You are on a phone call with an important customer to get information about whether your delivered products are operating well. Immediately, the CEO on the other side starts being angry with you: the agent that visited last week did not bring the right materials, even though the issue was clearly communicated in advance. A few weeks before, another one of your agents also brought a visit to the company for the same issue. Clearly, the agent was not informed well enough by your company, and now your client if forced to wait for the delays caused by your side. Even more painful of course when you, as lead of the field service management, are not aware of these issues…
This situation shows what can happen when your field agents aren’t provided with accurate, up-to-date information. Only when you know exactly what is going on with your customer, you can ensure a seamless customer experience. To convince you, I have laid out six reasons about why you should optimize your Field Service Management.
Aligning different field services
Field Service Management is relevant for all organizations that are have their employees visiting customers at their own sites . So think of energy providers (gas, water, electricity) and telecom companies, but also contractors, mail order companies and home care facilities. The common denominator is that the service is taking place face-to-face at the customer and that data is required to perform those services.
The thing that is making this complex, is that organizations often have different types of field services. For example, sales, but also maintenance, repair and customer support in terms of personalized consulting. A large amount of factors come into play when different people, data and devices are needed to perform these serviceses. It is a big challenge to align all these elements in the right way. A well functioning system for Field Service Management is a must. As without a centralized platform to streamline all of these processes, it is hardly impossible to efficiently manage the entire field service and to deliver the best possible customer experience.
Increasing need to share essential information
The need to streamline your Field Service Management has only become bigger due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On the one hand, visiting your customers has become more complex due to the many restrictions. On the other hand, many field service agents have been working from home as well. This makes them visit the office less often, the place where normally most essential information is easily accessible and shareable. It is therefore more important than ever, that employees are able tp access the required information whenever and wherever they need it. The increasing physical distance can be covered by decreasing the digital distance.
In my opinion, there are plenty of reasons to make use of the right infrastructure to give your Field Service Management a boost:
Reason 1: Increasing the safety and agility of your field service agents
Think of the situation that your field service agents have access to a large amount of data in a clear and safe manner through the cloud: e.g. customer information, data from your CRM-system, route planners and to-do lists. Accessing data from the cloud also means the data is completely up-to-date, so agents can quickly respond to the latest alterations. Is there a problem arising somewhere unexpectedly? Then you can send one of your agents immediately to solve the issue.
Reason 2: It enables you to deliver the best possible service
Miscommunication and other unpleasant incidents are being replaced with positive customer experiences. Work processes have been streamlined and all your employees are aware of exactly what is going on with customers at that moment. This allows them to act proactively instead of just running behind. Moreover, it does not matter to the customer who they have contact with within your company, as they’ll receive the same treatment everywhere. This consistent customer experience makes the engagement with your customers even stronger, which will, in the end, lead to more sales.
Reason 3: Complex planning is organized in no time
Planning is also considerably smoother with a Field Service Management platform. Consider complex processes such as construction, where it is not only important to have the work schedules of your employees in order with a clear task description, but where the necessary materials also need to be delivered at the right place at the right time. Everything has to fit together seamlessly, and that is a lot easier if it is largely automated. Automation also highly decreases the risk of errors.
Reason 4: Other employees can easily support
Are your field agents all busy and is there an unexpected need for technical support? In this case, the employees of your customer service can serve as a remote backup. Through the system you can give them access to a complete database of instructions, so that they can guide customers via chat or even video in solving of an urgent problem.
Reason 5: You spend less time consuming paperwork
When your employees on site have finished their work, they can immediately update the data about the relevant customer on the spot. So no more scribbling something on a piece of paper first and entering it into the computer again later. This saves a lot of time and also reduces the risk of lost information.
Reason 6: Communication between your employees is running much smoother
Everyone in the company – sales, marketing, service, management – has access to the same data. We do not work in separate silos, but there is one “single source of truth” from which all the digital tools are making use of. This prevents misunderstandings and does not only improve the quality of the service, but also the working environment. Want to read how data synergy can highly increase the efficiency of your organization? Check out our previous blog to read all about it!