Industry experts estimate there are 20 million field service professionals globally. That’s 20 million opportunities at any given moment to cultivate an amazing customer experience when you’re face-to-face with your customers.
That’s also 20 million trusted advisors who are perfectly positioned to help sell your products and service – whether that’s a simple incremental add-on, securing a multi-year maintenance contract – aka servitization – or building a foundation of trust that strengthens future marketing campaigns and offers.
Service, sales and marketing are all critical elements of a “complete customer journey,” and more than ever, the lines are blurring on these interactions, leading to real “omnichannel CX.” But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to unite the purpose of these disciplines during a single customer touchpoint. Especially when that touchpoint is a field service event, often fraught with no communication, miscommunication and frustration for customers and employees.
Glympse SVP David Troll recently sat on a panel at Field Service USA 2018: How To Better Align Service, Sales, And Marketing. Below, he offers advice for field service leaders looking to turn standalone field service events into more effective, and profitable customer engagements.
1. Align objectives beginning with the C-Suite
“We’ve worked with customers in the past where the marketing and digital team has defined a set of objectives and then implemented a project intended to drive revenue. Then, an operations team (field service operations in this example) shows up at the end and says, ‘that’s not what we wanted.’ Or, ‘we can’t do it that way.’ If all the internal teams aren’t aligned on what they need to do and why they are doing it, customers aren’t going to get what they want or need either.
We advise our customers to begin goal-setting with the C-suite, then cascade those objectives down through the company to ensure clarity and alignment. If you start there, then all the other things fall in place.
2. Be thoughtful about segmentation
“The virtue of segmentation is defining a common set of requirements well enough that you can start to routinize what you are delivering. This happens all the time already, albeit separately, in sales, marketing and field service teams. Agreeing on segments and defining those unique needs for each segment as part of a complete customer journey instead of for each individual discipline can be very powerful. It leads to better marketing messages, more relevant KPIs and ultimately more opportunity to give customers what they need.”
3. Begin with incremental, attainable initiatives
“What you are trying to do is leverage the presence of a field service technician to capture revenue opportunities. These people are out on the road in highly personal interactions, which can also be transactional environments. Yet most of them aren’t trained sales and marketing professionals, so you have to create realistic enablement programs.
For example, a technician installing cable is well positioned to ask if the customer wants to add a video package. A person delivering pizza can offer a 2-liter of soda with little risk. You can get a small transactional upsell with a service person, but you can’t place all accountability for, maybe, a long-term contract renewal on that person. That’s a much bigger ask.
Your service representative has to be comfortable – personality, temperament and training-wise – stepping into that sales or marketing role. It’s your job to make it attainable for them, otherwise the initiative might never even get off the ground.”
4. Set context from all angles
“A service person is much more likely to be successful on an incremental upsell if marketing has done their job, created a framework, and made the customer aware of available offers. It might be marketing’s job to create air cover awareness. The service representative’s job might be to have a one-to-one conversation with the customer about that offer and assess whether there’s an opportunity for sales to follow up. If the service person is not comfortable making the sale, but they have a setup and can perhaps identify a lead to pass to sales, and maybe even earn a bonus from that lead.”
Ultimately, to align service, sales and marketing and leverage this alignment to drive incremental field service and delivery revenue, you need common goals, clear incentives and a culture of collaboration. Most importantly, you need proactive communication – internally and with customers.