Digital Transformation in Field Services: Award-winning Best Practices

Stephen Caulfield By Stephen Caulfield Vice President, Dell EMC Global Field Services November 5, 2018

At Dell Technologies, our #1 goal is to deliver a positive customer experience―with every product, service, and customer interaction. We understand it is no longer enough to look to our competitor’s best practices―our customers’ expectations are set by their experience as customers in all kinds of industries.

Improving Customer Onsite Repair Experience Through Digital Transformation

My team is responsible for 4.5 million customer repair visits around the globe annually―3.2 million of which are onsite repair events delivered by our partner-led engineers in customer homes, offices, and data centers. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the customer’s experience, including: resolving issues before they require a customer repair visit, reducing the number of times a repeat repair visit is required, and digitally transforming our customer’s repair journey with Dell EMC.

As a result, we have been able to reduce the number of onsite service dispatches by 380,000 over the previous year by collaborating with Product Engineering, Education Services, Parts, Logistics,, and Call Center teams to improve our customers’ end-to-end experience.

The Right Person with the Right Part in the Right Place at the Right Time

Given the scale of our Global Field Services operations―with 15,000 service partner field technicians delivering services on a wide range of products in 160+ countries, we must be the industry leader in innovation, applying new capabilities, such as end-to-end digitalization, automation, and data capture and analysis to continually improve the onsite support experience.

Breakthrough Results and Best Practices

Recently, our efforts were recognized by the support industry’s premiere professional organization when the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) awarded us their 2018 STAR Award for Best Practices in Field Services  for “breakthrough results and established best practices within field services.”

The award is based in part on independent benchmarking that validates our investments in new capabilities and continuous process improvements. Results include an overall customer satisfaction rating for onsite field services that average 93%+ globally (as compared to an industry average of 89%) and SLA compliance of 96%+ for onsite response times globally (compared to an industry average of 86%).1 The award also recognizes our 3-to-5-year Transformation North Star plan to become even better.

Everything a Field Tech Needs in One App

One of the most exciting recent advances in our field service organization is development of the Dell Field Services Mobility application for our partner-led field technicians. This application is supported in 11 languages globally and provides field technicians with instant and secure access to information and resources to help them deliver better service, faster.

Our partner field engineers use the app to track customer contact information and address locations, access training and product knowledge databases, check on parts availability, and even look up technical references and training tools, including real time tear-down videos.The app also enables real-time notifications from the Dell EMC Command Center; for example, if bad weather is impacting the way parts are being delivered on a specific day, or if an event has occurred that may impact onsite service in a specific locale.

Automated Best Practice Workflow and Service Event Data Capture

Another powerful aspect of the Dell Field Services Mobility application is that it provides a standardized workflow that guides our partner’s technicians through best practices in onsite service, while also capturing actual service event data―from initial diagnostic codes, to part number scans, to services performed, to final diagnostics validating that problems are resolved. Capture of this granular data from millions of onsite service calls creates a rich source of insight for improving future services. We can use existing and new closed loop correction analytics to identify issues and help definite opportunities for further refinement and best practices.

Less Effort and Inconvenience for Our Customers

What does all this behind the scenes effort mean from a customer perspective? Everything from initiating a request for service, to managing service appointments, to maintaining a record of the specific services performed becomes easier and more accessible.

Like most companies, there was a time when the best we could do for Next-Day Service customers was to tell them that a field technician would be calling them the next day to let them when to expect the field technician. Today, when customers initiate service through or through a call center agent, they can specify the next-day service window that works best for them. Once the repair visit time is set, our customers receive an email with an electronic link in it that they can use to reschedule their visit to another day or time, pending their own schedule changes. What’s more, repair visits can be scheduled using smaller, tighter time windows, not just broad AM or PM time frames. We are no longer scheduling customer visits at our convenience. We have listened to our customers, who want repair events to be scheduled at a time that is convenient to them.

At the other end of service, through the Dell Field Services Mobility application, customers can electronically sign off that their repair is complete using the onsite technician’s smart phone. A PDF report is then generated, using the service event data captured during onsite service, that is encrypted securely and emailed back to the customer for their records.

Meeting and Exceeding Unique Future Expectations

These improvements are all part of a longer-term vision for Dell EMC Global Field Services. It’s a vision that includes ongoing efforts to reduce the need for onsite service through continued investment in self-healing technologies; customer self-service capabilities for our customers who prefer self-service; predictive and proactive monitoring; as well as automated diagnostics. This is our vision for making onsite resolution more convenient, faster and better…and providing our customers with the best possible onsite support experience.

We invite you to check out the blog Award-winning Innovation: Leveraging Analytics for Service Excellence to learn how Dell Technologies’ Online Support and Dell Digital teams were awarded the 2018 TSIA STAR Award for their analytics-driven approach in providing better support to our customers.

(1) Source: TSIA Capabilities Assessment, Dell EMC North Star Overview, March 22, 2018

Stephen Caulfield

About Stephen Caulfield

Vice President, Dell EMC Global Field Services

Stephen Caulfield is the Vice President of Global Field Services for Dell EMC. His team is part of the Dell EMC Global Deployment and Field Services group under Support and Deployment Services. He is responsible for warranty service repairs on client, server, networking and low-end storage products around the globe – this includes onsite service (sometimes known as Next Business Day service), Carry-In-Centers and Mail-in-Service. In this role, Stephen’s team manages nearly 15,000 partner-led service engineers globally who perform nearly 4.5 million repair events annually for Dell EMC customers.

Stephen has 28+ years of experience in the IT Services industry and is a 16 year veteran of Dell EMC. His previous roles at Dell EMC have included EMEA Field Services Director, EMEA Command Center Manager, Service Operations Planning, Enterprise Program Manager and Technical Account Manager. Prior to Dell, he was a Program Manager at the Bank of Ireland. He designed and implemented Helpdesk centers while at Compaq Computers & Digital Equipment.

Stephen is based in Bratislava, Slovakia and resides in South Moravia, Czech Republic with his wife and three children. He enjoys golf and rugby.

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3 thoughts on “Digital Transformation in Field Services: Award-winning Best Practices

    • Thanks Steve, I am fortunate to lead, what I believe to be, the best team in the business and am so proud that TSIA think the same!