The Differentiated, “Intentional” Field Service Engineer
As in most professions, there are a few critical performance factors that truly differentiate one individual from others. For Field Service Engineers in both today’s B2B and B2C service economy, these are the major critical performance factors that drive differentiation and ultimately FSE advancement and opportunity:
First is to be consistently skill balanced between the major skills and responsibilities of today’s FSE;
- Productivity and systems
- Customer relations
- Service Sales and product lead generation
- Inventory management
Too often any one or a set of skills is more dominant and exposing the FSE to some vulnerabilities as the FSE job requires all of these to be mastered and constantly developed.
Starting with development, a true professional is committed to self-development as the world, technology, employers and customers are always changing and impacting the FSE’s role and performance criteria. Much like a medical doctor that constantly stays abreast of medical techniques, research studies, advancements and medicine to stay current. The similarity of field service engineering is clear knowing technology is always changing, while also maintaining knowledge on a broad array of older product lines. And even internal service systems are evolving to the latest technology, program or app. A commitment and proactive approach to self-development is a key trait of high performing FSEs. In my company we recently honored a Field Service Technician who has 50 years of service, and he has never let up on his desire to learn and advance with the technology – over 50 years! Imagine the technological changes.
Differentiated or as I call it, Intentional FSEs, have an excellent sense of resourcefulness as they solve problems. They are adept at connecting with their peer FSE’s, senior FSE’s or specialist, technical support and having their technical bulletins and reference material up-to-date for quick access.
The role of FSEs has clearly emerged from the transactional repair person to having 2nd degree relationships with their valued customer base. Find a glowing customer survey, and the common positive input is usually telling how trusted, dependable, friendly and caring the FSE and their team are. We get this through an attitude of gratitude perhaps, but also a deliberate effort by the FSE to relate to the many personalities and customer characteristics in order to provide value and confidence. The Intentional FSE is a master at customer relations and enhancing the brand of her/his company.
Finally, Intentional FSEs are always prepared as they are assigned diagnostics calls, preventative maintenance, installation, training, and metrology and validation service requests. And for the remote travel sites, they do even a better job at preparing for the travel and ensuring they can complete their task in a safe and productive manner. In general, being prepared is recognizing the importance of one’s role as a FSE and demonstrating “Intention” as a FSE and in their career.
Read more from the book: The Intentional Field Service Engineer https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692770453