Every week, Sumair and I will post our most interesting service-minded stories for the week as part of a Friday recap. We’ll comment on one story each and then add 3 others for your review.
For the twelfth installment, and week 17 of 2017:
Topic: Customer Service Needs a Human Touch
Source: Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/metro-bank-pairs-bank-branches-with-customer-service-surprise-surprise-it-works-a7703206.html
Commentary: There are many articles and stories welcoming the end to the live, human customer service interaction. We have seen and heard of the looming threat of IoT, AR, VR, and machines which take over service interactions; mainly those that are repeatable and predictable. This emergence of automation and the cost efficiencies that it can bring has all but done away with the physical bank branch. This trend is prevalent across other industries too, just ask the retail industry. Consumers like convenience and the on-demand economy seem to require that service organizations work in an environment of 24/7/365. But something interesting is happening in the face of this type of change. Organizations like the Metro Bank of London have decided the best way to create better customer experiences is not to over-automate but instead provide human interactions in brick and mortar locations. As seen in recent TSC research, 57% of organizations state that customer management and experience initiatives are their top focus in 2017. And the customer wants better service and more value. Despite the higher costs associated with human employees and the overhead of the physical footprint, this bank is betting on the ability to differentiate through personalized engagements and interactions. I think we will continue to see organizations like the Metro Bank try to flip the prevailing paradigm to build loyalty through differentiated experiences. The race to the bottom of the cost structure may soon end, and organizations need to think of innovative ways to cement customer relationships.
Topic: Labor Issues in the MRO field
Source: MRO-Network: http://www.mro-network.com/maintenance-repair-overhaul/labor-technology-issues-could-hamper-mro-prosperity
Commentary: There are many parallels between the service management and MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) fields. The article above talks about some of the key trends in aircraft and aviation-related MRO and these trends are similar to what we see if field service management. In the research presented 78% of organizations indicated that it is becoming more difficult for them to find new talent and to compete with parallel industries for front-line technician talent. Organizations believe that the labor issue will come to an impasse in the next 5-7 years. We recently published similar results tied to the aging and retiring workforce in field service. 7 out of 10 companies that we speak to are concerned about the aging workforce in the next 5-10 years, an issue compounded by a greater complexity of service assets that need to be supported. You can access our recent report here.
On the MRO side, it’s also extremely interesting to see that 62% of organizations indicate that their IT infrastructures are ripe for transformation and that current investments in new technologies and data analytics are yet to have a material impact on their businesses. This too parallels what we see in field service management. There is a desire for organizations to revamp their IT infrastructure to support a more nimble and connected field service organization.
We encourage you to participate in our research groups around field service, service technology, and workforce and talent. In each of these groups, we will be conducting projects that focus on:
• Field Service: Mobility
• Service Technology: Build vs. Buy: The IT Stack for the Service Organization
• Workforce and Talent: The Future Service Workforce
Your alignment with a research group is tied to your area of expertise.
Our Three Other Articles
1- Comcast says customer service overhaul is showing results (The Oregonian, 4/23/17)
2- Insurers Increasingly Embrace Robots over Humans for Customer Service (Insurance Journal, 4/19/17)
3- How can they help you? By making a call to customer service painless (Boston Globe, 4/20/17)
If interested in viewing our latest data and insight, please visit: http://info.servicecouncil.com/recent-content-and-events
We would love to have you become part of our research panel. If you would like to, please visit http://info.servicecouncil.com/tsc-join-a-research-group and select the area(s) of alignment. (* Participation in research groups is reserved for practitioners only. Consultants and technology solution providers are not allowed to join and will be referred to other ways of getting involved.)
Till next week.