By Gaurang Batt – April 2023
If you own a field services organization, do you still think that customer relationship management (CRM) and field service management (FSM) is the same?
Let’s be clear; these two systems are different. Yes, you read it right.
CRM helps you store customer data and convert a qualified sales lead into a customer. In addition, FSM is responsible for the after-sale process, in which businesses manage their team of field technicians, oversee service delivery, and ensure quality service.
To better understand the difference between them, we have come up with an article that depicts the complete information starting from what is field service CRM to its comparison with FSM.
What is Field Service CRM?
Field Service CRM is nothing but a business application that helps your business deliver onsite service calls to customer locations.
The field service management software blends process automation, job scheduling algorithms, and mobility to prepare mobile workers for success when they’re on the job site addressing problems for customers.
Key Features of Field Service CRM
Let’s now highlight the essential features of field service CRM that help you deliver the best customer services and enhance your business productivity.
1. Optimized Scheduling
Field Service CRM enables your company to assign jobs to the people, maintain equipment automatically, and facilities most suited to perform them. This includes automatically scheduling work orders to field technicians and even cases to customer service history.
Using Field Service CRM, it becomes easy for you to create and manage multiple work orders for your customers and assign them to concerned field technicians. The best part is that it can be integrated with accounts, contacts, assets, cases, and entitlements, allowing you to access data from throughout your service solution and improve productivity.
It also allows field service companies to add items, service jobs, customer location, and attributes to provide a complete picture of what needs to be done. It provides you with complete information starting from generating work orders to dispatching technicians.
You can quickly gain insight into service technicians’ locations and help you to keep track of technicians being assigned the right job. In addition, it allows you to match different technician capabilities with specific job requirements as per regulatory requirements, customer preference, and service calls agreements.
2. Preventative Maintenance
With its connected Field Service CRM solution, it becomes easy to manage newly installed or existing customer portal assets. It is made possible by connecting your devices with the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide maintenance and repair services to your potential customers.
It automatically detects, troubleshoots, and even resolves almost all issues remotely, and sends the reports directly to the service managers working in the back-office system.
The Field Service CRM allows you to automatically eliminate many urgent customer portal phone calls to create and manage maintenance services automatically. It is even possible to reset malfunctioning devices remotely to reduce the number of technician visits you need to make.
When an anomaly is identified, the solution generates a work order, instructs the device to fix itself by triggering a reset, and assigns a professional to investigate the problem. By reducing total downtime, this proactive strategy enhances customer satisfaction. Customers’ productivity is not harmed as a result of device repairs.
The exciting part of this CRM solution is that alerts and notifications are sent to you and your technicians when there is any change in the part to be done. Thus, the solution maintains everything ranging from scheduled maintenance to “just-in-time” preventative maintenance.
3. Manage Real-Time Inventory
One of the key roles and responsibilities of the facilities manager is to keep track of all essential information on new inventory. You will even keep a separate warehouse inventory for specific locations to guarantee that technicians have the items they need.
The Field Service CRM solution automatically creates and manages information on new inventories and their related updates. You can easily maintain track of all stock histories across all locations, warehouses, and depots. A complete detailed report is automatically sent to inventory managers using the technician’s mobile app.
The solution allows you to easily keep track of all service stocks available in a real-time scenario, and this brings insurance that your inventory is appropriately maintained. In addition, to resolve issues remotely, you keep track of service warranties and inventory at mobile and permanent locations.
Along with inventory, creating invoices for your customers becomes very simple. The Field Service CRM solution supports tools to scan barcodes or serial numbers to efficiently include all the parts in the invoice during service delivery and service history.
4. Full Mobility
The Field Service CRM provides a technologically advanced solution that makes it easy for your field technicians to carry whatever they need to perform. In addition, the solution helps you equip your field technicians with all the essential tools while visiting the customer’s location.
With its time tracking functionality, it becomes easy for you to track the total time required by techs to complete the work. Furthermore, this fully automated system gives you access to detailed maps, work orders, stock levels, client information, and needed tasks.
The good part of the Field Service CRM is that it instructs field technicians with turn-by-turn directions on a map to reach the destination. It also shows the quickest routes between jobs for a specific day to perform and administer the time-saving functionality.
Your field techs can even take photos and the customer’s signature once the work order is completed. Such information of completed work is shared with your service managers.
Moreover, the Field Service CRM provides your field technicians with recommended step-by-step instructions for repair. So, the field techs are entirely aware of the checklists and action that needs to be taken while performing the job.
5. Sales and Marketing Automation
Every CRM solution is built to support the whole sales cycle, from prospecting to winning to onboarding customers. It will track sales efforts to observe all of the contact’s touchpoints and allow for follow-ups.
Marketing’s purpose is to raise awareness and turn a sales lead into a customer. A CRM system will automate the distribution of promotional materials and proposals and post to social media and corporate websites.
After looking at the standard features of Field Service CRM, it’s time to highlight the difference between Field Service CRM and field service management.
Field Service CRM Vs. FSM
Field Service CRM and field service management help you in different ways. The following table shows the complete information of both terms.
|Field Service CRM||FSM|
|Compiles all information about a customer portal to set up a communication flow that considers the customer’s needs regularly.||Deals with automating field operations in more detail so that field agents may spend their time more efficiently and perform their field jobs more effectively.|
|Tracks all communication with a lead or customer, allowing the company to prepare its sales projections better. This allows sales teams to cross-sell or upsell items to current customers.||It monitors the field workforce’s productivity, including how many jobs are closed in a day, whether SLAs are reached, or just tracking agent ETAs.These insights assist in the improvement of field processes.|
|Increases sales by strengthening client relationships.||It makes running your business easier, helps your technicians work more efficiently, wins customers’ trust, and improve customer satisfaction.|
|The CRM tool supports the management of customer communication throughout the sales cycle.||It helps businesses streamline and optimize their field efficiency.|
|Also, it helps in managing the sales updates of a customer.||Helps in monitoring team performance concerning field jobs.|
We hope you got a clear idea of the standard difference between Field Service CRM and FSM.
Field Service CRM deals with customer information and helps you to transform such information into qualified sales digitally. On the other hand, FSM helps you to deal with the field service operations of your business.
If you are interested in learning how TimeLinx can help you or your company with CRM and/or FSM business needs, please click here
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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.