Written by TJ McDowell
How Advanced Technology Improves Field Service
The Harvard Business Review claims that customer relationships are now about twice as important as brand value in determining overall enterprise worth. That’s because customers now have more options than ever. No matter the flashiness of the brand name, customers will leave after experiencing a single delay or inaccurate exchange with service reps. Growing customer expectations extend to field service as well. It’s becoming less and less acceptable for field service representatives to lack relevant customer information or offer inconvenient time slots.
Customer relationship management (CRM) vendors recognize the toll these mounting pressures take on manufacturers, as they reconfigure their field service strategies to meet modern standards. That’s why they’ve incorporated the latest technology such as the Internet of Things (IOT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to transform field service into a key asset for manufacturers and distributors. Read on to discover exciting field service management (FSM) solutions that will have your clients returning to your business for years to come.
Customers want everything to be mobile, and that includes reaching out for repairs and other services. Any manufacturer or value-added distributor should support field service requests from mobile devices to make it easy for technicians and service representatives to respond quickly to customers. But mobile FSM capabilities should go even further to promote connectivity. Numerous CRM publishers enable users to share data for smarter scheduling and real-time job tracking right on their devices. This helps dispatchers schedule to deliver on-time service to satisfy customer expectations. Up-to-date information in the palm of your hand facilitates comprehensive views of customers and improves accuracy.
But using artificial intelligence (AI), Salesforce has taken mobile FSM to a new level. Salesforce added Einstein AI to Field Service Lightning by including cutting-edge image recognition technology. With Einstein Vision for Field Service, technicians can simply snap a picture of a part that needs to be fixed or replaced. The mobile application will identify the precise product, ensuring quick, accurate repairs.
It’s well known that customers expect individualized service now more than ever, but what often goes unmentioned is that a high level of personalization extends to field service. Creating personalized experiences requires obtaining a 360-degree view of each client. Businesses operating off of legacy systems can’t achieve this visibility. Their rigid systems don’t even allow field service agents to easily access the basics, such as historical records of purchases and service requests.
That’s why it’s important for companies to implement robust, user-friendly CRM software that can facilitate a connected enterprise. When an interface is easy to navigate, everyone involved in field service—agents, technicians, dispatchers and managers—can stay on top of customer needs and leverage data to provide optimal service in a reasonable timeline. Users can immediately contact customers with all the information about their past service requests and order history in hand to enable personalized attention to each client. This level of attention encourages customer loyalty and recommendations.
A Gartner Study found that 73% of customers think valuing their time is the most important aspect of service. To provide timely field service, CRM vendors are looking to the Internet of Things (IoT) and other innovations. A number of popular CRM solutions, for example, supports connected field service, which utilizes IoT sensors and other cloud-connected devices to enable 24/7 monitoring and data analysis. Such sophisticated technology allows service teams to provide just-in-time (JIT) maintenance and even take a proactive approach to service issues by solving them before they occur. That means customers can reduce downtime and receive swift, appropriate results. These examples prove that IoT and other digital trends aren’t just buzzwords—they offer real solutions to customer service woes.
With customer relationships and timely service becoming major drivers of customer retention and reputation, FSM systems are becoming essential to business success. Top CRM vendors haven’t ignored the importance of field service. All publishers continuously improve their FSM solutions to give manufacturers and distributors the cutting-edge technology and insight that will put them on top of their industries.
As a publisher of a globally recognized field service management solution, partner for CRM implementations and ERP integrations, we help our clients choose the right solution for their business needs and provide the necessary services and configurations to align each CRM system with processes and goals. Contact us today if you would like to learn more!
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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.