Kim Pulliam, ID Technology

Support Technicians Need to Develop a Bedside Manner

By Kim Pulliam, ID Technology | Permanent Link

Field service technicians are often independent self starters who thrive outside the company structure. These highly analytical individuals have a laser like concentration that focuses on repairing the machine. Their ability to concentrate on the task at hand does at times keep the field service technician from seeing all the possibilities for helping the customer improve overall productivity over the long term.

Field service technicians are the eyes and ears of the equipment supplier in actual operating conditions. They are uniquely positioned to determine whether the customer’s operators are properly trained to keep the supplier’s machines in peak condition for optimum productivity, if the recommended preventive maintenance procedures are being followed, and if the customer has enough replacement parts on hand.

The best doctors are those who not only have the medical knowledge, but also the interpersonal skills to help them understand the whole person. In other words, they effectively treat both the person and the symptoms. Likewise, the field service technician who truly stands out is the one who is able to see and correct the immediate problem as well as suggest ways of keeping other issues from cropping up.

If aftermarket service is going to reach the next level of achievement, service managers, field service technicians, and customers must work together to find ways of building onto the good traits of the field service technician by adding a few more, such as the ability to see the bigger picture. This will not be an easy discussion to have because of the traditional mindset of get in, fix it, and get out. It is a discussion that we must have, however, because fixing the immediate problem is no longer enough. It is incumbent on the supplier to work with the customer to identify and correct the root causes of problems. Do that and productivity improves, while overall maintenance costs shrink.


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