Field Service: Not Just Fixing Broken Stuff Any More

Last year, Worldwide Business Research found that 74% of companies surveyed view their Field Service organization as a profit center rather than a cost center.

I recently had to call my cable company for service – the DVR was on the fritz. It turned out that they sent a technician and he arrived within the one hour time window the agent had promised me. A very pleasant surprise. At the end of the appointment, with the DVR back online and working, he asked me if I was aware that I could upgrade my cable package with a whole slew of premium channels free for 30 days and at a reduced rate thereafter. Again, another pleasant surprise.

Now, normally when I call a company for help or service and someone tries to sell me something it leaves a bad taste in my mouth (are you listening banks and credit card companies?). But this experience was different. The technician showed up as promised, performed the service I had requested, and only after I was satisfied did he offer me something new. While I didn’t sign up for the offer, I didn’t feel sold to and actually gave it some thought before declining.

A couple of things from that interaction really stuck with me.

They understood my context

First, and most obvious, the reason I wasn’t offended when he tried to “cross-sell/upsell” me was that I was happy with the service he provided. He wasn’t trying to sell me before solving my problem, but only after he assured my satisfaction as a customer. That was the right time to make the offer, since I had a positive opinion of him and his company right at that point in time. Imagine if he had said, “Nope, it’s busted, you need a new box. It’ll cost you $100. Do you want to upgrade your channel selection too?” Not a chance.

It was a seamless experience from service to sales

The second thing that occurred to me was that the field technician was doing something that probably wasn’t part of his job 5 years ago: Selling. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The only person at the cable company I’ll ever meet in person is the technician who comes to my home. The best time to approach me about buying more stuff is right after I’ve had a good experience. It’s definitely more likely to succeed than a stranger cold-calling me on the phone at dinnertime.

Enabling field service technicians to augment sales is actually catching on across many industries. Last year, Worldwide Business Research found that 74% of companies surveyed view their Field Service organization as a profit center rather than a cost center. This is actually good for companies and their customers since it ensures that the service provided will be exceptional.

To find out more about how to leverage field service, check out Pega’s new Field Service offering here.