Get technician buy-in before you buy
Nothing can torpedo a technology project faster than failing to seek the advice and buy-in of your guys (and gals) in the field. If technicians don’t believe that a new technology makes their job easier or more efficient, they won’t use it. It’s just that simple.
Field service workers take a lot of professional pride from their ability to look at a problem and solve it for the customer. If new technology helps solve problems, they will eagerly adopt it.
But they’ve also seen a few rollouts that created more headaches than they solved. Don’t be surprised if experienced techs take a guarded view of new technology. The best way to convince techs a new solution will serve customers is to let them use it before you buy it.
“Did you know that only 9 percent of North American companies involve the end user in approving the deployment of major mobile workforce apps? ….The service tech—the person who is actually going to use the solution—is rarely involved in choosing it.”  -Jeanine Sterling, Frost & Sullivan
Admittedly, it takes more effort to include the field service crew in technology evaluations. They’re usually out in the field, while project managers, accountants, and operations are in the office. Nevertheless, successful deployments need buy-in at every level.
Don’t choose a ‘yes man’ – identify your alpha tech to earn respect
At XOi, we have found that leading field service technology projects from the supervisor level doesn’t always get end users to leverage new technology. That’s a top-down approach that doesn’t take the preferences of blue collar workers into account.
Technician buy-in is so fundamental to success that we insist on including techs during every pilot for our Vision™ platform. We ask customers to include at least three people:
- A younger employee who is a heavy user of technology
- Two users with 10-15 years of experience in the industry
- The ‘alpha technician’
The alpha tech is the guy or gal other technicians most admire and respect. The one who has seen it all and can answer the toughest questions. Demonstrating real value to the alpha tech is the key to obtaining buy-in across the field service team.
Use the champion trifecta to lead through deployment
Use champions to help drive the process of evaluating and choosing the best technology, then deploy a real-world pilot to try it out, and finally, roll the new solution out across the organization and train users. Recruit an executive, an operations manager, and an end-user technician. Using this champion trifecta, you can ensure buy-in at every level of your company and every stage of your technology project.
Why XOi requires technician buy-in during every program
In a recent survey by Field Technologies, 74% of field service organizations indicated their top strategic priority this year is to increase the efficiency of their field technicians. To accomplish that goal, companies will need to make smart use of new technology.
Field service technology projects fail when management can’t convince technicians to fully adopt a new solution. Talk to field service executives and most of them have a story or two about trying to force techs to use a device or software they hated. The end result is usually wasted technology dollars.
This is why XOi requires tech buy-in for every company that employs Vision™. Let your techs be the unbiased judges of our technology. If you’re interested in scheduling a demo, click here.
 “Analysts Weigh In On Where Field Service Is Headed in 2018,” Field Technologies, November / December 2017 special issue.
 “Top Field Service Strategic Initiatives,” Field Technologies, November / December 2017 special issue.