We all know the value of technology. More importantly, we see the value of our drivers in the field. You know your staff is interacting with your customers, hearing customer complaints, seeing potential business all the time. Most organizations have been implementing new tech and applications for the better part of 20 years. Everyone’s on board, and why not? It would appear technology just keeps getting better and better. But for some reason, there’s one area of operations that is lagging behind on this front: your frontline, your drivers, and staff in the field that are constantly interacting with your customers. Give them the tools they need to succeed by digitizing them.
Your frontline staff is built up of all your client-facing reps. Whether they’re drivers, routes, technicians, on-site workers, etc., they’re always on the move and vital to your organization. Working with many service companies, I’ve noticed that these workers and staff are still using pen-and-paper methods to record intel or observations from the field. This baffled me! Out of all the fancy tech and shiny toys, why are your frontline operators, who are constantly on the move and observing your potential markets while being the face of your business, are not given the proper tools to help benefit your company?
Now to paint the picture, imagine this same frontline staff out in the field, they’re taking pictures of new businesses, leaving voice notes from a client visit or pick-up, sending lead info to your sales team through messaging, and it’s all getting tracked in one place. From what I’ve seen, many organizations don’t have this transparency, alignment, and engagement between their frontline and the rest of their staff. Their drivers are very limited in ways to record new leads or something as simple as an upsell/cross-sell or even manage a customer service complaint. Most of the time have to resort to scribbling notes on scrap sheets of paper and then hoping that gets into the right hands. It doesn’t work. And every time that piece of paper gets lost in the shuffle, it is a potential business or sale getting lost as well.
Now, I know it takes consideration before implementing a new program to a large part of your organization. However, consider these five benefits.
Regardless of what application you use, digitizing your frontline and densifying your routes can significantly benefit your business.
1. A way to maximize the eyes and ears of the staff you already have in the field
Your drivers are constantly on the move visiting sites all over your territory. By digitizing your route drivers or technicians, you will be able to send back intel from current customer visits, with opportunities for upselling and any requests or information they gain from visits. Digitizing your frontline staff gives your sales team intel to follow up on and enhance your customer service.
2. Leveraging instant communication between your drivers in the field and your staff back at the office. (Customer service)
Timely communication is critical for any service company in 2021, and your drivers in the field couldn’t be more essential. Pen-and-paper methods not only have the risk of intel getting lost, but there’s also a substantial delay in time before that information gets into the right hands. With instant intel coming into your team at the office, they can immediately follow up with clients on upgrades or any service changes needed. Clear communication adds to your customer’s service satisfaction but also your business operation as a whole. Fully optimize your routes and stops by providing them with updates throughout the day.
3. Greater alignment and communication across teams to achieve company goals.
You need to have everyone on the same page! Digitizing your frontline staff/reps will make them a valuable asset for your business development. You can add other duties and incentives for sending in intel and providing better service. Organizations can significantly benefit from creating operation-wide goals and use them as a rallying call for all departments to contribute. Whatever the case, you can enhance any frontline activities and get more out of every route they drive.
4. Enhanced frontline culture and contribution from your drivers.
Offering incentives and responsibilities to your frontline enhances their performance on all of their day-to-day activities. We’ve seen tremendous performance engagement across an organization’s frontline staff due to their sense of contribution. When they visit an account, previously a lead they sent in, they feel a further need or responsibility to go above and beyond in their service. Engagement, customer service, and customer satisfaction are all enhanced—a win-win for everyone.
5. New sets of eyes in the field mean more sales opportunities.
On top of these other benefits, consider the economic potential. Your frontline, on-site, route-reps, and technicians are already on the move throughout the entire day. Utilize these routes to accomplish two goals at once by leveraging their intel and observations. You’ll have a whole new staff to bring in leads for your sales team to go after, and with more leads comes more sales and money in your pocket.
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