In today’s customer-centric culture, the moment of service means more than ever. The moment of service is a moment of engagement, a moment of opportunity, moment of innovation, a moment of potential growth. There’s a whole lot riding on your ability to execute on those moments if you realize service for the powerful potential it holds.

For most businesses, mastering the moment of service has become a major priority. This mastery requires the business to navigate and streamline immense complexity to deliver what the customer wants in the moment it matters – a seamless and positive experience. So, is this mastery an art or a science? I’d argue it’s the perfect blend of both.

The Art of Exceptional Service

The art of service, at its root, is in adeptly uncovering, understanding, articulating, and addressing your customers’ challenges and opportunities in the form of your value proposition. A customer-driven value proposition requires relationships, listening, and trust. It requires an innovative mindset and a willingness departure from business-as-usual, and that in and of itself is an art many struggle with.

This art of customer-driven value propositions is enabled by the artful creation of a customer-centric company culture that recognizes the role service plays in success and growth. This culture welcomes innovative ideas and input and recognizes the criticality of employee engagement in delivering on the moment of service.

I also think that redefining the field service role is an art. Hiring folks to show up, fix something, and leave is a thing of the past. To master the moment of service, you need to redefine what service means to your business and reassess what the field service role entails. Most customers are looking for a trusted advisor, a more consultative and value-led relationship, and execution of that requires a different skill set than break/fix service does.

The Science of Service Excellence

To be impactful, the art of customer-driven value proposition, service-centric culture, employee engagement, and modernized service roles must be complimented by some science. One of the most important areas of science in service excellence is the evaluation, optimization, and standardization of processes. While arduous, this exercise is essential to creating a consistent and uniform experience to represent and reaffirm your brand.

Digital transformation and automation are other important elements of the science of mastering the moment of service. Customers want simplicity, and technology is key to being able to navigate and streamline complexity to deliver that simplicity. Whether it’s a consistent view of operations, more efficient planning and utilization of resources, remote service capabilities, or predictive analytics, today’s customer expectations can’t be met without a modern, cohesive digital infrastructure.

That digital infrastructure equips your company to master perhaps the most important science of this all: data. Data is what powers your moment of service – it’s what helps you operate efficiently and intelligently enough to be able to not only offer but guarantee the outcomes your customers want. But, in many instances, data is also an increasingly important part of the customer value proposition as well.

There are, of course, many more aspects to both the art and science sides of this equation. And then there are areas, like communication, that span both – communication is an art, but can be driven by the science of systems.

All too often, when companies struggle with mastering the moment of service and recognizing the potential of service on their business, it’s because they are focusing too narrowly on just one side of this equation. The art and the science are both very important and investing in resources who are strong in either area is important. But marrying the two is ultimately how you’ll master the moment of service and truly seize the service opportunity.

Sarah Nicastro
Author

Field Service Evangelist, Future of Field Service