Rebuilding an Economy of Trust in the Field Service Industry
Updated: May 17, 2018
There was a time when service providers held an economy of trust that was built on reputation, word of mouth and quality of work. The world was smaller, communities were closer, and your service provider was normally your neighbor, someone you knew or someone in the family. As the nation grew the needs of the people increased and over time the populace became more and more suspicious of companies, and private salesmen. Many were not only disenchanted most had reason to doubt as rouge companies preyed on the poor taking their hard earned money and delivering little if anything to show for it. The term "Salesman" became a negative title and still is in many areas of the country.
Even health providers today struggle to regain the confidence they once held. Doctors used to make house calls, it was not unusual for the family doctor to deliver one in the world and remain with that family for decades. The "family doctor" has been replaced by "specialist" as one doctor refers one to another, patients become a number and "bedside manner" is something you read about in history books. It is no wonder today that field service companies struggle with confidence issues as they push for field sales in an environment of suspicion.
Despite the changes in the health profession they still managed to stay ahead of the rest in the service industry. For the most part, people still listen to their doctor or dentist, not with blind faith as before as second opinions are common.
Why is it so hard for others in the field service industry, rather it be pest and termite, HVAC, plumbers, electricians etc. to secure the same respect and trust. Are we really comparing a termite inspector or HVAC technician to a certified doctor?
Why not, all operate on "needs", rather you need a prescription for a sore throat or your toilet is stopped-up, there is a clear and present need that has to be corrected. Many in the field service industry left an unforgiving legacy in the past that good companies today must compete against. To defeat old perceptions in the field and service industry a paradigm shift is needed, not only for the field staff and management of the company, but for the consumer as well that is thinking of hiring that service company.
When a consumer calls a service provider, rather in the health profession or the service industry, they are asking for help, it is basically like taking an order not making a sell it would seem. So, how do so many companies struggle with it? Trust and confidence, and it starts when the consumer opens the internet to research the company to schedule the call. If they schedule, half the sell is made. The only thing one can do is "unsell" it and that is exactly what many do.
Building an Economy of Trust, especially today, with all the agencies offering reviews and ratings on service and quality on the internet, starts by understanding the role perception plays. Most put quality first, you have to secure the sell before you can demonstrate your quality of work, without the sell there is no work.