As a pest control company manager/owner or leader in a field service business, you’ve probably noticed that “the way we’ve always done things” does not qualify as a sustainable business plan. Like it or not, we must embrace technology to advance. Customers have come to expect it at all contact points with your company—from initial communication through order fulfilment/service calls on to support and even billing. And yet in becoming more technical, you may feel at risk for losing some of the human touch responsible for sealing deals and attracting repeat business. So, how do you strike the right balance?
At this very moment, you’ve likely got veterans on your team who are dedicated to the old ways (and sometimes reluctant about the new) who are exceptional at nurturing customer-facing relationships. They work side-by-side with more recent tech savvy hires who provide a level of efficiency that’s of great value to your business, but who lack personal connection with long-time clients.
This generational shift represents a phenomenon that will become even more apparent as Baby Boomers retire and new professionals enter the workforce. To stay competitive, field service companies must continually evaluate their operations and consider how they will impact customer service, as well as their ability to attract new talent into the field. Experts predict that a combination of skills shortages and increased use of the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate seismic changes over the next five years, leading to increased demand for both customer service and data analysis skills.
This means that to truly provide world-class service, your employees must have BOTH the ability to interact positively with customers and use mobile applications/ devices.
Of course, individuals with good customer skills can always be given technical product training in-house. But, increasing use of the IoT demands that service technicians know how to use data feeds from products in order to troubleshoot. Conversely, it will probably never be possible for technicians to have every solution on-hand, so they will be expected to reach out to someone else who can help—a function of good communication skills rather than technical knowledge.
A survey from The Service Council, shows that the most desired attributes employers will look for in their field service technicians over the next five years, are:
- The ability to interact positively with customers
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills—both with colleagues and clients
- Technical know-how
- Good working knowledge of mobile applications and devices to help provide better services to customers
Moving forward, the perfect combination of “good old fashioned” customer service skills along with high tech know-how will win the day and keep you competitive when it comes to closing business and attracting new employees. WorkWave offers a host of software solutions, including PestPac, that can help you integrate the latest technology into your business in ways that allow you to better delivery your own brand of personalized service. This combination will help you create the perfect balance for your company today and into the future. Contact us today for more information.