Field Service Expert Podcast


Five Questions for a Field Service Expert

Mobile Reach hosts a podcast series called “Five Questions for a Field Service Expert.” On this podcast, we interview leading field service experts including practitioners, CEOs, analysts and consultants. We dig into the big questions about field service delivery and management. Every episode we ask a field service expert five questions that can help field service leaders and practitioners do their jobs better.


Episode 1: Jim Baston

In the inaugural episode of the Five Questions for a Field Service Expert Podcast, we chat with Jim Baston, author of “Beyond Great Service: The Technician’s Role in Proactive Business Growth.” Jim offers great insights on how to empower field techs to drive new sales opportunities and contribute directly to service revenue. The episode runs about 17 minutes.


About Jim

Jim consults with field service technicians, project managers, salespeople and other customer facing personnel to fully engage them as an integral part of a service company’s business development strategy. He also works with service managers to help them be better coaches and developers of their teams and with senior management to ensure that their processes support exceptional service delivery. To learn more about Jim and his consulting services, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit his website.

Show Notes
  • Jim breaks down the challenges of getting field service organizations into sales mode. [1:50]
  • A big sticking point is getting field technicians to realize that promoting services is a service in itself, not just a sales activity. [2:06]
  • Why field techs are worried that taking a more sales-oriented role will violate trust among their customers. [2:33]
  • Why the field service tech commands the highest level of customer trust in the field service organization. [4:34]
  • Jim outlines how to shift field service techs’ mindsets so they become more open to selling. [5:24]
  • Why field techs should only recommend services that will benefit particular customers don’t just sell to sell. [6:11]
  • Why smaller field service organizations have advantage in this transformation because they have more control over the business culture. [6:48]
  • Jim discusses pitfalls a field service organization should avoid when attempting to reorient field sales. [8:17]
  • How one of most important shortcomings for field service organization is lack of coaching and support for field technicians. [10:29]
  • Why you must ensure field techs fully understand their roles in recommending new services is a service in itself and not simply a new sale. [11:50]
  • Why you must talk about these initiatives from the perspective of the customer and think in terms of benefits for them, not wins for you. [12:54]
  • Jim outlines the typical benefits field service organizations experience after becoming more sales oriented. [15:10]
  • Why challenging field techs to take more of an advisor role creates a more exciting working environment for them. [15:38]

Episode 2: Nick Frank

Nick Frank - Field Service Expert

In this episode of the Five Questions for a Field Service Expert Podcast, we chat with Nick Frank, co-founder and managing partner at Si2 Partners. Nick talks about how to turn business conversations with your customers into co-creation of new service opportunities. He also provides insight into growing your field service organization and the importance of having a “service-savvy” business culture. The episode runs about 24 minutes.


About Nick

Nick has more than 25 years international experience ranging from start-up service businesses, sales and marketing and leading transformation within large global manufacturing and technology organizations. He works with companies in a diverse range of industries including engineering, high volume manufacturing, equipment manufacturers and technology. His expertise includes the development of strategic methodologies, initiatives, and appropriate strategic support mechanisms including technological, organizational and process redesign, as well as the delivery of service innovation and transformation, in particular how to leverage the capabilities of the Internet of Things and achieving the needs of the Circular Economy. You can learn more about Nick and the services he provides at his company’s website, Si2 Partners.

Show Notes
  • Nick discusses the critical need to fully understand your customers’ value chains and positions in their industries. [1:48]
  • Why “servitization” is really about combining the know-how and capabilities of your business to make a difference to your customers. [2:20]
  • Why it’s crucial to have meaningful business conversations with your customers and to deeply understand how their business works and how they make money. [2:42]
  • How these in-depth conversations lead to sparks in creativity, co-creation, and truly working in conjunction with your customers. [3:00]
  • Why reading your customer’s annual reports is a good way to ensure you are discussing the most important business drivers. [4:45]
  • Nick discusses the complexities of dissecting a field service organization to find where the real problems lie. [6:07]
  • Nick explores the four different areas to examine for field service organizations looking to enhance existing services or rolling out new service offerings. [6:30]
  • The importance of “service-savvy” and of ensuring that everyone in the field service organization knows and can speak to the value proposition. [7:45]
  • The importance of leadership and how well business plans flow down through the organization to bring consistency between the business and field service delivery teams. [9:18]
  • Nick examines the two phases of growing a field service organization. [11:14]
  • Why your people are the real keys to growing your business. [12:43]
  • Why all successful field service organizations must have a tremendous passion for making their customers successful. [13:20]
  • Why the right technology tools must be in place to fully enable world-class service. [17:00]
  • Why teamwork in supporting field technicians is critical. [18:20]
  • Why the salesforce with insight into what’s really happening with the customer. [19:24]
  • Why having the right knowledge and information at your field service technicians’ fingertips is critical. [21:40]

Episode 3: Bruce Breeden

bruce breeden field service expert

In this episode of the Five Questions for a Field Service Expert Podcast, we chat with Bruce Breeden, Vice President of Service Operations for Fairbanks Scales. Bruce talks about how best to make your field service engineers and technicians more effective. He also discusses the importance of building technician training programs in reverse starting with the needs of your customers. The episode runs about 25 minutes.


About Bruce

Bruce is vice president of service operations at Fairbanks Scales. His expertise in field service runs deep, having held positions in executive management, business development, service marketing, organization development, industrial safety, fleet management, training, and call center operations. He has worked in a wide range of industries, including clinical diagnostics and scientific instrumentation, irrigation system controls, banking equipment, homeland security optical readers, and industrial weighing systems. Breeden is the author of The Intentional Field Service Engineer and creator of the Field Service7℠ development program. He is also the founder and principal of Field Service Resources, an organization that provides opportunity, development and results to field service engineers and technicians throughout their careers.

Show Notes
  • Bruce lays out the most common challenged in training field service engineers and techs and making them effective. [2:15]
  • Bruce addresses the specialization versus generalization conundrum that exists around field tech skill sets. [3:25]
  • Bruce mentions the Incredible bandwidth in field service tech roles and responsibilities and how they impact and the company’s brand and profitability. [5:30]
  • Bruce discusses the importance of being great ambassadors of the company and not just great field techs. [6:00]
  • Why the emphasis for field directors when hiring today should be more on soft job skills like working productively, being safe, and using technology. [7:05]
  • Why the field tech’s job is not solely to fix the instrument. It’s to fix the customer as well. [8:07]
  • How many field techs’ careers started in a completely different professions. and how they were successful due to their experience and success in problem solving and relating to multiple personalities. [9:50]
  • Bruce shares a story about a colleague who gave a commencement speech in which she urged graduates to be problem solvers. [10:40]
  • Bruce shares considerations about the design and rollout of a really effective training program for field techs. [11:56]
  • Why training programs cannot stand on their own and have to be part of the larger picture. [13:36]
  • Why it’s important to establish operating practices, not training programs. [14:40]
  • Bruce recommends using with the organization’s vision and mission and that will elicit themes you can use in training field techs. [15:30]
  • Bruce shares the technologies that contribute most to field technician effectiveness. [16:05]
  • Bruce discusses a global implementation of ERP and CRM systems and how it all all comes down to people, process and technology. [19:30)
  • Bruce shares the best field service tech training program he’s even seen implemented. [20:11]