The Age of the Customer author Jim Blasingame put forward a new way of thinking about markets and actors. He points out that for a millennia, sellers controlled the product and product information and customers made decisions based on what sellers shared with them. For tens of thousands of years—until about 1993—we lived in “The Age of the Seller.” But micro-computers ushered in a role reversal that has given rise to The Age of the Customer®. Every new digital leap over the past 20 years has served to strengthen the balance of power in favor of customers. According to Blasingame, customers expect “visionary” sellers who are not only competitive, but increasingly relevant.
Sales messaging and training guru Corporate Visions, Inc. puts it more bluntly in its e-book titled “The Salesperson Is Dead.” In fact, they make the statement in this title for shock purposes: get into the meat of the book and it’s clear that the message is: “You can still sell; indeed, you MUST still sell; but the ways you used to do it don’t work any more.”
The company says that fixing customer pain points will not necessarily close the sale [or maintain the relationship] because often customers have developed work arounds for what ails them. Sellers and even business partners have to provide solutions to underappreciated or unconsidered issues. These include new business challenges, additional obligations due to changes in the organization, and pressures from regulatory requirements in order to seal the deal.
The right field service management software is virtually guaranteed to increase customer lifetime value (CLV)
The right field service management (FSM) software can have dramatic positive effects on operating efficiencies and, thus, is a prime way to affect the customer lifetime value equation. Best-in-class FSM software relieves the field engineer of administrative tasks and provides valuable job and customer history on a mobile device, such as a smart phone or tablet. The information on demand is a surefire way to wow customers, foster loyalty, and turn them into evangelists.
Reductions in administrative and operational efficiencies across the board all go straight to the bottom line in the CLV calculation. The dashboard in mobile field service software can also give engineers insights into a customer’s business so they can better function as trusted team members and advisors. From Blasingame’s perspective, this means that FSM software, also known as dispatch software, could help the engineer to be visionary and more relevant.
Empowered engineers have additional avenues for rapport building and extending the life of profitable customer relationships. From recommendations for equipment management and preventive maintenance for more uptime to cross selling and upselling, the field engineer is transformed into a problem solver and salesperson extraordinaire… a sage bringing knowledge of new threats and new opportunities in this Age of the Customer.
Anecdotal evidence shows that the right FSM software produces high buy-in among younger and older workers alike
The degree of increases in productivity and, thus, customer lifetime value, is related to employee adoption rates and usage patterns. FieldAware’s easy-to-adopt, easy-to-use interface is native to the mobile tool being used. This plays a big part in the ability for engineers across generations to learn the application in a little as a day of training. This minimizes the disruption of operations, while expediting the availability of customer information to engineers in the field. In The Age of the Customer, this is a useful asset for customer lifetime value and to address needs for them and the business have yet to be realized.