I was spending a day with a group of 40 field service techs, coordinators and service managers conducting service technician training. Our training starts with establishing the value of the field service technician role to their company, and how the technician’s performance contributes directly to the corporate objectives – think about it.
A CEO is concerned with financial growth and profits, employee safety, utilization of company assets (vehicles, inventory, people), the quality of the company’s products and people, and of course, the company brand in total. All the way down to the field service tech level, there is a direct correlation from their contributions to the CEO goals.
Field Service Technician Contributions
- Through the sales of service agreements, cross selling of products and on-going lead generation, there is a “residual” revenue stream from service technicians to the company’s revenue and profit growth
- Leads from existing customers are the best qualified and most profitable – technicians do this best and pass on to their sales teammates for further action.
- Customer relations is built through on-going field activity in solving customer problems, preventing downtime issues, upgrading equipment for increased performance and in general, humanizing the interaction with the brand. Field service technicians are brand ambassadors.
- Safety is job 1 as they say, all of the miles driven, all of the sites visited, the working conditions and use of tools and equipment make for a challenging safety environment. Field Service Technicians make a difference in how they take responsibility and despite the odds, work safely and contribute the company’s critical EMR and other scorecard ratings. These ratings determine sales growth, insurance cost, and productivity.
- Field Service has many assets in vehicles, test equipment, tools, and spare inventory. Then there is the most valuable asset, the people. Collectively, the utilization, care, and productivity of these assets are factored by the field service technicians.
- Quality in both products and people are about effective reporting and resolution of issues and field service technicians can be viewed as an extension of manufacturing with being on the front lines and mitigating issues, reporting problems, having the voice of the customer and proficiency on their product line responsibilities. Additionally, quality of people starts with their skills both technically and soft skills as well as the commitment for continuous learning and development.
Bruce’s Field Service Technician/Engineer Training Seminars
My training courses always start with this explanation, a honest, positive depiction of the value of the field service technician or engineer. And why not I ask? Like service leaders know, the only way to grow your service agreement business is to first retain the customers that you have and then add new ones to the bucket. You can’t have holes in the bucket when filling with new water or you will just have to keep adding water. And for an organization that is growing or replacing all of the retiring techs, quality sells new candidates of course. My point is quality starts with motivating and recognizing the existing service technician team on their true value.
At this last course, the company CEO stood up and said to his team of 40 techs, coordinators and managers, that they effectively shut down their operation for a day and would likely cost $60,000 in cost and lost revenue. Then he clarified, that he considered this not a cost, but a $60,000 investment! True, and I am very grateful for the vision and insight.
Field Service Investment
Field Service needs investment and starting with a rallying message and supporting actions to express the importance and give credit where due.