Whilst technology drives innovation within our industry, we must not forget the basic fundamentals of field service, namely putting the customer at the heart of everything we do writes Aberdeen Group’s Aly Pinder...
How should service define success?
Is it good enough to meet SLAs? Should service leaders primarily focus on cutting costs by reducing truck rolls? Do they need to prioritise field productivity; turn as many wrenches in a given day as possible?
These are all noble endeavours, but in 2016 the customer must come first. Internal efficiencies and meeting basic levels of service will keep the lights on, but it won’t grow the business. “Good enough” service is no longer good enough. This evolution demands that service leaders change the metrics they use to define success. As seen in Aberdeen Group’s State of Service research, the top metric which determines success is actually customer satisfaction.
The emergence of customer facing metrics such as customer satisfaction, customer retention, and first-time fix rates, has highlighted the fact that the customer is king
The emergence of customer facing metrics such as customer satisfaction, customer retention, and first-time fix rates, has highlighted the fact that the customer is king. Service, more so now than in the past, has to deal with empowered customers and competition. No longer can the field team solely be reactive or leave a customer site without resolving the issue. Customers are more knowledgeable and can amplify a bad service experience to a global network of peers.
Top performers understand that happy customers renew service contracts, buy more offerings, and refer new business. For this reason, service organisations have to juggle efficiency goals with customer focused metrics to hit at both at the same time. And with so much technology and analytics at the fingertips of the service executive, it is imperative that they don’t get paralysed looking at too much.
The Best-in-Class focus on the right metrics which drive differentiation and value to the end customer. The rest is great for a spreadsheet. But strategy and innovation needs to focus on the customer. Service leaders that want to excel in 2016 cannot afford to focus on KPI from a bygone era of service. Your customers want you to be successful because that means you can help them grow. But they don’t care if your bottom line is as trim as possible or that your technicians are taking the most optimised route. The customer wants the right technician with the right tools to solve their problem when they get on site to avoid extended (or any) downtime.
This changes the way service must view the metrics that matter both for them and for their customers. Happy customers result in a happy service business.
Don’t lose sight of what matters.