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2015 Smarter Services™ Symposium Recap: Observations (Part 2) by Cary Chapman, Advisory Board Member

Posted by carychapman on Apr 6, 2015 10:58:25 AM

Wrapping up my analysis of the 2015 symposium (Part 1: here), Day three began with a keynote delivered by Joe Brown, Senior Design Lead at Ideo. His topic was “Designing New Service Opportunities”. Joe introduced us to the seven rules of brainstorming. These certainly are helpful for creating some structure in the brainstorming process. There were a series of statements throughout his discussion that have merit. They are as follows: find the right problem to solve, test ideas in minutes not months, 70% of all change efforts fail, the biggest roadblocks to change are behavioral, don’t get ready- get started, when initiating change take baby steps and make the changes temporary until proven.

The last breakout I attended was titled “Anatomy Of The Perfect Service Visit” This was a panel discussion chaired by Joseph Lang, Senior V.P. of Comfort Systems, Steve Meyers, Director of Field Service Central, Vivint and myself, Cary Chapman, National Field Service Manager. We had a one hour session with the first half hour allowing the panel to discuss their background and what constitutes the perfect visit. The second half hour encouraged participation from the audience with questions as well as comments and their experiences. The discussion was very lively with everyone agreeing on several components as well as some great questions on how to gain and train for that perfect call. Also some discussion about how the perfect call constructed for each of our customers. I found the breakouts very enjoyable and was pleased with the wealth of knowledge demonstrated by the attendees.

Unfortunately I needed to leave at eleven, so I missed the last one and one-half hours of the symposium. My overall impression is that these symposiums have improved each year with John, Sumair and the team being very open to suggestions for change and willing to react. There is an absolute joy for me when attending these sessions being able to network and share with other service professionals. There is comfort when talking with a service professional in not having to explain the basics of service before a discussion can be finalized. We should all be sure to thank the Service Council team for their hard work in providing this venue for us to enjoy, grow, share and learn.

On a personal note it was great to meet Allison (John’s wife) who we have heard so much about but never met. The card that was attached to each of our registration packets was penned by Allison and she did a great job of capturing what we are all about. I look forward to seeing all of you again next year and having the privilege to share a few days together again.

In conclusion, I would offer these suggestions:

  1. Maybe have a few less breakouts so that we can run those one and one-half hours. It seems just as they were getting interesting we ran out of time.
  2. Possibly gear a few keynotes to small service business companies. I spoke with two different attendees who represented organizations smaller than ten technicians. I would expect they are focused on somewhat different subject matter equally critical to their day to day business.
  3. And lastly, our venue this year was incredible yet when we conduct these on either coast the travel becomes punitive to many. Perhaps we should consider staying in the Midwest near a hub airport in a late September to early October time frame. This might encourage and enable the vast majority to attend these wonderful events.

See you at next years event!



Cary Chapman, former National Service Manager of Mettler-Toledo, Safeline, is a customer service professional with forty-one years of service and sales background. With Cary’s years of experience, he was hired by Safeline to stabilize a multi-year turnover issue. In this role, Cary was instrumental in completely eliminating service employee turnover while assisting in achieving fifteen percent annual growth over a three year period. Cary is a founding Advisory Board Member of The Service Council.

Topics: News, Service Innovation, Perspective, Perfect Service Visit, service design

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