Might sound crazy, but it’s worth it...
Servicing your competitors' products provides a window into your customer’s operations and can be used to improve the profitability and credibility of your business.
Quality end-to-end field service solutions will truly set your business apart and will also minimise contact between your clients and your competitors.
Expanding your field service offering to cover competitor products is not without added costs, such as inventory management and personnel considerations. However, this article explores how to overcome these considerations using quality Field Service Management (FSM) strategies and turn them into a truly positive experience in your customer relationship management (CRM).
Competitor product servicing can ensure customer service delivery
To elevate performance in the field, service organisations must recognise that expanding your service delivery has the ability to take your customer relationship to new heights.
If your technicians have the qualifications, skills, and ability to service a competitor's products, then why all the red tape?
Extending the life of your competitor assets may seem counterintuitive, however, value-driven organisations are recognising the utility of expanding solutions to meet the clients’ needs.
It’s easy to empathise with a client's frustrations when a service call-out can only complete 70% of the task at hand and not finalise the solution. Directing clients to reach solutions elsewhere increases the likelihood of that client creating a relationship with competitors.
Reducing the likelihood of repeat business.
Prioritising an end-to-end service delivery will help maintain a competitive edge, as you limit contact between your customers and competition. The math is simple, retaining existing customers is a far less expensive endeavour than acquiring new ones.
Not to mention, by extending service delivery you’re also reinforcing customer retention and loyalty.
By focusing only on primary product solutions, you can narrow your scope of work with customers. But making the assessment to service a competitor's products, prioritising your customers' needs puts your business as the first choice for future jobs.
Field service delivery is shifting to a more holistic delivery approach. Reduced travel time, faster onsite performance, high job completion rates traditionally have been the significant focus of a company's performance indicators. Whilst they are important, FSM businesses need to offer more.
The quality of the repair, how the technician communicates information and meeting all of the customer’s needs are the levers to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Sometimes, meeting all of the customers' needs means servicing your competitor’s products to get the job done.
The risks of servicing a competitor's products
Expanding service delivery is not without its risks. Businesses have to consider the increased costs of parts, additional time onsite and having the right personnel to complete the call-out.
Mitigation strategies to reduce risk are simplified with the assistance of a quality Field Service Management (FSM) strategy that accounts for scenarios such as this.
- Using features such as planned maintenance can create a database of pre-defined plans to make certain all materials are in stock and loaded in the service delivery vehicle.
- Accurate inventory management and capturing correct parts, combined with the dispatch of the right technician will improve first-time fix rates.
- Information is crucial to best prepare your field technicians.
Having a complete picture of what’s needed not only increases your team's productivity but also improves the customer experience. Utilising NetSuite FSM, technicians are equipped with in-depth insights. Technicians can use the platform to refer to the asset history, repair records and contractual obligations.
All of which can be leveraged to improve conversations onsite and negotiate win-win outcomes.
Inefficient labour and product management are the failings of many businesses. FSM allows your business to streamline planning operations and proactively anticipate the needs of your customers. Ultimately guaranteeing the fulfilment of your customer’s needs and expectations whilst ensuring your business’ profitability.
How to remove operational boundaries with FSM
Businesses no longer need to be limited by the technicians they have on hand. You’re able to overcome resource constraints caused by region, availability and qualifications using FSM.
A good FSM should allow for streamlined cooperation between third-party service providers. Management of your external workforces becomes an extension of your business. Configuration rules within FSM can enable technicians to assign tasks, define priorities and minimize communication problems generally experienced by engaging third-party service providers.
Similarly, KPIs and SLA compliance can enable you to monitor the quality of service delivered by external field staff. Real-time information related to the technician’s performance and configurable forms enable visibility across operations and provide critical client feedback.
If you have the capability, offering preventative maintenance plans to third party products can put your business ahead of the competition.
The difference is in the detail
Extending your service delivery solutions keeps your business engaged with customers, provides a defence against competitors, and allows you to build a trusted relationship with clients.
To effectively manage your field service teams, integration of a Good Field Service Management (FSM) system along with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are fundamental to success.
If you’re looking for an expert to guide you through FSM and CRM excellence, reach out to the Klugo team. Our team of specialists can tailor a solution to meet your businesses needs and ensure you're in a position to take on your competitors' assets.
Klugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.