Aligning the four customer service operating scenarios — equipment-centric, outcome-centric, appointment-centric, and knowledge-centric — is the central pillar of developing a customer-centric model. An inside service perspective aligns these four service scenarios. This model places customer needs at the heart of field service management industry standards. Looking deeply at these four scenarios within your business enables outcomes to flourish. The question is: How can we adapt an inside service perspective to an outside customer service perspective?
Aligning Your Customer-Centric Service Mission
First, it is important to avoid becoming too focused on aligning your service mission with the strongest of these scenarios. Although this is quite understandable, it helps to take a step back and see a global view of developing a customer-centric model that fully accounts for all four scenarios. This may mean developing weaker models so all four can align with the greatest impact and gravitas to place customer needs at the forefront. When field service organizations align each scenario to its fullest ability, they can provide the best service to their customers and increase revenue. Also, reframing perspectives remains critical for the best outcomes.
Let’s first look at the equipment-centric scenario. While we typically think of this as offering complete expertise in equipment, different customers have different needs. Optimized results come from understanding each customer’s needs in service and maintenance. Four Service Scenarios and Aligning Them With Customer-Centric Service Models, a recent white paper from Field Service News and Gomocha, explains, “With a focus on equipment, the question that arises from the customer-centric perspective is what value does our expertise in the equipment our customers are using bring to the table?”
Secondly, in the outcome-based scenario, the most important aspect to consider is that customers want to make sure your offered service is working and available without glitches so that they can move forward with their agendas for the day, week, month, and quarter. Developing trust is critical to ensuring an outcome-based scenario where your business can demonstrate critical industry expertise to your customers.
This leads to understanding the knowledge-centric scenario viewed from this outside-in perspective. While some customers want you to have the expertise to run equipment, some may need your expertise in slices of knowledge, as they have their technicians who bring their expertise to the scenario.
Lastly, the appointment-centric scenario is what most companies are already well-versed in and at ease. This scenario allows field service companies to bring their specialization to bear in all four critical scenarios.
In conclusion, customer-centric services mean being ready with knowledge-based solutions. Understanding your own strengths as a field service organization and what your customers need from you is critical. A customer-centric approach to field service delivery is the essential place to start to accomplish this.