You know what you pay your technicians — but do you ever think about the value they bring to your company? The question has become more complicated as field engineers are able to do more thanks to technology and as their roles have expanded to include sales, customer service, marketing, and more. In response to one of SmartVan’s recent posts, a handful of service managers and technicians in the Field Service Engineer group on LinkedIn weighed in with their insights — here are most compelling ones we pulled from the discussion:

Unsung, Unassuming — and Irreplaceable

Ken Vallet-Sandre, field service technician at Reiser:

“What is an experienced field service technician or engineer worth? They are the unglamorous, get-the-job-done … face of the company that makes the sales department’s promises come true for the customer. In spite of it all, and whatever it takes to make the company’s success happen, they’re the bedrock of continued success. Seldom noticed and uncelebrated, they’re worth every penny and more.”

The Face of the Company

Marni Van Liew, field service engineer at Cymer:

“A field service engineer is the cornerstone of all customer satisfaction! We are the first contact with customers, and we represent the company. Along with soothing the customer, we analyze, repair and maintain the equipment that the customer uses to make money.”

Don Ribbens, service manager at Pentair Environmental Systems:

“A true field service engineer/field service technician is not a remove-and-replace man. He shows up in a day’s notice from anywhere, with a meter, hand tools a limited supply of service parts and gets the unit running correctly: no jerry-rigging and no Band-Aids. All of this is accomplished with very little support.”

For the Love of the Game — and Customers’ Love

James Lemerand, an IT professional with more than two decades of experience in the aviation industry:

“Though I cannot speak for anyone but myself, I found the money was not really an issue, and those who made it an issue were missing the point. The saying, “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” is so true in this business. Kudos from corporate, or even from your own supervisor, is often few and far between. The real payday comes when your customer thanks you for your efforts. When you can walk away knowing you solved your customer’s problem. When the salesman makes it a point to make sure you are there in case a problem occurs with an upgrade or installation…Bam!”

Lawrence Meadows, regional senior field engineer at Nationwide Power Solutions:

“My satisfaction does come from exceeding my customers’ needs — sometimes at personal (or my family’s) expense, other times at the company’s expense. … The experienced field engineer/field service technician/field service engineer is worth more than the sum of his wages. Done correctly, they bring repeat business, new sales to existing customers and new customers.”

Who’s Worth More: Service or Sales?

Randy Rich, service manager at American Mailing & Shipping:

The sales department wines and dines the customers, and service department marries them. I do this job because I love it. If I wanted to make money, I would have become a plumber. The job would have been easier and the pay a whole lot more. Without sales, there is no need for service; without service, sales drop off. Sorry to say we need each other. The question is: Who is worth more?

… Or, as Tasos Anagnostou, field engineer at JMK S.A., says: “With only one word: PRICELESS!”