Service teams must learn new skills

Learn why the traditional service engineer is having to improve and develop new 'soft' skills to communicate more effectively with customers.

Old Dogs must learn new tricks

Recruiters must accept that job applicants who do not possess all the skills can be rapidly turned into ambassadors for the company through proper training. 

The role of the field service engineer has changed from the old boy with a bag of tools and a sometimes surly attitude who could fix most things or advise you to buy anew product.  'Now the emphasis is just as much on fixing the customer as fixing the machine, because service engineers are being measured on
customer satisfaction,' says Mark Hemming, customer service and process development manager for Festo Training and Consulting. This requires a new set of skills.'

Hemming contends that the best service engineers have probably always developed a good relationship with the customer, but the challenge is to bring the rest up to this standard. 

The best service engineers, however, do not necessarily have to visit clients. Dave Johal, business development manager at recruitment specialist Manpower, says 'Five years ago you needed the most highly skilled people to be in the field.  Today they are needed at the helpdesk to resolve issues before being referred to afield engineer.' Chris Short, managing director of recruitment firm Concept-IT, goes further.  He says: 'Highly skilled office-based specialist provide remote support using diagnostic and configuration tools to resolve most technical issues without having to send an engineer.

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