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FSM Customer Success

Think Tank Sessions:
What Drives Customer Success at Your Organization?

Last month, we covered how identifying and measuring the right key performance indicators (KPIs) can help field service companies better understand the performance of specific facets of their business and the services they provide. Better data and insights can help these organizations understand what drives customer satisfaction.

It isn’t rocket science: Customer satisfaction is key to a successful business…but we often oversimplify the idea that greater customer satisfaction = greater revenue. The reality is more complex. To truly achieve better business outcomes, service organizations should aim to look beyond immediate customer satisfaction and toward long-term customer success instead.

So how should we define customer success in field service?

We believe customer success isn’t just meeting or even anticipating your customers’ requirements; it is using KPIs, reporting tools, data and your own products and services to develop a deeper understanding of your customers’ end goals…then becoming an indispensable partner to help each customer achieve them.

But there are many nuanced points to this complex discussion, and lots of takes on this topic depending on who you ask. Luckily, GPS Insight and FieldAware were able to have a seat at the table with several service leaders from across Europe and the U.S. to discuss what it means to define customer success in the field service industry.

The Journey to Customer Success:
Experts Weigh In

GPS Insight and FieldAware partnered with Field Service News to convene a blue-ribbon panel of field service management leaders for a thought-provoking discussion on how best to define and accelerate an operating model to progress from customer satisfaction oriented, to customer success focused. The panel discussion resulted in an Executive Briefing, featuring executives from Siemens Digital Industries, MCFT Food Equipment Services, moreMomentum, among others.

This discussion between field service thought leaders identified seven key areas critical for companies to understand and effectively utilize a customer success model:


Defining customer success


Different success drivers


Effective client interaction


Educating the client

The journey to customer success alignment
with the client

Why customer success matters

Adapting the organization to move
towards customer success
Below, we showcase some expert opinions from the Executive Briefing around the first two topics: defining customer success and identifying customer success drivers.

Want to skip the recap and read the full briefing instead? Download the executive briefing here.

Tips for Identifying Customer
Success Drivers

Though all experts brought a different perspective to the table, everyone agreed that to evolve to a customer success-based service model, service operations must work hand-in-hand with their customers to identify a shared, customized set of metrics and KPIs that shape how success is defined. It’s important to keep in mind that there will be different success drivers for both the service provider and the customer alike. However, customers across different industries may share some core ideas of what success means at their organization.

Chris Hird, Editor at Field Service News, shared what his organization considered as a success driver when he worked in the oil and gas industry.

“Coming from an oil and gas upstream background, when we were operating oil and gas rigs, our outgoings daily were upwards of half a million pounds, and bigger rigs can be millions a day. If a piece of equipment fails, it’s a very expensive game,” Hird notes.

“So as a customer our key driver was easy, zero downtime. We were happy when there was no downtime and inversely when there was. In a way, my executive team excluded, we didn’t actually mind how much we were paying for certain services as long as they delivered zero downtime. Any downtime blew budget contingency out of the water very quickly,” Hird added.

As Hird had outlined, ensuring that all equipment was functioning properly at all times was a key success driver—and likely a familiar one for many service organizations.

Another expert, Kris Oldland, Editor-and-Chief of Field Service News, notes, “It is absolutely critical to understand how external drivers impact our customers. That’s where I think the key is establishing the core drivers for our service strategies,” said Oldland. “They have to be aligned with the drivers our customers themselves are responding to. Whether they be regulatory, whether they be the result of natural market pull dynamics, I think understanding this is an essential part of solving the equation.”

Steve Mason, Chief Operating Officer at FieldAware, hit on the key issue: how to get companies to understand the necessity of adopting a customer success program.

“There’s much work to be done in identifying the drivers for each customer, understanding the needs of different users and stakeholders within the process, and understanding what they value, and then defining what can you do to help to define success for them. It takes more than just the statement and objective but actually setting a vision, having someone that’s driving that vision throughout the organization, educating and training. Then ultimately there must also be a process of measuring and rewarding, on delivering that customer’s success for your teams.”

If your organization is looking to expand its footprint, identifying what drives customer success—and ultimately moving to a customer success model—is key to helping your business grow and thrive. Do you have a vision for what success looks like for you and your customers? Get the insight you need by downloading the executive briefing below and hear what field service experts have to say about moving to a customer success model.