Using Your Field Service Operations to Drive Revenue
Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are in the midst of a disruption. With markets getting highly saturated, competition has intensified. As a result, acquiring new customers has become a major challenge. Also, the intense competition means that the market is highly commoditized, putting immense pricing pressure on primary services. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is falling steadily across the globe.
At the same time, there is additional competition from new age Over-The-Top (OTT) service providers who are forcing CSPs to expand network capability to cater to ever-increasing traffic, while also usurping monetization opportunities.
Therefore, to drive growth and increase revenues, there are two key areas that CSPs need to focus on. The first is to create highly differentiated offerings. Next is to focus on up-selling and cross-selling to existing subscribers to increase ARPU.
To achieve this, a consistently good post-sale customer experience becomes extremely important. Other than interfaces such as front-end web channels, mobile and stores, field service has emerged as a key channel to drive better customer engagement.
Moving from Transactional Relationship to Value-adding Partners
Unfortunately, most field services personnel traditionally have a commodity mindset when it comes to managing customer relationships on the ground. They are generally trained to tackle only the technical issues at hand rather than looking at the problem in the larger customer context. As a result, they tend to have mainly transactional relationship with customers, rather than seeing themselves as meaningful, value-adding partners. For instance, if the customer has been facing a particular issue repeatedly, field personnel will fix the immediate problem rather than taking time out to understand why the particular problem is occurring regularly.
Given the impact of these interactions on customer experience, it is imperative to bring in a mindset change and a behavioral shift in the field personal; where they consciously try to act as valued partners rather than as commodity service providers.
One major hindrance to developing a customer centric attitude among field service personnel is the lack of customer insights. Most existing service provider infrastructure do not allow for a 360-degree view of the customer. The answer lies in digitization.
Digitization of Field Services Management
Given the importance of after-sale engagement and field events in customer experience, digitizing field services is key. It can empower field services personnel with details such as the customer’s history with the company. They can also be aware of details such as upcoming contract expiry deadlines and maintenance schedules. This information can help the field personnel confidently upsell or cross sell relevant offerings, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and generating additional revenue.
Equally important, it provides a mechanism for the engineer to record customer feedback and updates, such that they are logged into the formal system. This data can prove to be extremely valuable both for future interactions with the customer as well as to create a feedback loop that can help inform future marketing initiatives.
We recently published a whitepaper on ‘Digitization of field service operations and how CSPs can transform field service into revenue centers’ that talks about how CSPs can go about digitizing their field operations. You can refer to the full whitepaper here.