Service departments, under increasing pressure to drive revenue, meet that challenge by improving customer loyalty. Here’s a look at one UK telecommunication provider’s successful strategy that turns happy techs into happy customers, plus other news this week from the field:

Engaged Techs, Happy Customers

Improving customer loyalty and, ultimately, revenue is on the minds of most service managers, but how should they do it? One strategy is to ensure the technicians who meet those customers every day feel appreciated, empowered and engaged. That approach has paid off thus far for Virgin Media, a UK-based Internet, cable and phone provider.

Neil Taplin, head of operations at Virgin Media, spoke this week at a communications industry event in France about technicians’ role in raising a key customer loyalty metric: net promoter score (NPS). At Virgin, that starts with keeping techs engaged in all aspects of the business, from product research and design to the uniforms they wear. Another piece of Virgin’s technician engagement plan is a fleet of flashy vans modeled after popular movies like “Jurassic Park,” “Batman” and “Transformers.” Virgin rolled out its “super-van” fleet in 2012, with one catch: only the best techs are allowed behind the wheel.

Read more at B/OSS

Leave No Tool Behind?

That’s not the mindset of developers in London’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Wealthy homeowners who want a pool, a movie theater or just more space have only one way to go: down. Developers hired to do the digging have discovered that it’s easier — and cheaper — to leave the excavators, which cost as much as $10,000 (£6,000), at the bottom of the pit. New Statesman predicts that the fleet of excavators buried beneath London’s posh neighborhoods could be worth $8.5 million (£5 million).

But London developers aren’t the only ones who leave unwieldy tools behind once the job’s finished. It’s a common practice in other mega-projects like tunnel construction for highways and railways. Check out this time-lapse video of a tunnel-boring machine digging its own grave in Brisbane, Australia.

Read more at New Statesman

Speculation Builds for Amazon’s 3-D, Eye-Tracking Phone

Amazon is expected to announce its own phone later this month, and the device might contain some enticing features for field service. Company observers speculate that the device will include 3-D, eye-tracking technology that uses multiple front-facing cameras. If true, it could allow field service techs to see 3-D images of maps, repair manuals and even equipment blueprints. Other buzzworthy capabilities include tilt gesturing that would allow people to switch applications by moving the phone.

Amazon has been tight-lipped about what type of device, exactly, it will unveil on June 18. Until then, let the rumors fly.

Read more at Yahoo 

Bell Canada’s Techs Ditch Laptops for Smartphones

The 5,000 or so technicians who test and install phone, cable and Internet equipment for Bell Canada’s customers will soon have one less bulky tool to carry. This fall, the company will outfit its field staff with Samsung Galaxy Notes to replace the laptops that they carry now. The smartphones will run custom apps to help technicians test and repair equipment. Weight and cost reductions are the main reasons for the switch, according to Network World.

Read more at Network World