I love talking to field service engineers and technicians. They bring a unique perspective to the real problems and solutions facing field service organizations as they actually see and feel these challenges on the front lines (See more on this here). Quite often these challenges take the form of an unhappy customer, or nonperforming asset, or inaccurate information tied to the work that the technician is supposed to be doing. This is why I instantly jump at the opportunity to do ride-alongs to spend actual time with those in the field to learn about their work and how things can be made better.

But it’s not as simple to do ride-alongs anymore. While this is a minor inconvenience for me, it’s a much larger one for service leaders who are looking to tap into the feedback of those on the frontlines. In the current environment where process and protocol changes have to be made quickly and frequently, it could be argued that frontline input and feedback is even more essential.

It’s under this context that we recently reached out to several technicians to gather their perspective on what’s changed while working during COVID-19. In fact, we will be hosting a live conversation with technicians from Domino Printing Sciences, Hach, and Quench on August 18. The purpose of this conversation is to get their perspective on the nature of field service work, both before and during the pandemic, and to use their voice to provide some insight and inspiration to service leaders.

On the agenda for the 18th:

  • Entry into field service: What would you suggest to service leaders struggling to find talent?
  • Nature of service work: What information and skillsets are most important for you to do your work? How has that changed?
  • COVID-19: What can service leaders do to make you feel safe and secure?
  • Technology: What 1-2 pain points would you like technology to solve?
  • The Future: Where would you like to go in your career and how can service leaders help you get there?

If interested in joining the conversation, register for the Tech Talk here. If you can’t join, but would like to submit a question, feel free to reach out to me or Darya DeMaso.

I’ve had the opportunity to chat with the technicians prior to our call and am interested to see where the discussion goes on the 18th. A few highlights from our early calls include:

  • Organizations often miss the opportunity to highlight the benefits of the field service profession particularly to younger technicians. Work/life balance and job flexibility can be key when recruiting technicians with young children or new families.
  • Assets are changing in complexity which requires a constant update on skills and knowledge. That said, the combination of mechanical aptitude and good problem solving is constant ‘must-have’ to be good at the job.
  • Technicians don’t care much about selling but are happy to ‘walk the line’ and suggest/recommend/make note of solutions to customer problems. Closing the loop on these recommendations is essential.
  • While there are some changes to protocol due to COVID-19, most are tied to getting access to the equipment. Once you’re there, the work is mostly the same.

To get the full perspective from these technicians live, join us on Tuesday.

 

ABOUT Sumair Dutta

Sumair DuttaSumair Dutta is the director of digital transformation at ServiceMax. In his role, he works closely with ServiceMax customers to maximize the results from their business and digital transformation journeys. He works closely with leaders of service businesses to define and shape their service vision while working hand in hand with implementation teams to execute on established service plans. Sumair is a thought leader in the field service and service management spaces and has conducted numerous research projects in the areas of field service, customer support and business strategy. He brings more than 15 years of experience in studying, analyzing and guiding field service organizations, first at the Aberdeen Group and most recently as the chief customer officer at The Service Council.