Key takeaways from Field Service Amelia Island 2019

It’s been a busy few days for Derive as we attended Field Service Amelia Island, August 19-21, in sunny Amelia Island, FL.

It was a great conference covering topics from CX to XaaS with good speakers and excellent interactive workshops. In fact, our own CTO ran a workshop on how service fleets can reduce costs and increase safety with telematics and Active Vehicle Management. We’d also like to thank everyone who stopped by the Derive demo vehicle to see our seatbelt compliance and Distracted Driver Prevention (DDP™) solutions in action!

Between talking with attendees at Derive’s booth and attending a few sessions ourselves, we had a great time at the field service event and enjoyed the educational sessions to stay on top of hot trends in the service industry. Here are our picks for the top five key takeaways from the event.

5 key trends and themes from Field Service Amelia Island:

1. CX at the core of field service

There were several great sessions and even a conference track dedicated to Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Success. Customers demand a consistent experience and as business leaders, we need to make a commitment to improving CX in our operations.

One speaker shared that a survey of consumers and companies found that 80% of companies believe they deliver super customer experiences but only 8% of customers agree. That's quite the gap we have to jump. But, businesses can improve CX by listening to their customers, taking action on their feedback, and responding and sharing how they changed because of consumer feedback.

Happy customers are more likely to return and buy your product or service, meaning CX will turn into currency for your business in the long run.

2. XaaS in field service

We all know of SaaS (Software as a Service) but one session highlighted how any industry can follow the subscription model with XaaS, where X is whatever product you offer and how you can turn it into a service for better revenue streams.

The speaker used the example of the disruption to the transportation industry with Uber. Before, taxis dominated the space but Uber came in and automated the process, and even better, put it in the hands of their customers. They could see their driver, they could see what kind of car was picking them up, and they had instant communication with their drivers; unlike taxis where you called and hoped someone would show up and find you.

How can you disrupt your industry and become a leader in XaaS?

The big question you have to ask your employees in an XaaS model is: Who will run it? Identify the key players who will own this change and make the transition as seamless as possible, or you'll get stuck in the details or miss important steps or business processes along the way. 

3. The 3 D’s

Another trend that overlapped from session to session were the 3 D’s: Disrupt, differentiate, and delight. Like the Uber example above, it was a huge disruption to the industry and now it’s time for those in field service to think about how they can disrupt the landscape, differentiate their offering, and delight their customers. 

Presentation at Field Service Amelia Island

4. The evolution of data

The ways and opportunities to collect real-time data about those out in the field has grown exponentially, but how we’re analyzing and using that data hasn’t been as fast to evolve. Many sessions shared the same ideas for what to do with all the data and they boiled down to:

  • Prediction
  • Automation
  • Integration
  • Transformation

We need to use our technology to our advantage and zero in on predictive maintenance instead of reactive service. Instead of waiting for things to break in the field, we can send technicians out in advance as they know it’s time to replace a part or upsell the customer to new equipment.

For automation, we need to focus on speed, innovation, and quality. Is our data clean? How can we streamline how quickly we can collect that data? How can we use this data in ways we haven’t before? And, what technology can we use to automate all these processes?

Then, we need to focus on how we can integrate our tech or systems to share this data. We need to connect to our customer, connect to our tech, and connect to the back office. Fortunately, most of today’s technology is well-built with APIs and the ability to integrate with other systems.

Finally, we need to evolve in our operations. Do not be afraid of change as it is real and inevitable. We’ve talked about COI (Cost of Ignoring) when it comes to budgeting, but can you as a business leader ignore the changes happening in the business world? Can you afford to run the same model and stay the same as other brands adapt to the new XaaS business model?

Take the time to create proactive customer success plans, create new business goals as a XaaS company, and create a business framework that is buildable, customizable, flexible, quick to deploy, and affordable.

5. Focus on your workforce

Happy employees are engaged, productive, motivated, and have a direct impact on CX. Stop driver turnover by investing in technician training, writing fun, and inspiring job postings, celebrating your company’s core values, and recognizing achievements.

Business will have a more productive workforce if they create the right environment for them to succeed where technicians are enabled with the right technology and tools to get the job done and are empowered to provide ideas to improve processes or go above and beyond for a good customer interaction.

Were you at Field Service Amelia Island this year? Tell us what your biggest takeaway from the conference was on LinkedIn!