Appointment-centric models in the field service industry are vital to a larger business strategy. It is a strategy that includes meeting customers’ needs while driving efficiency.
While traditional repair service helps to drive the model, there are other factors in the approach. Service requests and contracts are always a priority, and response times to break-fix service requests remain a priority. Having a technician on-site can also recognize future issues requiring sales and service contracts and review current assets. Critical technological infrastructure must employ the appointment-centric model from the initial call to completion. This vital infrastructure uses everything from order intake to dispatch and scheduling.
Contexts and Value Added in Service and Maintenance
While some organizations have tried to move toward more partnership-based service models, most customers require more traditional service-based models for service and maintenance. The service technician still holds a vital role in understanding the customers’ needs and gaining their trust while establishing a good working relationship. In a digital world, there is no substitution for face-to-face service calls. The trusted advisor is the service technician, which is also a value-added proposition.
Out of all of the scenarios (equipment-centric, outcome-centric, appointment-centric, knowledge-centric) outlined in the white paper, “Four Service Scenarios That Can Be Aligned by Service-Centric Thinking,” from Field Service News and Gomocha, the appointment-based model can harness the potential of a team member who has the attention of the customer face-to-face but is a trusted advisor as well. It also provides an added service that reviews all assets to improve efficiency. In addition, the technician is your best brand ambassador in field service operations with a value-added knowledge of your product that they offer as an asset to your customer base.
Next Steps in Appointment-Centric Scenarios
According to Field Service News and Gomocha white paper, if an organization wants to take an appointment-centric approach to field service, they should consider the following:
Is their field service management system(s) solution capable of ensuring they stay firmly within SLAs?
Does their field service management system(s) allow for empowering the technician when on-site with the customer?
Does their field service management system(s) include functionality that customers now expect, such as self-service scheduling and customer notifications?
How can they maximize the face-to-face presence of the technician and their trusted advisor status?
If suitable, could such a model underpin a service portfolio and represent an opportunity to engage customers in more complex service offerings, such as outcome-based models?
Being an appointment-centric service provider will come fairly easy to most organizations familiar with field service technologies, as it is a more familiar service model. However, these appointment-centric scenarios offer companies the ability to provide even higher service levels including technological service advances. For example, offerings like self-service appointment scheduling and customer notifications make the service cycle more seamless. In addition, modern next-gen field service management solutions that offer intuitive apps for technicians, real-time dashboards, and scheduling tools allow teams to meet these appointment-centric goals in the field.