Almost all of the field technicians that we polled for The Service Council’s Voice of the Field Technician research project (Introduction, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) recommended the profession to others. Most were equally complimentary when asked if they would recommend their current organizations.
Their recommendations were paired with words of wisdom, and caution.
"If you’re not a self-starter and have to be guided, don't like to be away from home and want regular hours, don't do it. If you like constant challenges and can work well alone go for it."
"Try it, it's a great way to improve your communication skills and you get a lot of experience in so many ways, technology, customers etc. You can even become friends with your customers."
"Be willing to live a life outside of the normal lifestyle. Open to constant opportunities and challenges. Challenges create learning experiences you can share and build relationships on. Become a "go to" person."
"Our profession summarized is: 90% customer service 10% fixing appliances."
The word cloud below highlights the major areas of advice for those seeking to join the profession. In summary, technicians state the following pre-requisites for a successful career in field service.
- Ability to learn on the job
- Openness to flexible work hours
- Acceptance of travel
- Desire to work with customers
- Willingness to learn about new tools and technology
The reason for the relative satisfaction with work comes from high levels of positive feedback regarding most aspects of work. Aside from a mixed response to selling (note: Nearly one-half of the 43% in the 'Neutral' category don't sell), we see high satisfaction scores across the board. That said, there is room for improvement. Thirty to forty percent of technicians would like to see a greater emphasis on learning and development and future career opportunities. In verbatim comments, most technicians see limits to their progress in an organization and would like to see a greater offering of career paths. These paths don't necessarily have to be managerial in nature. They could focus on leveraging the technician's experience and knowledge to train or prepare future generations of technicians. Other technicians would like to be left in their role, with due recognition (financial or otherwise) paid to the work that they are doing with customers. These technicians don't want to pressured into taking on a managerial or a sales role.
Customers trust field technicians. We’ve done research (a peek at whats next) where more than 70% of end consumers trust the word of their field technicians and would be open to acting on advice given by their field service agents. These technicians truly are customer service ambassadors.
I'm putting the finishing touches on our Field Service 2016 summary paper. We've already collected data on our next field service endeavor, research that I am equally excited to share. More on that soon.We’ll also be digging further into the world of customer success and customer experience.
Thanks again for your interest and comments. If interested in adding more, or in getting in touch, please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the form below. Also feel free to follow me (@suma1r) or TSC (@tservicecouncil) on twitter.