Shaping the Future: Building Next-Generation Field Service Leaders for Success

Training next-generation field service leaders is a crucial responsibility. Service leaders must prioritize finding those professionals who will move into leadership roles. Preparing future leaders will ensure your organization’s continued growth and positive impact.

The Evolution of Field Service Management Skills

The traditional route toward field service management (FSM) has been to progress from a field role. This will continue as knowledge gained from years of experience is the top criterion for success as a field service leader.

However, it’s important to note that organizations making a fundamental shift in how they provide services do have the opportunity to reduce focus on experience. For example, telecom providers migrated from knowledge-intense bundle offerings installed at individual customer locations to operating with remote diagnostics. This pivot requires a new management skill set that focuses more on large-scale communication and less on one-to-one communication.

Critical FSM skills typically develop on the job. However, this is changing rapidly with new and less expensive components, lowering the required skills for technicians. This makes the excitement of the job less intense and stimulates a more job-mobile employee base. In such a situation, external courses and experience-sharing with professionals from other industries are potential paths forward to strengthening essential management skills.

Improving Education and Certification Initiatives

The field service industry requires those entering the profession to possess an accreditation of relevant education for FSM. There are a few commercial educational initiatives, but none are leading the industry. The industry must make a certification program like Service Capability & Performance (SCP) the standard for those pursuing field service management to increase the education options for new service managers.

Generic management training is also applicable. The content of management courses, including the examples, exercises, and interactions with other participants in the course, can play a crucial role in helping future leaders acquire the skills they need to excel.

New Opportunities for FSM Talent

When field service companies think outside the box by replacing the knowledge-focused culture with a service-focused culture, they can recruit from other industries. For example, organizations should consider candidates with corporate positions in the leisure or healthcare industries. Both fields require high service standards and use a variety of technology. Further, scalable processes are the core of what they do. There’s a high chance that field service companies would find skilled professionals from these two industries for leadership roles.

Professionals focused on digital technology with deep insights into the service experience from an end-consumer perspective make the best future leaders. New service leaders must understand and leverage the technologies implemented in the field service industry. Digital technology is a need today to service your customers tomorrow.

While experience continues to be an essential factor in FSM, companies can embrace new talent with relevant skill sets from outside the industry. There is also a growing need for education and certification programs to help equip future leaders. It’s vital to carve out time for FSM training to ensure your organization is managing proper succession planning, which is crucial to the continued success of your company. When organizations focus on technology and preparing future leaders, they can thrive in the evolving field service landscape and provide high-quality service to their customers.

Learn more about the author Martin Knook, CEO, Gomocha.