How to Build High Performance Field Service Teams

Field service technicians talk to and visit customers daily, assist them, and represent your company’s products and services. Because your customer may have no other interface to your company or your brand, it is essential that you build a high performance team will ensure the best possible outcome for your customers and great results for you.

Field Service is a “people” business above all else. High performance team players have certain characteristics. How does your team measure up on these necessary traits?

  • Consistently show high levels of collaboration and trust
  • Highly skilled
  • Goal-focused
  • Innovative
  • Support a positive atmosphere
  • Produce superior results
  • Follow these steps to improve and achieve superior field service with an “A” team and build customer loyalty.

    1. First, Set Your Goals

    It is a mistake to try to shoehorn service techs into positions based on performance, seniority and personality. Instead, to design an effective, high performance organization, set your goals and then organize your staff to achieve those objectives.

  • Align goals with corporate strategies
  • Make certain your department goals are clear and definitive without ambiguity
  • 2. Align People to Stretch Goals

    Now that goals are clearly set, define how your FS staff will advance these objectives and formulate new strategies to achieve goals.

  • Define how each person in the organization can support your goals
  • Determine the skills required for each role
  • Provide stretch targets that are within reach: not too high, not too low
  • 3. Choose Top Talent and Passionate Champions

    The best companies seek out and hire “A” players and won’t settle for less.

  • Partner with experts, consultants, recruitment agencies and talent acquisition service providers
  • Talent and passion are different around the world – recruit globally
  • 4. Build Blueprints for Success

    Once you have the best talent on staff, plan to continue building your organization and formulating strategies. Invest time in planning for the organization and with each team member. Think of your business as a blueprint for building a house:

  • Architecture – design what the organization should look like
  • Construction details – fill in the staff, training, career progression
  • Finishing details – consider the finishing touches such as communications plans, celebrations, uniforms, equipment
  • 5. Use the Language of Teamwork and Success

    Plan to create team spirit and set an example to provide language for teamwork and achievement. Change the way you talk to set the organization on the right track in a subtle way. Use words and concepts such as:

  • “We” not “You”
  • Collaborate
  • Assist
  • Together
  • Team
  • All of us
  • 6. Focus on Results

    Set expectations and achievement goals to motivate and promote excellence in service.

  • Clearly define what results are expected
  • Track and acknowledge achievement to goals
  • Report on progress regularly
  • Acknowledge over-achievers and encourage everyone to practice that behavior
  • 7. Create a Culture of Collaboration NOT Competition

    As the leader; you set the tone for your organization. Create an atmosphere of openness, acceptance of ideas and cooperation. Welcome new ideas:

  • Brainstorm – innovation workshops
  • Practice problem solving techniques
  • Encourage decision making
  • Assign work teams 
  • 8. Plan for Rewards and Recognition

    Reward and recognition programs help acknowledge and retain great employees and encourage the right performance.

  • Make rewards and recognition about the individual AND the team
  • Initiate team rewards
  • Encourage face-to-face meetings whenever possible
  • What can you expect from high performance team efforts?

  • 27 percent higher than average profits
  • 50 percent higher than average sales
  • 50 percent higher than average customer loyalty
  • 38 percent higher than average productivity
  • 61 percent higher than average job satisfaction
  • 155 percent higher than average stock returns
  • 16 percent lower than average employee turnover
  • About the Author: Rosemary Coates

    Coates is the president of Los Gatos, Calif.-based Blue Silk Consulting, which advises companies on global supply chain issues, and the author of “42 Rules for Superior Field Service.” Coates will speak at SmartVan’s 2014 Field Service Roadshow in Boston on building high performance teams for the field.

    *Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For

    Image via Canstock Photo

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