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5 ways to keep your mobile workforce mobile in the snow

Posted by Steve Alderson on December 18, 2012

With a reduced workforce, and those in the field facing challenging conditions, it’s important to keep your field workers safe whilst trying to service customers’ needs and expectations.

The disruption caused by extreme weather can only be mitigated to a certain point, and of course preparation is key. However, if today’s snowy conditions are impacting your ability to maintain levels of service, you may find the below five points of use.

1. Consider how you might keep customers informed with up-to-the-minute updates on any resulting delays associated with congestion or shortfalls in resourcing. Differentiation through proactive communications will serve to reinforce service excellence as a key brand value

2. In the event that the pre-scheduled engineer is stuck, running late or facing road closures, having real-time geo-location information fed into a dynamic scheduler system helps to redeploy or reallocate resource at short notice

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Looking back to move service forward in Facilities Management

Posted by Steve Alderson on November 28, 2012

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we have been reflecting on the service changes in the industry and we have been inviting industry experts to discuss what they believe has had the biggest influence on the Facilities Management (FM) and service industry over the past 20 years, and what they think the future may hold.

We spoke with Anne Lenox Martin, Independent Facilities Management Consultant & Trainer, on the changes she has seen in the industry and what she believes is to come.

How do you think service has changed in FM over the last 20 years?

I would say that the most important changes actually occurred 10 years previously. There was a huge shift in peoples understanding of service during the 1980’s, led in the majority by Peter Drucker and Tom Peters (the management gurus) who were talking about service excellence, managing people and how to get the best out of employees. So much so that by 1992 people had already come to realise the importance of keeping hold of their customers. However, FM was still very much in its infancy, with the service of buildings taking precedence over the service of people. Then during the 90’s there was a steady shift towards this new thinking, that facilities was more about people and workspace. I wouldn’t however say there was a major shift at one point; it was more of an evolution rather than a revolution.

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Industry figureheads predict the future of service

Posted by Steve Alderson on October 5, 2012

Our impending 20th anniversary celebrations have put us in a reflective mood, thinking about the technological and social innovations that have been introduced and their impact on service. For example, who knew 20 years ago that we would now be voicing our customer service views (good and bad) on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

Whilst reflecting on the improvements to service over the past 20 years and the feedback we have gathered from consumers and businesses in our Annual Nationwide Service Report (ANSR), we have considered what the future of service will hold. By collating the views of industry figureheads including Saul Sherry - Service Management, Sumair Dutta – Aberdeen Group and Anne Lennox-Martin – BIFM Trainer we can now provide organisation’s with some insight into where service is headed in the future.

As you would expect in this fast pace of change world we live in, many predictions referenced technological advances that will allow organisations to work smarter, including;

  • M2M communications enabling remote diagnostics of faults
  • The integration of social and mobile channels, increasing the availability of service information
  • Kinetic charging of mobile devices

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Organisations suffering from customer service apathy

Posted by Steve Alderson on September 13, 2012

Results from our recent survey, conducted with Redshift Research, show that when it comes to providing service excellence, employers don’t measure performance and employees aren’t motivated to deliver.

Only 14% of service organisations have a system in place that accurately and automatically scores employees on performance when it comes to customer service. Adding to this, 17% of the organisations polled believe that the workforce is almost completely unmotivated by the idea of customer service (“hardly any/less than 20% staff”), suggesting that their approach service excellence could be apathetic at best.

Poor executive sponsorship and leadership in these areas will no doubt affect an organisation’s ability to provide good customer service and as previous research has shown, have an impact on revenues. Engaging employees throughout the organisation in a service excellence culture is vital, from top to bottom, as are tools and methodologies for keeping it monitored and at a high standard at all times.

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Network outages – how to keep the mobile field force working

Posted by Steve Alderson on August 16, 2012

Twenty-four hours of network downtime is bound to be bad for business, especially a large mobile operator, with millions of consumers crying “epicfail” all over social media.

But what about businesses with huge remote workforces that rely on this technology? Will those historically opposed to it be using this to say that mobile technology for workforce management is flawed, and therefore we should go back to traditional methods of working?

These one-off situations, whilst newsworthy and extremely unexpected for customers and businesses alike, are fortunately very rare. As such, the benefits of the new generation of smartphone and handheld-equipped workers out in the field are too great to ignore.

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