In the music industry, the first week of album sales are the most crucial for launching a successful album. The biggest selling albums of all time had creative marketing, built demand before being released, and often had a huge first week that set the tone for the sales weeks to come. Though he is a divisive and controversial figure, rapper Kanye West continues to have successful first week album releases, and his latest album release, “The Life of Pablo,” is no exception. West used a variety of strategies to generate interest and desire for his new album in order for it to be a hit success during its first week of sales.
Even though there are a variety of reasons such as a lack of resources, guidance or tools available, completing a service call successfully the first-time is something most field service techs want to do. Here are some success strategies to learn from Kanye West’s successful first week sales to achieve that always desirable first-time fix:
Use Technology to Your Advantage
When West announced he was only releasing his album online exclusively on the streaming service Tidal, it was streamed 250 million times and created hundreds of thousands new users who signed up for the music service to be able to hear the album. Releasing the album digitally on Tidal also allowed West to be able to make adjustments and fixes on song, something that would never have been possible with a physical CD or record release.
Field service organizations that make use of advanced technology in order to offer better-than-average service exclusively to their customers or leverage existing technology to make their organization stand out from the competition tend to succeed. An Aberdeen research study called “The Mobile Technician: The Evolution of Connect in 2015” revealed that leading field service organizations made sure their field service workers were given the mobile tools and equipment they needed to be successful in the field and resolve issues the first time. With mobile field service software, technicians can diagnose problems, monitor machines, record data, and collaborate with other technicians to get the job done right on attempt number one. Mobility provided these organizations with the best infrastructure they could have to be able to provide real-time resolutions and achieve first-time fixes, no matter how difficult a problem.
Aim for Perfection
Kanye West is the ultimate perfectionist. Prior to the release of his latest album, he released and re-released singles until they were ready and up to his standards of perfection.
For field service, in the eyes of your customers, the reputation of your business is directly related to the success or failure of the last service call they receive. One unsuccessful service call that involved return visits can mean the customer no longer wants to work with your company.
First-time fixes foster long-lasting customer relationships. There won’t be a next time if a customer is unhappy because a technician was not able to fix a problem when they attend to a service call. On the other hand, if a technician hits a homerun the first time, it likely means repeat customers, return business, and even referrals. First-time fixes lay the groundwork for the future of the business.
For Kanye, this meant not releasing the full album until he was done tweaking it. For field service, this means that techs should stay on-site with the customer until the problem has been fixed. And field service software enables techs to have everything they need to be able to fix a job the first-time.
Have a Vision
Kanye West is cited as being a creative visionary. He had a clear and cohesive vision for his newest album and sought to execute that vision by making it a priority, and recruiting producers, songwriters, and fellow musicians who fit into the album’s concept.
For field service techs to be successful at first-time fixes, their company leadership needs to be engaged. Field service leaders need to come up with the strategy that the techs will then execute and a plan for how to allocate resources. Leaders shoulder the responsibility whether the planned strategy succeeds or fails. Furthermore, in organizations with first-time fix rates of over 71%, 63% said that their Chief Service Officers were responsible for forecasting the service demand and leading the development of resource plans. In order to have high first-time fix rates, every service worker in the field needs to know and understand the leader’s vision and be equipped with tools to make it a reality.
Engage with Your Customers
In the weeks leading up to the release of “The Life of Pablo,” Kanye West directly engaged with his fans on Twitter. He even held a competition for fans to get them to guess the title of the album; the winner would be awarded with a pair of shoes from his line. West’s tweets generated tens of thousands of retweets and favorites. All in the interest of having a strong first week of sales.
In field service, when first-time fix rates are high, customer satisfaction is also high, and companies with above average first-time fix rates also saw a 4% improvement in service revenue annually, according to the Aberdeen Group. First-time fixes make the customer experience better and businesses that make this a priority see their profits grow. Conversely, the main field service customer complaint is that a technician did not or cannot solve a problem.
Build a Good Team
Kanye West sought out stars from the worlds of hip-hop, gospel, and pop music who would complement his sound and fit into his vision for the album. This led to collaborations that elevated each song to be able to shine and contribute to making the customers even more excited for the album and buying it the first week it was released.
In the Aberdeen report, “First-Time Fix: A Metric That Drives Success,” Aly Pinder Jr. says, “[...] leadership alone will not drive the behaviors or execution needed to deliver high first-time fix rates or create satisfied customers.” It’s important that everyone working on the field service team is engaged with the work and equipped with tools so that they can execute the leader’s vision. The technicians have to be mindful of the organization’s vision and understand that the role they place is critical to the success and implementation of that vision. Otherwise, they will likely fail in their attempts to succeed the first-time.
Since there’s so much competition in the field service industry and customer’s expectations continue to evolve, it’s important that everyone on the field service team has access to field service software that lets them locate spare parts and manuals to make first-time fixes a reality. Collaborating as a team, responding quickly to customer requests, and resolving issues on the first try provides value to customers and raises customer satisfaction levels. When the technician who goes out on-site the first time has all of these things, the customer is happy and the business is more profitable. First-time fixes encourage your customers to love your company the way Kanye loves Kanye; a whole lot.