The New Thinking Required for the New Normal (podcast highlight)

Nov 13, 2020 • FeaturesDigital TransformationSalesforceThe Field Service PodcastCovid-19Remote Services

Salesforce's Gary Brandeleer and Field Service News' Kris Oldland discuss why there is foundational new thinking required as we build the new normal of field service... 


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Kris Oldland, Editor-in-Chief, Field Service News recently authored a white paper in partnership with Salesforce, that focused on one of, if not the biggest questions of the moment in our sector. Should we be redefining the value of field service delivery in an age of remote service, especially if we move to remote first as a default. It was a wide ranging white paper that looked at a number of different areas including the benefits and the negatives for both the customer and the service provider themselves.

To further add to the initial thoughts raised in that paper, Oldland invited Salesforce’s Gary Brandeleer onto the Field Service Podcast, to take the conversation a little bit further. Brandeleer was able to bring his own experience and of course, the wider experience of the team at Salesforce who've been instrumental in the digital transformation of so many organisations to the table. In the above highlight from that conversation Oldland and Brandeleer discuss some of the benefits of remote first approach for field service customers.

“The safety factor is number one, and is very real, especially right now,” explains Brandeleer.

“I think it will continue even after COVID. Safety is number one in field service, in general, and having someone on-site, COVID or not, is always risky. There is always a risk for the human there doing his job.

“So in some areas we definitely think remote assistance will help, even without COVID. For example, can you just have only one person on the roof whereas before you may have had maybe two or three technicians working at the same time in a small and dangerous area when maintaining a roof top device? So there are some safety aspects that will remain I think.

“What's also going on as well with the move to remote service delivery is that, we may lose out in some instances in having the trusted advisor on site, but at the same time it does create better customer relations with the back office. Before, often the only face of the company was the technician - now I have the faces of people that are working in the office, and helping me to find issues to my problem here on site. Where that's really a benefit is that suddenly instead of having just one single person as being the face of your company, you might have an easier way to present multiple persons in front of the customer.

“Even though it's virtual, having a face to respond to you on a call is still creating this trusted relationship,” Brandeleer adds.


"This is where field service companies can really start creating new business models, where you create a real partnership-based relationship with your customer..."
- Gary Brandeleer, Salesforce


“I think the second thing that is also really important that remote assistance brings is the concept of the quick fix -  can you really quickly fix the problem right now? Then maybe the service provider will also send someone in one month, or maybe in two weeks, to fully resolve all the problems, but at least the issue is resolved for now. The concept being to try to keep uptime as high as possible and I think that's where companies need to think about how they can create a business model with that first step of remote assistance.

One challenge that I'm hearing from some customers is that it’s challenging to invoice these remote assistance calls. This is because the customer is saying ‘you didn't send a technician on site so are you going to charge me the same price? Why are you invoicing me that much?

“I think that's where you need to go back to customers and say, ‘okay, maybe we change this kind of variation and we have now a service contract review.' Perhaps one suggestion could be a subscribed contract yearly where the customer can have 20 remote assistant calls within the year and on top of that you have the regular maintenance and most probably at one point of time, even preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance.

“This is where field service companies can really start creating new business models, where you create a real partnership-based relationship with your customer. You tell them very clearly the outcome they are going to get such as the device is going to be operational for 97% of the three percent remaining is where it would be down for maintenance. This is where you are saying to the customer ‘we guarantee you this and on top of that for good service and maximising this outcome, we are going to provide you multiple ways of calling us and asking for a quick fix.

“I think that's where people really start to get into the thinking around this. It is really bringing new base line for innovation for new business models. I think that's really something which is very important too.”


Want to know more? Field Service News Subscribers can access a White Paper on this topic on the link below.

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