revenue generation through their field service teams and use those efforts to stand out from the crowd.


The reality for every service provider is that it’s an increasingly competitive world out there. The challenge is how to stand out from the crowd. How can we differentiate our service from our competitors when our customers see very little difference between us? The answer is that we can do this by helping the customer answer “yes” to this question, “Am I better off for having known you?”

Imagine a customer reflecting on our work over the past several months. Will they say, “Not only does my equipment continue to run exceptionally well, but we’re saving more money today than we’ve ever saved before.” or “… we’re achieving better productivity than we’ve ever achieved before.” or “… we’re getting fewer complaints from tenants than we’ve ever have before.”, etc. When our customers say those things about us, we will stand out from our competitors and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.


And studies suggest that helping the customer to be better off is exactly what our customers want their service providers to do. In May of 2015, the Globe and Mail newspaper published an article entitled “Why Customer Satisfaction is Overrated”. In the article, they reported on research that found that 75 percent of organizations that left one vendor to go to another, were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the vendor they left at the time that they left. Upon further investigation, researchers found that the reason that satisfied or even very satisfied customers left was that they thought that the company that they were going to was in a better position to help them achieve their long term business goals. This study suggests that good customer service, although important, is not enough. Today’s customer is looking for a business partner who can use their specific knowledge and expertise to help them achieve their goals.

Our field service team is in the best position to recognize opportunities that can help our customers achieve their goals. They have the technical expertise, they understand our company’s capabilities, they have an intimate knowledge of our customer’s equipment and they have insight into our customers’ goals and challenges. And, of course, they have direct access to speak with the customer.

Next time we will look at our perception of the proactive efforts of our field service teams and how our mindset may be impacting our results.


Think about how your customers view your business

  • Do they see you as a “service provider” or a “business partner”?
  • Do they claim they are better off for having engaged you? What steps do you take as an organization to help your customers see this value in your relationship? How do you measure your customers’ perception about this?
  • How well does this customer viewpoint allow you to differentiate your business from your competitors? How sustainable is this differentiation?


Further Reading: