Lithys 2018: ServiceMax From GE Digital - B2B Community Innovator

Lithys 2018: ServiceMax From GE Digital - B2B Community Innovator

Company: ServiceMax From GE Digital

Company background: Field service is a massive and growing industry – it keeps the world running. ServiceMax From GE Digital delivers an industry-leading solution that was designed for and tested by hundreds of thousands of technicians, engineers, dispatchers, and service leaders. Predix ServiceMax enables the entire service delivery process, including work planning and scheduling, technician enablement, and work order debrief, as well as business processes for installed base management, entitlements, and logistics. Built on the scalable Salesforce App Cloud platform, the solution is tightly integrated to customers’ CRM. With our equipment-centric software, companies achieve higher customer loyalty, better equipment productivity, and greater operational efficiency.

Contact: Nicole Guzzo & Deirdre Yee

Title: Customer Marketing Associate & Sr. Manager Customer Advocacy & Engagement

Related URLs:

Lithy category: B2B Community Innovator

1. Describe the innovation(s) and how you settled on the decision to innovate (user request, Lithium suggestion, internal idea, etc.)

At ServiceMax, one of our goals is to turn every customer into a raving fan. Part of doing that is listening to the voice of our customer, which led us to launch our customer community in 2014.

Some of our general programs include:

    • Ideas Exchange: Vote on ideas submitted by other customers, comment with your input and review status, comments, and updates form ServiceMax product strategy team.
    • Discussion Forums: Peer to peer networking and work arounds and best practices (customers, ServiceMax, and Partners)
    • Event Content (Private Groups): Documents, images, videos badges, points, and discussions available only for specific event attendees
    • Blog Programs: Support new releases, support updates, customer leader networking, reference highlights, business updates, thought leadership in field service
    • Knowledge Base: Living documents, categories, comments
    • User Group Online Spaces and Events: Gathering place for attendees to continue networking
    • Support Resources: Critical updates area, support announcement areas, mobile app area (all followable), Release notes, links to documentation, steps one and two in support and case deflection
    • Training Resources: Schedule, access to >100 videos, blogs, discussions

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We wanted to create a centralized hub for field service experts and ServiceMax customers in particular. We wanted to go above and beyond a typical knowledge base, or typical set of software forums. We wanted to use different types of technology to create an interactive program that our clients could engage with.

We received feedback in one of our first Net Promoter Score surveys that our customers wanted a formal place and time to share their ServiceMax feedback on a variety of topics.

This led us to launch Community Conversations, a program that primarily focuses on listening to our customers’ voices and provide a multimedia interactive way for them to engage with each other.

Community Conversations are live discussions hosted and promoted via our ServiceMax Community for our customers.  

There are a few different topics for the community conversation events:

  • Design Times are led by our product management and strategy team, focused on the future of ServiceMax software.
  • User Group Conversations  are hosted by our community managers by led and driven by customers who share their expertise, lessons learned, and business best practices.
  • Digital Transformation conversations have been hosted by ServiceMax executives and include a deep dive into A Diamond in the Rough, a book on field service strategy and business success by Patrice Eberline.

We not only want to collect customer data and feedback, but we want to help other clients understand it as well.  After we hear their initial questions, we can enter into fruitful back and forth and have nuanced discussions that have a powerful effect on our solutions, processes and strategy.


2. Tell us about how you made it happen Did you stage it first, who got an early look, how you drove adoption/use, and any iterations you had to make to get it right.

How We Develop Content

For each of these conversations, we partnered with ServiceMax experts. First, we analyze customer feedback and connect with leaders in the product or executive teams to understand what’s coming up in our future roadmap. 

An event is created and promoted via our customer community. This includes @mentioning top participating customers, as well as searching for relatable customer posts and adding a promotional comment. 

On the event post, customers are encouraged to comment their questions, use cases, and requirements beforehand. This allows the product manager to tailor his or her presentation so it fits with what our customers want to hear about.

