The Essentials of Field Service Marketing
Having a well-planned marketing strategy is paramount to the success of any business, especially in a field service organisation. But unlike other industry, the field service requires a more complex strategy that includes an equally multifaceted tactical marketing tools, hence, the service marketing mix.
Service marketing mix is a critical factor in order to grow in an extremely competitive environment of field service. It is an extension of the 4 P’s concept of product companies, but with additional components that take into account the intangible part of service organisations- thus creating the strategic concept of 7 P’s of service marketing
Understanding how these seven components work hand in hand with each other is necessary to achieve results in your service marketing efforts. In this post, we will discuss all seven components of a successful service marketing mix and how each of these can help you achieve more revenues and profits today.
Portfolio refers to the way on how your organisation delivers service to your customers. It is usually defined in terms of the agreed service-level commitment i.e. 24-hour response time and/or 100% first-time fix rate. The rule of thumb is the more well-defined a service portfolio is, the greater the chance that you’ll be able to fulfill the needs of your customers.
Provider refers to the overall infrastructure that your organisation has. This includes the field service system you are using, dispatch and fleet management systems, self-service portals, and service technologies such as mobile devices, wearables, and other tools that your field technicians are utilising in the field. Though it might need a large upfront investment, having an advanced and solid infrastructure makes it more possible to meet the service-level agreement specified in the portfolio.
Process refers to the steps that your customers and your organisation have to take in order reach the goal which is to deliver the service. For instance, diagnosing the problem on the dispatch level before sending your field technicians on the site. The bottom-line here is that the process should be executed optimally without losing quality. Furthermore, the process of the service should also be clearly defined in the service blueprint before establishing the service so as to ensure that you resolve the issue or satisfy their needs first-time.
Performance is one of the most important factors that can make or break your field service business. It is very important that your organisation deliver what your promise to your customers so that it will reflect on the performance component of your business such as the KPIs, customer satisfaction results, and customer testimonials. Having a good feedback about your performance can help you retain loyal clients, attract more customers and ultimately higher revenue.
Your customer’s perception about your organisation is one the primary factor that they consider of whether they avail your service or not. Having the ability to influence your customer’s perception about your business relies on many factors such your performance as well as your promotional efforts. Promotional tactics such as advertising, branding, and communications are just some of the effective ways to build a reputable image to your clients.
The “place” factor may come fuzzy in field service since there can be multiple entities that may get involved in service distribution. People can purchase the service being offered by another entity, then order or request it from another group until it is time for your organisation to deliver the actual service at a certain place (customer’s site, depot, remote, etc.). Sometimes the place may refer to the company delivering the service, but other times is not. Nevertheless, your service marketing should be able to address these complexities.
Lastly, the price is another strategic component that should be planned effectively ahead of time in order to gain the maximum profit without losing a significant amount of market share. When planning for the price, it is important to remember that it is a function of the value in use of your service and the perception that your customer has to your field service organisation. If you project a premium brand image to your prospected clients, then a higher than industry average pricing can be used. Otherwise, a lower pricing should be implemented.
Putting all these seven components of service marketing together into a one solid marketing strategy can help your field service organisation achieve remarkable results. When deployed, this principle will help you attract more clients, more fulfilled field technicians, and ultimately, higher sales and profits.
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