Marne Martin, CEO, ServicePower discusses the growing shift towards outcome based services and explains why it is key for field service organisations...
Mobile workforce management software is today a “must have”, not a “nice to have”, part of a company’s technology stack.
Organisations managing mobile or remote workers must ensure a consistent customer experience and grow revenue while still maximising the productivity of staff. They must do this while also managing supply and fluctuating demand, meeting SLAs, controlling costs, and ensuring consistent well branded service delivery. Technology is the best tool to use to achieve those objectives.
So if we know what the company needs, what does the customer expect? We know that customers expect better ‘outcomes’ for the monies they spend on service delivery. It’s not about just appearing on time and repairing the product or equipment any more.
What are outcome based services?
Outcome-based services acknowledge customers in a much different way than traditional break fix services. Customers have wants and needs, surely, but they also now require that more tailored or improved outcomes be driven by those wants and needs. They are no longer looking at just the specific qualities of a product or service, but at the ways in which each can use your services to meet their own goals.
Business outcomes are increasingly becoming a real selling point that differentiate one company from another. Focusing your service offerings more on business outcomes edge out the competition, build customer loyalty and longevity, and improve the lifetime value of each and every customer.
Outcome based service is not a new concept. Why is it top of mind now?
Technology facilitates offering outcome based services in a way manual processes never could.
These can be used by field service organisations to deliver proactive services, based on data and information which improves the overall experience for the customer by helping them use the products better, or more efficiently.
Solid commercials can also be built around the offering, including providing customers more opportunity to purchase complementary things they might need.
Outcomes based service delivery takes that proactive service model, facilitated by IoT/M2M and MWFM and layers on additional services to make that customer more sticky, long term, and it can even increase revenue or profits along the way.
How does a mobile workforce organisation transition to an “outcomes-based” approach to field services delivery?
Offering outcome based services is the next generation revenue model in field service. The field service industry has long been a hot bed of technology and process innovation, especially as metrics have shifted to a customer centric model. In that customer centric model, customer satisfaction, retention, and / or additional in-brand purchases are the outcome desired.
Even more attention is being focused on relating payment structures to outcomes and paying based on up-time, not just meeting a maintenance schedule or a break-fix SLA.
Use technology to make the shift in a cohesive way. Software can be used to identify a product which requires maintenance to prevent a future failure, or to indicate, often before the customer is aware, when a product like a boiler in a manufacturing facility is about to fail.
Field managers can plan labour capacity based on failure data and maintenance requirements more accurately to reduce time to repair, meeting or exceeding contracted response times.
Since service organisations can predict future failures, and schedule and optimise teams into future schedules, remote workers can be proactively, intelligently deployed for repairs, reducing schedule costs while preventing total operational standstills that impact the customer’s productivity. Imagine the benefit of preventing a total line shut down at a plant because your team was deployed prior to a total seizure of a machine.
Maintenance schedules can be also created which improve equipment ‘up time’ and even proactively address upgrade opportunities which offer additional revenue.
Mobile workers deployed with devices outfitted with real time, integrated mobile dispatching software can access information to address the immediate needs, but also to tap into additional information, such as training and product usage guides, ‘how to’ guides, that add additional benefits, providing that new outcome for each customer, resulting in not only reducing the field service organisation’s own costs, but ultimately in improved customer satisfaction, increased sales of future service and maintenance contracts, accessories or replacement products at end of life.
Outcome based services facilitated by technologies like mobile workforce management software which provide analytics, capacity planning, mobile dispatch, and optimised routing to plan staff, create maintenance plans, mobile on site process, facilitate on site collaboration and provide customers with information and data, help field based organisations reduce the complexity of operating products like industrial boilers or elevators, and help customers reduce the operational complexity of product operation, while maximise usage of the products.
Why are outcomes-based approach so important for field based organisations?
The most important benefits of offering outcomes based services are loyalty and improved future revenues, as well as reduced operating costs. Think ‘customer for life’.
Outcome based services reduce the complexity of operating products, while providing value added services for your customers which increase the usage of products. That proactive approach improves the customer experience which leads to increased customer revenue in the future.
Outcome based approaches teach the customer organisation, as well as the field service teams, to value ‘up-time’ rather than focusing on ‘downtime’
The technology exists right now to move to a proactive, outcome based service model. The most successful companies are the early adopters that use their mobile workforce management solutions to deliver the technology which supports this evolution. Don’t delay -- make the leap sooner, rather than later, before your loyal customers become loyal to another organisation