In the previous feature in this series of excerpts from an exclusive Field Service News White Paper, sponsored by Salesforce, we looked at the pros and cons of remote service delivery for the customer. Now in the final feature in the series we look at the pros and cons of remote service delivery for the field service organisation...
Want to know more? Field Service News Subscribers can access a White Paper on this topic on the link below.
If you have yet to subscribe click the button below to join 30K of your field service management professional peers and subscribe now to access this content and our entire premium content library now!
Data usage note: By accessing this content you consent to the contact details submitted when you registered as a subscriber to fieldservicenews.com to be shared with the listed sponsor of this premium content Salesforce who may contact you for legitimate business reasons to discuss the content of this white paper, as per the terms and conditions of your subscription agreement which you opted into in line with GDPR regulations and is an ongoing condition of subscription.
Understanding Good and Bad of Remote Service Delivery for Field Service Companies
Having looked at the considerations from the customers perspective, now let us take a look at the pros and cons from the position of the service provider...
Pro#1: Reducing the Cost of Service Delivery
Ultimately the most significant benefit for the service provider when it comes to delivering service remotely is that it reduces the single biggest cost line on a service P&L – the truck roll. Not only is there the expense of getting the service engineer to site, including man-hours, fuel and vehicle maintenance costs etc., but the sheer amount of ‘windscreen time’ each engineer spends significantly impacts one of the most critical KPIs that field service organisations measure – engineer utilisation.
The cost of on-site service delivery vs remote service delivery is quite simply astronomical. By adopting a remote-first approach to service delivery, the service organisation can instantly improve profit margins, while potentially offering a faster and more efficient service to the customer.
Pro#2: Greater Geographical Coverage
Additionally, the adoption of remote services can allow the field service engineer to cover an infinite geographical spread essentially. Compare this to the average range of a field service engineer which, dependent on location, is usually viewed as a couple of hundred miles. In this respect, remote service delivery can offer a major benefit to the field service organisation.
Not only does it mean that there is greater flexibility in arranging and scheduling work calls as the restrictions of geographical regions are primarily removed, it can also potentially allow for further expansion of a service offering into an area that was previously physically impossible to access.
Con#1: The Loss of Meaningful Interaction with the Customer:
As we touched on above when reviewing the pros and cons of remote service delivery for the customer, where there is a distinct advantage for the customer to have a trusted advisor on site, this is very much a two-way street.
The on-site engineer is the ambassador of your business, and this is something that should not be overlooked. In an era of increasing digital touchpoints, the service engineer’s on-site visit is one of few, indeed potentially the only face to face interaction that your organisation may have with your customer. Statistically, we are, on average, 70% more likely to buy from someone we have met, and this is down to a matter of trust.
Having a real, physical presence when interacting with your customer is overwhelmingly more likely to lead to a more established, trust-based relationships than it will have a negative impact.
This is a massive aspect to be considered before adopting a remote-first approach.
Con#2: The Loss of the Eyes and Ears of the Engineer On Site
For the service provider, often it is said that the service engineer is the best salesperson within a company. Not only do they have the highly valued, but equally hard to achieve trusted advisor status within the eyes of the customer, but they can act as the eyes and ears of the sales department as well.
An engineer on-site may be able to notice competitor assets that are near the end of their lifecycle, or that your service organisation has also incorporated into your service offering, providing an opportunity for cross-selling of a new service contract.
When we couple subject matter level expertise, a trust-based relationship with the customer and the ability to see what opportunities for upselling or cross-selling are available for the engineer, this can prove to be a potentially potent mix when it comes to seeking out further revenue opportunities.
Look out for the next feature in this series coming next week where we explore the Pros and Cons of remote service delivery for the Field Service Provider...
Don't want to wait? www.fieldservicenews.com subscribers can read the full white paper now by hitting the button below. If you are yet to subscribe you can do so for free by hitting the button and you can access the white paper instantly upon completing the registration form!
- Read the initial news report about the announcement of the latest iteration of Salesforce Field Service @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/salesforce-announce-the-next-generation-of-field-service-ai-powered-tools-for-trusted-mission-critical-field-service
- Read more about digital transformation in field service @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/tag/servitization-and-advanced-services
- Read more about the impact of COVID-19 on the field service sector @ www.fieldservicenews.com/en-gb/covid-19
- Read previous articles by Paul Whitelam @ www.fieldservicenews.com/blog/author/paul-whitelam
- Find out more about Salesforce Field Service @ www.salesforce.com/uk/products/service-cloud/field-service-lightning/
- Connect with Paul on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/paulwhitelam/
- Follow Salesforce on Twitter @ twitter.com/salesforce