In Beyond GREAT SERVICE, Jim shows how forward-thinking service firms can integrate the customer focus and communication skills that exceptional technicians have, into something that is right at the core and heart of the service deliverable - ultimately engaging the entire service team, and creating an outstanding and differentiated customer experience.
The field service technician provides a logical way for companies to grow their businesses. Who better than the tech to discuss a company’s capabilities with the customer? They have the customer’s trust and, more importantly, have access to the decision-maker or major influencer that is often difficult for a salesperson to obtain. What’s more, some technicians are incredibly accomplished at doing just that. I can’t count the number of times I have been part of conversations where service managers lament that they can’t get all of their techs to “sell” like Jack (or Jill or Peter, etc.). They correctly point out that all of their revenue problems would be solved if only the rest of their techs could “sell” like them.
As the above example suggests, the challenge comes when the service manager tries to transfer the success of a few technicians who are exceptional at selling to the field service team as a whole. The logical approach is to equip field service technicians with the skills they will need to sell their services, and then set them loose on their customer base. If Jack can do it, then why can’t the rest? Often some sort of sales training is involved and, in many cases, an incentive plan is implemented. Experience shows that despite the time and resources dedicated to these efforts, most companies are disappointed with the results and often give up. And this is not limited to one particular industry, but can be seen time and again in technical trades across North America.
I believe the reason that more service companies do not succeed at engaging their field technicians in selling is that, those technicians who are so good at bringing in new business are not selling at all. In most cases, those exceptional technicians who are instrumental in bringing in new business do not see themselves as selling—they regard their activities as serving. It’s not surprising to note that these same technicians, who are so good at bringing in new business, also seem to have the highest customer satisfaction scores. This brings us to the underlying dilemma; many service companies look at the issue as sales related when in reality it is a service problem.
This book is about teaching technicians how to serve and how that service will bring in added revenues, AND also create an extraordinary experience that drives increased customer satisfaction and retention. Although it is written as a fictional account, it is based on my years inside the business, as well as my time consulting to companies of all descriptions and thousands of technicians across a wide range of technical trades. The storyline addresses the hurdles that can frustrate attempts to implement a service culture of this nature and what can be done to overcome them.