If you’ve been following the work that we’ve done on State of Service here at FoFS, you’d have a fresh view on how the many challenges of the last two years have culminated in our current expectations around service delivery. So I figured let’s dig into the archives and see what we were saying back when this site got started.

Sarah brought me into the Future of Field Service family in early 2019, and my tenure began with a couple of articles in January of that year. Let’s take a look at some of them, how things have changed, and what remains the same. Here’s my first article for FoFS:

Is Field Service The Retail Game Changer?
Most of the existing examples listed here have been among companies selling complex tech products, but that should not be the limit to retail’s service footprint. If field service right in every instance? Absolutely not. I think we’d all be a bit alarmed if a Victoria’s Secret technician rang your doorbell for a 3PM hosiery service appointment. But Victoria’s Secret actually does have a robust in-store service offering that works great for them. Think of what would have happened if Border’s, or Circuit City, or Blockbuster had developed service systems in-store for consultation and unique services. These companies failed because they tried to compete against the superior capabilities of competitors, rather than improving, and utilizing their unique set of strengths.

Have you been to your local mall recently? Yikes.

I remember the first time I ventured into an indoor mall during COVID times, and I was shocked by the dramatically different landscape. Legacy brands and corporate strongholds had eroded, leaving a swath of vacancies, some new local businesses, and a surprising number of storefronts now taken up by something I wouldn’t even think that they were zoned for: Restaurants.

With Amazon slowly gobbling up the world of retail commerce like a big, exploitative Galactus, businesses have needed to flex their services in order to stay relevant. This is true across retail, from grocery curbside and delivery to personal shopping, to vastly expanded pick up in store.

Some businesses are more creative than others, and in what is apparently a burgeoning “Metaverse”, the utilization of online channels to deliver service solutions will increase as well. 

The reality is that brick and mortar stores were tasked with the drive to innovate or die before COVID, and COVID advanced digital transformation by a half-decade or so. Some businesses have not survived the transition, while others are innovating their way towards new revenue, better customer experiences, and meeting (often literally) their customers where they are. 

Next time, we’ll talk about the death of the frankensystem.

Tom Paquin
Author

Contributor, Future of Field Service