Nearly every industry is now embracing remote work, including field service. While field workers have been working outside the traditional office and work environment, modern field service now includes a wide range of roles. These include independent contractors, frontline workers, home healthcare providers, salespeople, volunteers, and non-profit workers. It can be challenging for field service organizations to monitor and manage the activities of their employees because they have so many different roles, responsibilities, and schedules.
This can be especially challenging if field workers don't have the tools they need throughout the day. Field employees may have to switch between different collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, text messages, email, phone calls, etc., which take away a lot of time and leads to scattered information. If field persons have immediate, seamless access to customer information and helpful resources at one platform with an updated scheduler, optimized routing, and a continuous connection to back-office support, it can greatly improve efficiency.
Expectations of instant service and field service management
Field service businesses must adapt to new technologies and trends as the industry changes. With the advent of field service-focused business models like Uber and Doordash, it has become increasingly important for companies to improve their service experience. Time is of the essence. Even traditional B2B companies need to up their game when it comes to delivering their services. It is the awareness that a customer is not going to wait around for two weeks for the company serviceman to come by which is compelling the companies to invest in mobile app-based field service management systems. If a business can't deliver installations, repairs and maintenance services, and field inspections within 48 hours, then the brand image is going to suffer.
Key drivers for mobile field service management
Four key factors have led to the rapid rise in the popularity of mobile field service management:
- The field service industry is undergoing digital transformation.
- Accentuate information enablement and data-driven decision-making.
- Field service customers are increasingly looking for self-service options.
- Due to the skilled labor shortage and pandemic, remote-first tools should be given priority
These key drivers have had a significant impact on the field service industry and created an environment that encourages reliance upon mobile-first technologies. These new technologies must provide field service companies with real-time information, enable field service customers to manage their schedules and appointments, and allow field service teams to access remote-first, intelligent tools. Field service organizations will reap the many benefits of mobile field service management solutions by aligning mobile-first technology and these four key drivers.
Let's look at some of the biggest impacts of modern field service management on the industry -
Modern field service customers have high expectations about the customer experience from the company. Customers expect digital communication channels, self-service scheduling capabilities, visibility into time and service workflows, and timely feedback. Modern field service management apps with an intuitive, intelligent customer portal can help exceed these expectations.
Sure, having a strong customer service team with experienced field service staff is essential, but relying on old systems like spreadsheets and scheduling software with limited capabilities to handle service requests would reduce the efficiency of the team. They need professional, customized field service automation software that enables your organization to enhance the customer experience.
Companies need digital-first field service management, which allows customers to communicate easily with technicians and schedule service appointments. Businesses should be able to track technician routes in real-time and complete customer surveys from within the app. A self-service portal for customers can also help to improve customer retention and profitability in field service. Completely digitally transformed field services would enable organizations to reach the customer within a shorter timeframe, with complete knowledge of the issue, along with the necessary equipment and inventory of items to resolve the issue in a single visit. In the case of machinery or critical system installations, advanced field service management can get automatic notifications from the installed system about any fault, which can then be picked up by the nearest field service personnel. This can enable a host of service features like preventive maintenance.
Data-enabled decision making
Due to the increased reliance on mobile technology within the field service industry, companies are now able to access insights previously unobtainable. These insights are driven by data collected through various data points of the mobile service application. Field service organizations can leverage the mobile application to collect detailed service data and work order information.
Compared to paper-based service forms and challans, which were used in field service earlier, mobile field service applications made it much easier to access service reports instantly from all locations and feed directly into the system to provide advanced analytics. That company-wide data can then be converted into actionable insight. These reports enable companies to make data-driven decisions using historical data to improve forecasting and planning. Companies are investing in this to ensure continuous improvement and find future revenue streams.
Empowering field technicians
Field service companies can help retain and attract the best technicians by empowering them with mobile field service management. Mobile field service management reduces silos and gives employees a greater understanding of previously chaotic and incoherent processes. Field technicians will find mobile field service management extremely beneficial for promptly delivering value to the ever-changing customer base. By automating complex scheduling processes, technicians can also be assured that their schedules and appointments will always be properly planned.
Field management software provides field technicians with remote support capabilities. This includes access to customer information, troubleshooting and training materials. It is also possible to use Augmented Reality as an interactive visual aid that field technicians can use to better resolve the issues. Customers can use AR to communicate with their technicians remotely, eliminating the need to travel to the customer's house to complete simple jobs.
Advaiya offers advanced Field Service Management and automation solutions consultancy. The company has a long experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service for major companies. Our Microsoft-certified specialists are always available to help you design and implement the best FSM solutions for your organization.
For a consultation, contact us!
Kirti, Senior Consultant at Advaiya, is a technology enthusiast specialized in business applications and analytics. She has been an integral part of Advaiya for over seven years, contributing to myriad deliverables involving business intelligence, technology marketing, and business consulting.
Posted by Advaiya
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