The trend word of the past few years has been data. Amassing it, sifting through it, and utilizing it to yield value. Leading field services providers have realized how essential it is to integrate the vast amounts of accumulated data into their field service solutions. However, many are not fully satisfied with their use of data for customer interactions.
Leading field service companies are concentrated on improving efficiency and customer satisfaction. However, it is often customers who suffer from mismanaged and ineffective data integration. Common recurring scenarios like technicians arriving without comprehensive knowledge of the customer’s issues or multiple field service visits due to missing parts can easily be resolved by creating a comprehensive and integrated data trove. All of the data needed to alleviate these issues is available. It simply needs to be accessible to service technicians.
55% of companies have 10 different options for client interaction.
The major hurdle to consolidating the masses of data available to companies is that this data is spread across numerous channels. An executive agenda published by Aberdeen group showed that 55% of companies have 10 different options for client interaction. Customers fill out e-mailed surveys to evaluate their service experience, they voice concerns, complaints and praise using social media, they discuss their issues, device models and repair history on the phone with customer representatives. All of this information is incredibly valuable for enhancing the customer experience. However, since it is not consolidated and easily accessible, it is virtually useless to technicians making service calls or field service managers whose goal it is to improve customer satisfaction.
Technicians are spending 15% of their time tracking down information they need to do their jobs
The solution is to align field service and IT teams. Leading field service providers are doing this by implementing knowledge management and enterprise communication tools. According to a State of Service survey conducted by Aberdeen in 2017, technicians are spending 15% of their time tracking down information they need to do their jobs. That is time that could be better spent solving issues. Concentrating all accumulated data in one location that is accessible to everyone involved would eliminate this waste of valuable time and resources. Field service technicians could access valuable articles, manuals or even subject matter experts from their mobile devices on the go. And field service managers could review customers’ complaints on social media and in surveys in order to improve service technician training.
Customers are satisfied because their field service technicians offer them first-time fixes
The result: customers are satisfied because their field service technicians can offer them first-time fixes. Service technicians can work more effectively since they have all the information they require literally at hand. They can also improve up-sell and cross-sell by using real-time data updates to determine additional products and services available for the specific product being repaired, like extended warranties. Field service managers can optimize operations and make necessary tweaks in line with customer concerns and demands. All this leads to greater efficiency, which in turn results in happy customers and increased profits.
Businesses aligning IT and field services are outpacing all others when it comes to parameters like annual revenue, customer retention, cross-sell/up-sell revenue and more. For a deeper look at why and how to align your field services with IT solutions, read IT AND FIELD SERVICE ALIGNMENT: THE ‘WHAT,’ ‘WHY’ AND ‘HOW’ from the Aberdeen Group.
Source: Aberdeen Group, IT and Field Service Alignment: The ‘What,’ ‘Why’ and ‘How’, May 2017