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Tablets Driving a Culture Shift in Field Organizations

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At Panasonic, we understand how the introduction of rugged tablet technology like Panasonic’s Toughpad can have a transformative effect on the field services market. I was delighted to be included in an in-depth piece in Vertical Systems Reseller earlier this month discussing the role of technology in driving a cultural shift in this industry. By offering broadband-enabled tablet technology, VARs are redefining the position of the field technician with a heavier emphasis on sales and customer service.

Despite being in a highly trusted, customer-facing position, field technicians have not historically been seen as representatives of a company’s sales and customer relations team. As VSR’s Lisa Terry notes, “it can be challenging to implement a sales and customer satisfaction focus with a workforce of left-brain, engineering personalities.” However, given the right tools, field service technicians have “a great foundation for, say, introducing a new service contract or warning of an impending part failure” to generate additional revenue and save the cost of a subsequent visit.

As the capabilities of mobile computing increasingly take hold in field organizations across industries, field service workers are being given access to tools that allow them to be efficient, collaborative and revenue-driving. “The addition of tools that offer visuals and interactivity to tech-client relations,” writes Terry, “is making it easier for field workers to access and present persuasive, personalized data to the end customer.”

The increasing adoption of tablets is undoubtedly increasing the quality and profit potential of field service interactions. Bringing the point-of-service closer to the customer by equipping field service techs with mobile tablet solutions means being able to close on more sales opportunities. Whether on a loading dock, a door step or an auto lot, users can close a deal right there, and offer superior service to their customers. The ability to provide immediate service as the need arises means that fewer sales opportunities get away.

Some organizations opt for consumer-grade devices, and some prefer rugged tablets, like the Toughpad, which are designed to be durable and secure. These rugged devices conform to rigorous military and industrial standards and are resistant to shock, extreme temperatures, liquid, dust, and security breaches, making them perfect tools for field service technicians who are accustomed to more challenging environments. Panasonic Toughpad tablets are broadband-enabled, allowing operators to execute business at a moment’s notice without worrying about the weather, the environment, light conditions or wireless connectivity.

But mobile computing is only part of the equation. As the article notes, helping field organizations adapt to sales roles starts with having the right talent in place. Field technicians need to be able to transition from technical services to sales and offer outstanding customer service in both areas. Solution providers need to understand the needs of the end user. That means knowing what tools will most effectively lead to customer satisfaction and a successful sale, and designing solutions to make every interaction as easy as possible. With a range of operating systems available for Toughpad including Windows 7, Windows 8 and Android, users can choose the best option to support their business needs.

Successfully transitioning field service employees to sales roles is the result of good technology meeting good management and talent. Panasonic offers the most advanced rugged tablet solution for field service. When businesses combine that technology with great talent and leadership, they’ll soon find that field service techs are able to fill a greater role in the company including sales and service, and have a big impact on business efficiency and success.

To learn more about Panasonic’s Toughpad, please visit http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughpad/us/best-android-rugged-tablet-overview.asp.

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