Meet Our Leaders: Lincoln Hanscom – Vice President of Global Services
They say it’s sales that creates the first purchase, but it’s the subsequent service you offer that sells the rest. Which means that Lincoln Hanscom has a big job on his hands!
As our Vice President of Global Services, Lincoln is responsible for a team of 70 service engineers and support staff around the world. It’s been his challenging but rewarding role to lead our services team through a period of sustained growth as we’ve acquired more renowned test and inspection brands and valued customers.
Lincoln makes sure that our diverse range of clients across an array of sectors get the most out of their testing devices. His team of experts are on hand to support customers across their asset lifecycle – providing value-added service offerings including installation and training, preventive maintenance and calibration, onsite response, or remote technical assistance.
On the lookout for service improvement
The Houston-based father-of-two has shaped a career in the development, delivery and growth of customer service and support organizations on a global scale. Quite a far cry from his childhood ambition to follow a family tradition into the military and ultimately law enforcement. But his chosen career path makes sense given he’s the type of person who’s always watching how transactions and partnerships happen around him, seeking ways to improve them. Whether at a restaurant, in a grocery store, during an encounter with a technical professional, or simply ordering on-line – for Lincoln, it comes naturally to tear apart an exchange and look for value opportunities, both won and lost.
Raised and schooled in New Hampshire, Lincoln graduated as an electronics engineer, starting out in the field, providing remote services and support for a top enterprise networking company. This would see him carrying a bag on site for up to 47 weeks a year working with hardware and software products as an extension of a client’s team.
Increasingly drawn to quality control and the services side of the organization, over the coming years he would manage project installations across the US, Canada and in South America leading to his promotion to director of worldwide product support. His next role as the director of customer service and support for a next-gen broadband telecommunications company refined his customer focus and service business building capabilities. But now it was time for a fresh challenge.
From IT solutions to life science services
In 2003, Lincoln stepped into the life sciences sector, joining Thermo Fisher as a director with more positions within customer experience and global services. Here he would work with new equipment – from chromatography and mass spectrometry devices through to chemical analysis instruments. He was required to lead and gain the respect of a large team in a new environment with unfamiliar products and new customers with new problems and motivations.
Although initially challenging, this new direction soon revealed a consistent truth: “No matter what I was doing professionally, whether my teams were repairing circuit boards, installing gas testers or servicing medical imaging equipment for lifesaving CT and MRI scans, it became increasingly clear that it all comes back to service,” he said. “So much so, that I learned to flip things around – always seeking to fix any relationship aspects of a problem first, then worry about the technical issue second.”
Support your site team, win more work
“In the field I learned it’s vital for companies to do all they can to support the ‘road warriors’ – those who are working at a client site in a quest to strive towards a positive customer experience and to secure future business. I saw the power in the relationship between the customer and the site engineer who is – in essence – the face of an organization. They learn about other project problems that keep the client awake at night, presenting an opportunity to offer solutions from our toolbox. The more a service team can do to establish itself as a customer voice inside the business, the more opportunities arise to support them.”
Lincoln explained that by sitting at a client’s site – and truly experiencing their environment first hand – his engineers were able to learn everything about the machines and how they’re supposed to operate within their tolerances and in the applications for that workflow. Access to this knowledge was invaluable.
He feels that many companies possess an immense amount of untapped intellectual property gained through face-to-face interactions with the customer. So, it’s important to harness that insight and unlock value by creating the organizational or cultural changes that will further improve the relationship.
Our international services team provides services across the lifecycle of assets through onsite and remote technical support. To reduce interruption, and for logistical reasons, most of the work is completed at site, but we offer the flexibility of two US sites offering return to factory repair and calibration services and additional support if needed. Similar services delivered with the same quality and processes are available across Europe as well, and we continue to develop and advance our presence in Asia to provide customers across all regions with the same access to services regardless of location.
Making the unseen moments happen
The services team works behind the scenes, playing a key role in the success of our client’s operations. Our engineers make unseen moments happen by protecting the integrity of their packaging, materials and products. The test and inspection expertise we offer, combined with the diversity of skills across the business, will ensure a product’s integrity, helping to keep our customers’ customers happy.
Lincoln and his team recognize that not everybody needs the same thing, and it’s not fair to treat all customers the same way with the same level of service. It’s important to get under the hood of a client’s organization, to listen and to learn. Then you can respond with bespoke service deliverables and focus hard on delivery by measuring the quality of service and constantly improving over time.
Lincoln continues: “Our customers expect us to be extremely easy to do business with. They want a consistently high-quality OEM type service with fewer suppliers, low friction transactions and a single point of contact per region.
Getting ahead of the customer
“In response we’re centralizing everything we do, making sure we have the right person to serve the right customer type at the right place when called upon. To become easier to do business with, we’re harmonizing our processes front-to-back across the IP brands. And we’re using technology to guide the way we go to market and serve the customer. We want to get ahead of them, knowing what they will need, before they do.”
“We will become increasingly intentional – planning ahead with innovative tools, new resources and fresh ways of working so that we can increasingly operate as an extension of our client’s own organizations.”
Lincoln wants his team to become the OEM chosen partner across all the sectors we serve and will even service devices manufactured by competitors, alongside those bought from us. The IP services team is already getting great feedback and we’re securing business based on the customer experience that we’re more responsive, we service our customers faster and we have the most diverse portfolio of test and inspection solutions available.
Future success is a team effort
Lincoln is enthusiastic about the huge opportunity that lies ahead for Industrial Physics, adding: “It encourages me when I look around at the remarkable knowledge and unparalleled experience that my colleagues possess at all levels of the business; there’s a lot of expertise here and we’re moving in the same direction. Personally, I’m geared up to squeeze our processes further, to get ever closer to our customers and to make sure our people feel empowered with the right tools, equipment and support to continue to deliver what our customers expect from us.”
When he’s not exploring ways to better support our customers, Lincoln enjoys cooking, sampling fine wines and spending quality time with his wife of 25 years and his two beloved daughters who jokingly refer to him as “their own personal geek squad.”