The field service industry has, in previous years, been a subject of concern for having an ageing workforce. However, as the industry continues to evolve, a major trend has been the emergence of young, tech-savvy and collaborative workers writes Trimble Field Service Management's John Cameron
According to Aberdeen Group’s latest report, ‘Emerging Workforce in the field: Tech-savvy to technician’, approximately one-fifth of the current workforce is under 30, with the average age of a field service technician being 32 years old. Field service organisations must therefore recognise what the needs of this new workforce are, in order to keep them for the long haul as well as to attract the next pool of young talent.
Flexibility and Mobility
Technology is recognised as an aid to achieving key strategic objectives. It is therefore important for organisations to understand how the [quote float="left"]Tech-savvy workers don’t want to be tied down by legacy technologies. They want the freedom to engage with the latest advancesinflux of young workers use, process and engage with technology. A key factor to consider is flexibility and mobility. Tech-savvy workers don’t want to be tied down by legacy technologies. They want the freedom to engage with the latest advances and utilise technologies they are used to in their personal lives.
There has been much debate around ‘Bring Your Own Device’ strategies, where employees have the ability to connect their own technical devices to their company’s network instead of using a device owned by the company. Aberdeen Group’s report found that 62% of the top performing field service organisations have incorporated a BYOD strategy as a result of a more tech-savvy workforce and 43% are more likely to give technicians access to social media and collaborative tools to facilitate knowledge transfer.
Visibility and collaboration
A major characteristic that the emerging field service workforce encompasses is the ability to be collaborative, and this is a trait that will help transform service and the relationship with the customer. Organisations must therefore capitalise on this by developing the collaborative tools needed to help the workforce perform as experts in the field and resolve customer needs quickly.
Having the tools and capabilities to work more collaboratively, and having access to real-time insight, empowers the workforce to make more strategic decisions.
Having the tools and capabilities to work more collaboratively, and having access to real-time insight, empowers the workforce to make more strategic decisions. The speed of communication via social and mobile allow them to solve problems more quickly and ensures resolution is not delayed because of lack of information.
Customer service excellence evolves with the emerging worker
It is now widely regarded that customers of today are much more demanding, expecting a quick fix on the first visit and a valued experience as standard. For the field service technician, who is often the only contact a customer will have with the business, there role is therefore more than one of just operational necessity; it is a role of strategic significance.
[quote float ="left"]There is a strong focus on the importance of emotional intelligence as an enabler to deal with the wide variety of changing customer service relationshipsAs a result, field service organisations seek field workers who have desirable attitudes and attributes for customer service. In particular, there is a strong focus on the importance of emotional intelligence as an enabler to deal with the wide variety of changing customer service relationships. Aberdeen Group found that the top performing field service organisations outperform their peers in regard to retaining the field heroes that they have, but almost as importantly, they are able to find, hire and train the next field service heroes.
These top organisations achieve this by capturing as much knowledge from seasoned workers before they retire so that they can pass it on to the up and coming youths of the industry. Indeed, 70 per cent of top performing field service organisations are more likely to provide technicians with a knowledgebase of recorded training videos and images.
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