January 2018 - The Service Council

Customer-Centricity at the Heart of Digital Transformation Initiatives

By Sumair Dutta | Perspective | No Comments

It’s easy to toss around the term Digital Transformation nowadays. Everyone needs to have a perspective on it in order to sound forward thinking. It seems to me that very few people know what it means. More importantly, very few people seem to have a clear definition of what it means specifically for their organizations, their roles, and their overall futures.Or so I think.

In order to bring our community together on the topic of Digital Transformation, we recently launched a research project aimed at service business leaders and strategists. The purpose of the project was two-fold:

  1. Uncover the different definitions of the term.
  2. Assess where organizations were in their digital journeys.

As I write this, we’ve had 25 leaders of service businesses voice their opinion and we shall keep the project open (take survey) till we hear from 50 leaders. A quick word on the early results.

Defining Digital Transformation

By far the most entertaining definition we received goes to, “Going from Flintstones darkness to Jetson light. From no data to ‘some’ data.” Others (seen below) were much more descriptive and the comment about minimizing data administration and maximizing data analysis is a really succinct way of approaching digital transformation. We need to move from the data collector stage to one where data analysis and data-driven decision making is where our resources are targeted.
Digital Transformation Definition

Most leaders responding to our survey believed that being a digital business was vital to the success of their organization but only 50% indicated that their organizations had a clear and coherent digital strategy.
Digital Transformation Strategy

In executing on the strategy, 88% of leaders indicated that their organizations do not currently spend the appropriate amount time, energy, and resources on implementing digital business initiatives and that the coming years needed to see an increased level of investment and focus on the execution of an established digital business vision.

Digital Outcomes

The desired results from planned digital transformations leaned heavily towards improving customer outcomes tied to proactively support customer needs while being more agile in reaction and response.
Digital Transformation Outcomes

Organizations hope to achieve these outcomes with the aid of:
– Improved Technology Integration
– Better Management of Customer Touch points
– Increased Understanding of Customer Needs
– Customer-Focused New Product and Service Enablement
– Intelligent Service Worker Enablement

Before any of these activities and actions can occur, organizations need to ensure that they equip themselves with the appropriate digital leadership, digital talent, digital technology, and digital mindset. These are areas of assessment that our research project dives into.

I look forward to sharing more final results in the coming weeks. If you are a service business leader, I’d encourage you to spend some time with our research survey. As indicated, we are going to close it once we reach 50 total leaders.

If thirsty for some results and content on the topic, we’ve got you covered. Feel free to listen to our discussion on the topic during our recent webinar featuring leaders from KONE Americas and Merck Millipore. You can also sign up to listen to our findings call (Jan 23, 1pm Eastern) wherein we share the expanded results of our survey.

Keeping an Eye on These Field Service Trends for 2018

By Sumair Dutta | Perspective | No Comments

At CES in Las Vegas this week, we’re expecting to see a lot of new gadgets and new tools on display. It seems like this year the focus will be on the pending 5G rollout, Artificial Intelligence (voice recognition), Artificial Intelligence (autonomous vehicles), and wearable devices (glasses, fitness trackers). It’s always good to track what’s happening in the overall consumer electronics space, as its typically a pre-cursor for what’s likely to happen in the enterprise. Speaking of the enterprise, we’re currently running our 2018 trends surveys for leaders of various disciplines.

– For those leading overall service business strategy (Link)
– For those leading field service (Link)
– For those in customer service and support (Link)
– For those in service parts (Link)

A lot of our time is spent analyzing field service trends. For the most part, we expect organizations to continue on their paths towards becoming more intelligent with service performance data in order to:
– Improve the predictability of their businesses
– Enhance the efficiency of field service delivery
– Uncover revenue opportunities during customer contact

Here are three additional areas that I am keeping my eye on for 2018.

Trend 1. Mobile as a Data Point.

When we think of mobility, we always think of the information available on a device. But we don’t think of the data that can be captured at the point-of-service and how this data can be incredibly impactful in building a predictive service organization.

Trend 2. Video in Learning and Development.

Most organizations are looking to reduce the time it takes their new hires to be productive. Taking away some classroom based learning and putting that online is one step that a large number of companies are undertaking. The popularity of video as a learning medium (think DIY with YouTube) also offers a new channel for dispersing knowledge and information to field service technicians.

Trend 3. Layers of Dispatch Avoidance.

Organizations want to minimize the occurrence of avoidable dispatches. Improving first-time fix is one way to address this problem, but there are other opportunities for organizations to properly diagnose incoming service requests for appropriate dispatch-less service scenarios. These scenarios could involve self-service or assisted technical support.

I’ll spend some time on each of these trends in an upcoming webinar with our partner ServiceMax from GE Digital (Registration required). If you are seeing other trends, feel free to share on the webinar or on our 2018 field service trends survey.

Activate Your Service Connect™ Membership Learn More

Login