Written by Emilie Ishimwe
From repairs to preventative maintenance, field service management is key to improving customer loyalty and trust. In fact, 75% of decision makers say that field service is driving revenue and 80% said that field service is key to their overall strategy.
In this article, we look at how organizations can make field service more customer-centric while making life easier for the employees responsible for delivering it.
Challenges of field service management
Consistent, seamless, and efficient field service isn’t always easy. Aspects that negatively impact the customer experience include:
- Long waiting times
- Poor customer communication
- Badly briefed field service agents
As well as leading to frustrated customers, they can also increase the need for costly return visits and leave your mobile workforce feeling stressed and unsatisfied.
The global pandemic has changed field service management for many organizations. In fact, 72% of enterprises have increased safety standards since it began and many organizations are adopting new solutions such as video-based remote support. While virtual capabilities are a great addition to field service, even in the midst of the pandemic, two-thirds of consumers preferred in-person service.
So, how do you meet new safety requirements, keep customers happy, and help field workers perform at their best? Below, we outline our top five field service management tips:
1. Consolidate data with the right field service software
Getting the right data to your field workforce at the right time is essential. 79% of field service professionals say that it’s impossible to provide great customer service without:
- Full context
- Customer details
- Comprehensive job information
- Asset history
- Warranty data
Supplying this information prevents the customer from having to repeat themselves and optimizes field worker time.
To provide field workers with this data, organizations need a platform that seamlessly connects the contact center, dispatchers, field agents, and even sales. For example, a service platform that incorporates field service capabilities and integrates with CRM is ideal.
With a service platform, organizations can ensure joined-up, consistent interactions with customers that deliver value at every touchpoint.
2. Empower every field service manager with 360 visibility
We found that 42% of enterprises report managing/tracking a dispersed workforce as the primary challenge. A lack of visibility and control can lead to inefficiencies and frustrations for field service managers.
To perform their jobs, they require complete visibility of schedules, tasks and assets. Then they can keep customers updated and ensure field engineers have the correct equipment to complete a job.
With an integrated service platform that offers managers a 360-degree view of customer data, schedules and assets, field service managers are empowered to work more effectively. They can ensure resources are assigned appropriately, identify performance issues, and maximize their team’s productivity.
3. Enable real-time communication for better field service management
When it comes to scheduling, convenience is key. Customer satisfaction is bound to be affected if a customer arranges to stay at home for a field service visit, only for the engineer to fail to turn up. Most customers will understand a slight delay to the expected time but will be far more patient and understanding if they’re kept in the picture.
With appointment management software and consent from workers, organizations can track field worker locations to provide customers with in-the-moment updates. With customer expectations aligned, field workers will have to deal with fewer frustrated customers.
4. Increase field service automation to maximize efficiency
Many aspects of field service management are very time-consuming and simple mistakes can cause costly inefficiencies.
By automating key processes, organizations can take their field service capabilities to the next level. For example, automated route management helps reduce travel time with optimized routes and live traffic data, while automated scheduling can reduce errors and free employees up for more customer-focused activities.
Organizations can also reduce the burden on teams by enabling customers to choose self-service or remote assistance options if they prefer. For example, with a self-service portal , customers can book phone and video appointments for themselves.
5. Treat field service engineers as brand ambassadors
A field service employee requires far more than just technical skills – they need to:
- Comply with safety standards at all times
- Be sympathetic to customers’ needs and complaints
- Uphold the organization’s culture and values
They are your brand ambassadors, and therefore need the appropriate tools and training. With a digital training solution, organizations can keep mobile workers updated on the latest safety requirements, field service best practices, and organizational values. Keeping employees updated and well-trained helps them perform better and maintains job satisfaction.
With a single platform, integrated data, and advanced digital capabilities, organizations will be able to optimize their field service management. Not only empowering their field service managers and employees to optimize efficiency and performance, but also strengthening customer loyalty and trust.
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.