What Do Field Service Techs Want in a Mobile App?

By Trevor Morrison

 

A mobile app isn’t merely a luxury for today’s field service technicians; it’s a necessity. Field technicians know that there are great tools out there to help make their jobs easier, and if you aren’t offering them, they may try to find a new employer who will.

But not all apps are created equal.

A great field service management app is so much more than a way to remove pen and paper from the equation. It’s about leveraging the technology to make your field techs as productive, efficient, and satisfied with their work as possible.

So what do today’s field service techs want in a mobile app? Let’s explore.

Access to Customer Data to Arrive Prepared

Field service techs have unique needs. They are frequently doing work on site for the customer, which may not be a familiar environment. They are often alone or in small groups, which can make it difficult to troubleshoot or get help when needed. And they are sometimes the only person from their company that the customer has ever met in person.

Field service techs have a tough job. That’s why supporting them with field service management is vital. Techs need as much information as possible to do their job efficiently the first time and meet customer expectations.

If technicians arrive on-site without the tools or customer data to complete the work order, it won’t just cost your company time and money—it compromises your business’s reputation. The mobile app should allow techs to see before arriving what needs to be done, as well as read any notes from previous jobs with the customer or account.

With secure data integration from CRM or system of record, such as Salesforce and ServiceNow, all the pertinent customer information your techs need should be available at the push of a button. Not only will you have happier customers for a job that’s completed the first time, but you’ll also have happier technicians who are more prepared and empowered.

Travel Tools to Arrive On Time

Travel is a large part of field service work, and techs need an app that supports them at every turn.

Your chosen app should feature:

  • Travel route optimization, including the ability to take outside factors, such as traffic, road construction, or detours, into account
  • Real-time schedule notifications and SMS that keep your team moving quickly from job to job without have to check email and voice messages when an appointment has been cancelled or rescheduled

When you can get your tech where they need to be as quickly as possible, you reduce costs, increase efficiency, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, your bottom line.

User-Friendly (and Mobile-Friendly) Interface

For a mobile workforce, a mobile-first approach is a must, and user experience is a key component of being mobile-first.

If your field service workers have too much trouble with the app, they either won’t use it to its fullest capability or will waste time trying to navigate through the app. Understanding and best practices around mobile app design have advanced significantly in recent years; make sure your field service app has the look and feel of a consumer app so it’s easy and fast to adopt.

Furthermore, offline capabilities are absolutely necessary for anyone spending time on the road or working in areas that may have spotty service. Sometimes field service techs are called out to a remote location or otherwise work in places with a weak or nonexistent data connection. Any offline information should be stored locally and automatically sync when the tech re-establishes connectivity. Make sure there are no extra steps involved for your techs to sync their data.

In short, a field service mobile app should offer a user-friendly interface that’s easy to learn and even easier to use on a daily basis, no matter how strong the internet connection is.

To learn more about how TimeLinx can help your business, contact us today.
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About TimeLinx
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.

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