Truly successful service providers understand that the role of the service technician is changing. Digitalization is making it possible to enhance the entire customer service experience. From greatly improved first-time-fix rates, to real-time service response, to predictive maintenance, service technicians can almost guarantee customer satisfaction. However, digitalization is redefining the role of service technician in more ways than one.
Field services are no longer just a matter of installations, repairs, and maintenance. In fact, service technicians are becoming valuable lead generators and contributing substantially to new revenue streams.
60% increase in lead generation
Headquartered in France with 800 field service technicians worldwide, Markem-Imaje knows how well-equipped and prepared technicians can contribute to cross-selling and upselling. When switching to the Coresystems field service management solution, the company saw a 60% increase in lead generation. But how is field service yielding more leads?
Sales is a straightforward business. A company sells a product and simultaneously attempts to offer the customer as many additional complementary services in the process. Maintenance packages, insurance policies, and even training are all standard cross-sells for new products. However, the limitations on legacy systems often meant that the sales ended there. Without a comprehensive system in place to sync valuable customer and machine data with back-office information on new offers and products, it was nearly impossible to inform customers about upgrades, add-ons, accessories and more. Thanks to digitalization, this is changing.
FSM software redefining sales
Field service management software has eliminated the timeline for sales and made it possible for field service technicians to step into the shoes of salespersons. Here's how it works:
1. Initial sale: A company salesperson sells customers a new machine or device, often with a maintenance package. When exploited, this is an essential CRM tool.
2. Onsite customer service: Field service visits are no longer just routine repair and maintenance visits. They offer an opportunity for field service technicians to assess and evaluate the customer's current operations and processes. Is the customer planning to expand? Will the company need more powerful equipment in the near future? Field service technicians are perfectly poised to ascertain real customer needs.
3. FSM software interface: Thanks to FSM solutions, relevant customer data is accessible across all channels. That means the service technician, with real-time insight into the customers' requirements, can easily cross-check new available products and services, which are compatible with the customer's current machines and devices.
Full circle sales effort
In order to maximize on this potential for lead generation, two things have to happen. First, service technicians have to be aware of what to look for and what questions to ask. This is easy to accomplish with detailed checklists and procedures, for example by creating business rules in the database. With a set of guidelines, service technicians can easily navigate a service call without overlooking any opportunities for upselling or cross-selling.
Second, and almost more critical, is a seamless connection between field service technicians and in-house sales personnel. Even better if this happens in real-time. For example:
A service technician on site has run through the field visit checklist and noticed that the customer is either using a competitor's product or requires spare parts for a machine. Using the FSM software on a mobile device, he or she can note this down, as well as any suggestions or customer issues, in the customer profile. Depending on the actual use case or customer requirements, this information can automatically be sent to a CRM system where a sales opportunity is created. Alternatively, a PDF document can be created which is automatically sent to the salespeople at headquarters who can then immediately follow up with relevant offers for the customers.
Contrary to common misconception, digitalization is creating new business opportunities and exciting new ways to access untapped revenue sources. It is promoting cross-sector cooperation, and this interconnectivity is strengthening each individual link of the entire chain. Not only does it make sense to take advantage of all your assets, it makes good business sense to foster continued customer communications. Beyond sales and purchase. The next generation of field service technicians is making that possible.
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