Placing customer service needs front and center in a service contract takes many scenarios into account. Therefore, it’s wise to consider these perspectives from the outside to the inside. Here we will look primarily at the knowledge-centric model, which is part of a larger model that includes equipment, outcomes, and appointments in addition to the knowledge-centric assets discussed here. Coming from a knowledge-centered approach takes finesse, understanding, and skill.
What does a knowledge-centric business scenario look like? According to the white paper, “Four Service Scenarios That Can Be Aligned by Service-Centric Thinking,” from Field Service News and Gomocha, first and foremost, it means that a service provider “has protected IP or access to closed parts of equipment or systems” for the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) business or service provider. Of course, proprietary systems have their place in the knowledge-centric model, but it is important to see the potential threats of being replaced by a competitor.
The Importance of Data Protection in the Knowledge-Centric Service Scenario
In the knowledge-centric scenario, it is critical to protect data and data analysis, always being prepared to ask who owns the data. Sometimes the customer does not own the asset. While knowledge transfer can happen through new innovative technologies, it must be disseminated quickly and effectively. Customers benefit from the knowledge-centric approach in that they begin to understand the asset’s value and how to transfer it. This allows them to move quickly toward service strategies.
“This type of culture,” according to the white paper, “when permeated across a business, will result in consistent, iterative gains in the key metrics that define efficient service operations….” This is crucial because hidden insufficiencies will surface when focusing on internal asset benefits and management can remedy them easily. A continued focus on excellence and improvement in important metrics, such as first-time fix rates and technician utilization, will enhance work culture and related business outcomes and metrics. Understanding your business’s knowledge base as part of a model for field service operations should be a part of the thinking processes in the organization. This will provide stronger outcomes.
Questions Field Service Organizations Considering a Knowledge-Centric Approach Should Consider
The Field Service News and Gomocha white paper concludes that if a company seeks to take a knowledge-centric approach to field service, it is vital to access actionable insights from the data. In addition, the white paper emphasizes that there are critical elements to consider when implementing a knowledge-centric approach to field service business. Most of the time, the answers include a shared ownership model, with both sides able to access appropriate data points:
- Where are they seeking to protect their Intellectual Property – physical, digital, or experience? In doing so, what is the risk/reward ratio in terms of customer perception? Can the value add be clearly outlined, or do they risk potentially alienating the customer?
- Can they leverage tools like self-help knowledge bases, customer portals, and remote support to monetize their knowledge effectively?
- Do they have the capabilities to deliver insight based on asset data more effectively than their customers could?
- Is leveraging the knowledge within the organization enough to be a standalone model, or is it something that sits more comfortably within a broader model?
Yet, the knowledge-centric model serves as a solution for data for technicians in the field trying to offer remote assistance through self-help, chatbots, or customer portals. Both maintenance and asset optimization offer opportunities for taking a larger role in the technician’s support staff. A knowledge-centric model offers potential opportunities in the field, as well as remotely, all while securing data within a knowledge-centric approach.
Field service management solutions start with understanding your knowledge-based outcomes to other key data points like appointments, equipment, and outcomes. Knowledge is power; it begins with understanding the knowns and how to make the unknowns less intimidating and part of a model that stays ahead of the curve.