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Live in the Community Conversations

Design Times are product-led sessions, where a product manager presents an updated product feature or future feature. Whenever there is a new or updated feature, the community and product team work together to start planning the session.

During the session, roadmaps, timelines, current product capabilities, and the plan for the product upgrade/new product are shared via the product manager’s screen. This includes mock-ups and live demos. There is always an open chat box, which is where we have customers submit feedback and questions live. Product managers also launch polls during the call. They’ll present on a topic, and then ask for customer feedback. Customers then expand on their answers via the chatbox.

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Follow-Up & Follow Through

At the end of the call, we always leave a chunk of time for Q&A. Any unanswered questions from earlier are addressed. If the number of people on the call is small enough, in the 40s, we can have verbal questions and answers, but since some calls have 100+ joining, the chat box is the most efficient way to capture EVERYONE’S response. 

Also, because these calls are only an hour long, sometimes we have a handful of unanswered questions. These are documented and categorized, and then reposted onto the ServiceMax Community. The session recording and presentation are also shared as well so customers who couldn’t attend can still contribute to the conversation post-event.

This format for the creation and launch of the Design Time is the same process the rest of our Community Conversations follow. We partner closely with another ServiceMax team, develop content that customers are interested in, tailor the presentation to their use cases and feedback, host the live call, and then continue the conversation on the ServiceMax Community.

Since launching this program, our numbers have attended have grown exponentially. In 2015, we got around 10 customers registered and attending. Today, some calls have 100 customers attending. See the Design Time numbers below.


  • New iPad app - March 2015 – around 10 customers
  • Installed Base App - December 2015 - around 10 customers
  • Checklists - December 2015 - around 10 customers
  • Service Performance Metrics – July 2017 – 45 attendees
  • Dispatch Console 2.0 – October 2017 – 75 attendees
  • Mobile Configuration – December 2017 – 60 attendees
  • Checklists – January 2018 – 45 attendees
  • Dispatch Console 2.0 – June 2018 – 100+ attendees
  • New SFM Designer – July 2018 – 60 attendees

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3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business.

On average, around 90% of customers who register for the event attend. Since implementing this program, the amount of engagement in our community has increased. Whenever a Community Conversation is shared, we find that on average there are around 50 questions and comments added into the community per each event. In the last year, there’s been an increase in questions submitted by 20%.

Since 2015, we’ve also seen a significant increase in our Net Promoter Score by 34 points. One of our promoters and Design Time attendee recently shared with us,


Great job team! It sincerely felt like the team valued the customer input and were open to new ideas. When you presented options 1-4 we recommended option 5. 

The way the session was conducted- with clear demonstrations, screenshots, and polls helped to move us through a lot of content in a short amount of time. My only feedback is that it felt too short. It would be great to have a facilitated user discussion after the session to talk about how we use the tool in more detail. From that detailed discussion I can imagine that there would be additional valuable feedback.


Not only are our customers satisfied because of Community Conversation program, but our employees are as well. After a recent Design Time, our product manager who hosted the call said,


The Design Time program has given me access to customer feedback, which has helped me understand what feature to move forward on. This program has also helped me socialize the designs for the new product with our customers, so they get a general idea of what to expect. I have received positive feedback regarding the sessions/doing Design Times on the chat during the call, as well as on individual customer calls I have had.


With sessions like Design Times, we’ve also seen closer relationships built between ServiceMax customers and employees. For example, during these Design Times, product managers are introduced to many of our customers, and then continue to go to them for more feedback in the future. Our in person user conferences, like Maximize, further these relationships that were originally built via our community.

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The Community Conversation program has been the starting point for many other community projects and discussions. In our Idea Exchange, we’ve seen a increase in Design Time related ideas. There has been 34% more submissions in the last year.

We’ve also added 40+ customer references to our VIP Reference Program since 2015, most who are regular Design Time and Community Conversation attendees. This program is clearly creating and maintaining many ServiceMax Raving Fans – exactly what we intended it to do when we launched in 2015!

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