The pandemic has forced companies across every sector to reinvent ways to earn and maintain customer loyalty. When 88% of business-to-business (B2B) buyers say experience is as important as its products and services, all it takes is one poor experience to lose a relationship.
Discrete manufacturers — particularly in commodity markets — recognize that stakes are high. That’s why many are considering new business models that go beyond products to drive revenue. The primary area of focus: field service. It’s one of the few ways discrete manufacturers can deliver unique and differentiated experiences that influence customer retention and drive business. (This is in line with a broader trend: 80% of service decision makers say field service is a key part of their overall strategy.)
Field service is one of the few ways discrete manufacturers can deliver unique and differentiated experiences that influence customer retention and drive business.
If you’re a decision maker in a discrete manufacturing organization, you may be wondering how to position your field service operation as a revenue protector for your business. Let’s look at three ways to get started.
1. Connect silos across departments
For years, silos from enterprise-resource planning software (ERP) and supply-chain systems worked in discrete lines of manufacturing. That’s because the number one focus was on the product, not the customer or the experience. Today, these systems are roadblocks to a complete customer view that drives conversations and builds revenue.
Discrete manufacturers need a cohesive set of insights across sales, support, distributors, vendors, suppliers, and mobile workers. That’s where a unified platform like Salesforce Customer 360 comes in to create a single source of truth, making it possible to connect data across existing systems without completely replacing your existing technology.
For example, whether they’re on site or in the field, teams work off the same data and collaborate from a single platform with access to customer details, purchased products, and knowledge articles to resolve issues faster. This simplifies the service process, reinforces relationships, and helps to identify opportunities to drive revenue streams. Mobile workers also have everything they need to resolve cases quickly at job sites with tasks and customer information. This keeps them better attuned to any additional issues, concerns, or potential opportunities.
2. Reduce costs with proactive service
High performing field service organizations find opportunities to go beyond simply providing service when there’s an issue. They look at how they can assist the customer before a need arises.
Proactive service is a competitive edge because it minimizes unscheduled downtime and extends product warranty. With connected field service management, your team collects data — customer information, service history, and asset details — to uncover preventive maintenance opportunities.
Based on your data, you can see if a part needs replacement or if there’s a system lag. From there, you can proactively reach out to customers to schedule an appointment. Or, you may suggest a visual remote assistance option to interactively walk customers through step-by-step directions. As a result, you reduce costs and truck roll because you prevented a field service visit, and built loyalty by eliminating the need for your customer to make a costly one-off purchase.
Easy Ice improved their proactive service approach with Salesforce Field Service. With a single source of truth, Easy Ice can resolve problems before they even happen, ensure that the properly qualified technician is dispatched, and automatically schedule preventive maintenance appointments. Easy Ice now has more insights into their customers, which helped them double their size in two years.
3. Find growth opportunities
With a complete view, agents access a multitiered asset hierarchy from their service console. They track information about products — including competitive products — and predict future service needs.
At a job site, mobile workers cross-sell and upsell using their connected device. This may include ordering parts, suggesting service agreements, or extending warranties on behalf of customers, while streamlining the payment process.
Hologic uses Salesforce Field Service for their lead-generation program in the field. Mobile workers input leads into their field service app to communicate with their commercial teams. As a result, service has generated over $40 million in new product sales. (To train field service team members on selling basics, try a digital learning platform like Trailhead.)
Protect revenue for years to come with field service
With these steps in mind, you can reinforce relationships, build loyalty, and ensure repeat business that protects revenue for years to come. To learn more about how to position field service as a revenue protector, read our whitepaper, Manufacturers: Turn Field Service into a Selling Moment. And, if you’re ready to start your journey, discover Salesforce Field Service.