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Servitization in Field Service Management

Enabling a comprehensive, frictionless customer experience is an integral aspect of field service management and it often plays a large role in competitive differentiation. Similarly, field service companies need to keep their costs down and their productivity up in order to keep their businesses running. While both of these goals are essential to the success of field service management, they can be quickly derailed by unplanned downtime. 

Unplanned downtime for critical equipment adds unfavorable friction to the customer experience, wastes valuable service time, and accumulates needless costs via redundant service appointments. By preventing unplanned downtime from occurring, servitization holds the key to success for modern field service companies- providing a seamless customer experience and optimizing costs and productivity. 

This blog post will explain what servitization is in field service management, detail the role of predictive maintenance, and illustrate the main benefits of adopting servitization using predictive maintenance technology.

What is Servitization in Field Service Management?

Servitization is a proactive approach to field service management that goes beyond the traditional reactive approach of selling standalone devices and conducting one-off repairs. With servitization, an OEM can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to remotely monitor equipment conditions and provide predictive maintenance services that put an end to unplanned downtime. 

The Role of Predictive Maintenance in Servitization

By focusing on optimal outcomes and prioritizing the customer experience, servitization aims to seamlessly solve customer pain points that exist both inside and outside of the traditional scope of field service management. At the core, any type of ongoing service that a field service organization can offer their customers qualifies as servitization, including an OEM charging a customer based on their usage of equipment instead of selling the device upfront. While there are many creative ways that field service providers can servitize their offerings, the most important is through predictive maintenance. 

Predictive maintenance is the most influential type of servitization and is notably listed as one of the top five trends in the field service industry in 2021. Predictive maintenance has transformed the manual service workflow, and leveraging IoT has made this transformation possible. Moreover, according to Salesforce research, 67% of field service organizations believe that it's beneficial to offer a proactive service such as IoT-powered predictive maintenance. 

So what exactly is predictive maintenance? Predictive maintenance technology employs IoT triggers to remotely monitor appliance and home system performance. When established parameters are out of tolerance, a field service provider is immediately notified. This allows a qualified field technician to be dispatched to conduct the necessary repairs or maintenance before an issue actually occurs. By resolving these identified maintenance needs while a device or system is still functioning, field service organizations can avoid service delays or encountering unplanned downtime for customers’ critical systems and devices. 

Benefits of Servitization for Field Service Companies

Powered by data-driven decisions, predictive maintenance servitization automates the service workflow and enables field service companies to improve their customer experience, better their customer retention rates, and increase their profitability. Let’s dive into these benefits in more detail.

Improves Customer Experience

By eliminating the need for customers to initiate contact regarding repairs, preventing unplanned downtime for critical devices, and providing continuous and comprehensive service, servitization with predictive maintenance profoundly improves the customer experience. With 81% of executives placing the customer experience as one of their top three priorities and 39% reporting it as their top priority, this benefit should not be overlooked. In fact, when field service companies provide a positive emotional experience, customers are six times more likely to buy, twelve times more likely to recommend the company, and five times more likely to forgive a mistake. This means that improving the customer experience with servitization can translate into more loyal and profitable customers for field service organizations.

Betters Customer Retention

Proactively resolving customer’s issues with IoT-powered servitization is an important formula for increasing customer retention. For instance, 71% of executives believe IoT data is extremely or very beneficial to increasing customer retention. Predictive maintenance services illustrate that customers can trust and rely on a field service organization to provide seamless, high-quality service now and in the future. Moreover, customer retention is a powerhouse metric in the field service industry because a 5% increase in customer retention has the potential to increase company revenue by 25-95%. Focusing on improving customer retention and profitability should be a priority for field service organizations in 2021, and servitization can help make that happen.

Increases Profitability

By charging for ongoing service in lieu of a single standalone sale, servitization can increase the financial value of a field service customer in the long term. With qualified and informed technicians resolving customer issues on the first try, there is also a decrease in costs from repeat visits and a surge in profits from servicing an increasing number of customers. Combined with an improved customer experience and customer retention, employing predictive maintenance servitization can dramatically increase the profitability of a field service organization. With profitability being integral to the success of a field service organization, this is no small feat. 

Summary

In 2021, leveraging servitization with predictive maintenance capabilities is fundamental to success. Moreover, this modern field service management strategy benefits organizations in the following ways:

  • Improves the Customer Experience
  • Betters Customer Retention
  • Increases Profitability

By investing in a field service solution that enables servitization with predictive maintenance technology, your field service organization is securing its place in the quick-moving digital transformation and the future of the field service industry. 

Join the digital transformation today with ServicePower’s advanced field service management suite.

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