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Field Service Mythbusters: Tackling the Industry’s Most Common Myths (Recap)

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been devoted to sharing and crushing the common myths that have plagued the field service industry decades. We discuss these falsehoods in depth in our Field Service Mythbusters series. If you haven’t, be sure to check out parts one and two of the series.

To wrap things up, we’ve put together a summary of all of the myths we’ve busted.

So, let’s recap:

So far, our overall theme has been that the trades is a lackluster profession that’s behind on the times and downright unappealing to younger generations. And this common misconception is what’s contributed to the over 215,000 laborer deficit that the field service industry must work to overcome.

The skilled trades gap isn’t news in our industry. We’ve all heard about it, read about it, and even experienced its impact to some extent. Afterall, it’s a big reason we started XOi in the first place – to help ease and resolve the impact of a lack of experienced trades workers.

We also know that a lot of the factors that have contributed to the lack of willingness for newer generations to enter the trades industry are no longer true. So, let’s briefly review the top six myths that need to be busted so we can remove some obstacles and bring skilled trades numbers where they need to be:

Myth #1. Technicians are lazy, dumb and stubborn.

They are not. Most technicians take pride in a job well done, but often aren’t empowered or don’t have the bandwidth to deliver the level of service they wish to. In part one of our series, we tackle this myth by discussing how technology can help them overcome challenges in the field and better communicate and document their work with customers.

Myth #2. Nothing about the trades appeals to the new generation of workers.

We put this one to rest by pointing out that many young people entering the workforce will jump at the opportunity to bypass student loan debt for a guaranteed job placement following an apprenticeship. Especially during today’s global climate, a stable career path in an essential trade is helping to further debunk this myth for younger generations. In our extended article, we also discuss how Josh Zolin, CEO of Windy City Equipment, helps to further disprove this myth in his book Blue is the New White: The Best Path to Success No One Told You About—Until Now. Josh makes a strong case for a career in skilled trades.

Myth #3. Consumers don’t trust technicians.

Yes, this is a toughie. It’s all about how trust can dissolve with one bad experience. This lack-of-trust issue is a contributing factor to the negative perception many people have of the trades, and can dissuade many individuals from considering a career in the field. To solve this issue, we emphasize that promoting full trust is through better education of both the consumer and the technician. Technology can help bridge this knowledge gap by improving transparency into the work techs put in while on site. We know that most consumers don’t understand the ins and outs of their equipment, and trusting work was completed properly can be hard when you don’t have a way to confirm what was done. Using technology to capture pictures, videos, and in-depth recaps are the best way for technicians to educate and strengthen relationships with customers in order to gain their trust.

Myth #4. Customers only consider price when shopping for repairs, service, and maintenance.

Well, not necessarily. While price is and will always be a factor for most consumers, three more criteria also play a large role in their decision making process – quality of service, overall experience, and reliability. Once these three criteria are factored in, price can often take a back seat to better service with the enhancement of technology. So, factors beyond a low price point can put any business ahead of the curve and make price competition a lesser consideration.

Myth #5. Technology isn’t a factor when customers choose a service provider.

For today’s modern customer, technology is no longer a “nice to have” but an expectation in almost every aspect of their lives. And while customers aren’t invested in the technology a service company utilizes, they recognize inefficiency when they see it. Digital transformation has increased customer expectations, and they expect the modern convenience of easily reviewing a work order at a moments notice. Technology is reshaping the world around us, making it imperative for service providers to get on board and care about the technology they invest in and arm their technicians with or face obsolescence.

Myth #6. Technicians won’t adapt to new technology.

In the same way your customers are becoming more and more reliant and accustomed to technology, so have most technicians. It’s rare for someone not to have a smartphone or some type of web enabled mobile device. The key is to manage the technology adoption process properly. It’s all about change management and communicating that the technology is there to help your techs, not burden them with additional work. Your techs will gladly adapt software designed to improve their work in the field if you manage change in a way that makes sense and has something in it for them.

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