The world is constantly changing, moving, and growing at exponential speeds. You see it in the constant release of new technology, an ever-shifting political environment, changing consumer trends, and more. The most successful organizations therefore adapt and grow with the environment around them, just like Starbucks has.
How to Fix a Static Business Environment in Field Service
After the recession hit in 2008, Starbucks suffered and their stock dropped. They were forced to make cutbacks and layoffs, all while struggling with their identity. They also brought Howard Shultz back as CEO. Shultz understood that the world was changing and so was consumer behavior. He implemented sustainable farming policies, part-time employee benefits, and redefined Starbucks messaging and offerings. Today they are thriving.
Here’s another example from the world of technology: As a business-to-business organization, Salesforce has achieved global success with another approach. By constantly offering new applications and partnerships to their growing customer base, they work to embrace a large target market while keeping up with the latest important trends in sales and organizational processes.
Assessing Your Field Service Strategy
One of the biggest mistakes that a service organization can make is to remain static in an ever-changing world. There are multiple aspects of your field service organization that can stagnate.
- Offerings: If you do not change your products and service offerings over time to adapt to changing consumer demands, emerging competition will blow you away. This may seem like a no-brainer. You may be thinking to yourself that your organization has changed its offerings over time. But you can be static if you aren’t constantly evaluating your current offerings and your roadmap, even if on the outside it looks like you have kept up with the times.
- Technology: New technology drives and enhances your business processes. Though implementing this technology can be costly and time-consuming, keeping legacy systems around, for this reason, makes you a static organization that is destined for eventual failure. Because new technology is constantly being released to improve your processes and efficiency, those who adopt it early will stand out far above the rest. The competitive advantage of being a dynamic organization in this perspective is enormous.
- Approach: Have you ever heard the quote: “The most damaging phrase in the English language is “that’s how it’s always been done?’” What about this one from hugely successful entrepreneur Mark Cuban; “Wherever I see people doing something the way it's always been done, the way it's 'supposed' to be done, following the same old trends, well, that's just a big red flag to me to go look somewhere else.” The way your approach your customers, the market, and your employees needs to grow and change with the world. But so many organizations these days still act as they did in the ‘80s. This year, 5 telecom companies topped MSN’s Customer Service Hall of Shame. But telecom companies have topped this chart for years. Why? Shouldn’t customer feedback give you enough of a push to make big changes? The issue is taking a static approach to the way an organization is run. This deters change, and without change, everything else your business encompasses will suffer.
Improving Your Field Service Strategy
So how do you ensure your organization ISN’T static? Here are a few ways that your organization can be dynamic, innovative, and a force to be reckoned with:
1. Do Your Homework
Research current trends in the market. Speak with industry analysts. Actively host market research groups. Go out and self-learn using the many resources available to you online. (ServicePower has an entire resource library that we call the Think Tank that provides service organizations with analyst research, trends, tips, and more. Click HERE to check it out).
2. Engage Your Customer
Research is great but what better way to understand your customer and the future than to talk to them about it. Encourage customer feedback via social media and customer surveys. Provide platforms for your customers to give you constructive criticism, positive feedback, and most importantly, insights. (ServicePower’s products give organizations the ability to automate the customer survey process as part of their field service operation process).
3. Think Outside the Box
It isn’t good enough to just be as good as your competitors any longer. And soon it won’t be good enough to just provide satisfactory customer service. The best and brightest organizations in the world are thinking outside the box and seeing how they can not only make their customers happy (although this will always be the priority) but also how they can change the world through things like sustainability, charity efforts, and technological innovation. This goes with the new concept that marketing to customers is no longer defined as business to consumer or business to business, but rather as human to human. Organizations that appeal to something deeper and bigger, something that defies being stagnated, are the organizations of the future.
The world is changing and you should too. Don’t be OK with the status quo. Life is a river, not a stagnant, mosquito-infested puddle, and your organization should reflect that.
If you are looking to make your organization more dynamic, why not start by changing your field service approach. Go from reactive to proactive with ServicePower’s M2M offering. Download the whitepaper below.
Learn how ServicePower can improve your field service strategy and shake up a static business environment.