Recently, I wrote about why it’s important for service leaders to tell customers about the value their service organization provides. When you deliver great service and go above and beyond what’s expected but aren’t getting the customer response you’d hoped for, it’s time for a little self-promotion to let customers see the value.
The same holds true for communication within your own company. Field service leaders typically aren’t overly vocal about their team’s success, but it is crucial for the whole company to understand the value that service delivers. Leveraging field service success stories — particularly in sales, marketing and finance functions — is important.
Here are three ways service leaders can communicate their team’s value to colleagues throughout the organization:
1. Start Small, But Be Visible
Remember those construction paper thermometers your teacher would put up in the classroom to measure how much progress had been made towards class fundraising goals? These thermometers couldn’t be simpler, but they sent a clear message about the group’s efforts and achievement. We can use those same concepts in promoting our field service teams, and with equally positive results. Implementing a simple and visual record of accomplishments is an effective way to convey your service team’s wins to everyone who sees them. Think about creating a service “leaderboard” or overall accomplishment chart showing things like cross-sell/up-sell result, SLA trends or other metrics you are proud of.
Done well, these achievement visuals can provide ongoing motivation and sense of pride for your field teams, which will, in turn, further incentivize performance and results.
2. Let Sales & Marketing Tell Your Story
Every service team success is also a win for sales and marketing. After all, record-breaking first-time fix rates and customer satisfaction numbers build the company’s brand and help engage a wider audience of potential customers. Promote those accomplishments and great customer stories to colleagues in marketing, who can use those anecdotes to differentiate your brand from the competition.
“Every service team success is also a win for sales and marketing.” — Patrice Eberline, ServiceMax
Encourage marketing to spread those success stories internally as well, so everyone in the company can see how valuable service is to the business. Highlighting success stories in a company newsletter is a fast and easy way to start. And don’t forget about the sales team. Keeping them updated with “service wins” will give them a wealth of anecdotes from which to pull and position your track record and reputation, communicating value to new or potential customers. Also, remember to copy sales leaders and account managers on emails citing client wins to spread your team’s hard work.
3. Show Them the Money
At the end of the day, service team metrics can have great financial impact as well. Your CFO will be thrilled to hear of your team’s results and will use that data to forecast revenue (plus contract and warranty renewal rates), gross profit and contribution to EBIT. The efficiencies gained through your service team can create the headroom needed to support and service additional contracts or new revenue streams, lock in loyalty with customer relationships and add to consumable sales, all without additional headcount investments. That is serious impact that will immediately resonate with senior management.
Additionally, keeping finance decision-makers looped into your successes can be a positive tipping point to open the company wallet as you request additional investment for your team, such as upgrades or new tools.
It might seem uncomfortable to toot your own horn internally, but letting the service team’s accomplishments go unnoticed can cost your business in the long run. With a little creativity and internal marketing, service leaders can spread the word about their team’s successes to benefit employees, customers and the entire business.