Selfies. Games. Social media. We’re all familiar with the image; a co-worker’s face buried in a phone completely engrossed by what they’re seeing on their smartphone. They’re far off in another digital world. We can’t see what they’re seeing, but we probably assume it has nothing to do with work.
Previously, mobile devices were seen as an on-the-job distraction. But today, mobile devices work to enhance how field service technicians do their jobs, leaving satisfied customers in their wake.
Though some companies may see barriers to implementing a mobile solution such as the cost of technology or low ROI, almost half—48% are resistant to change. (Source: The Mobile Technician: The Evolution of the Connection in 2015, Aberdeen Group, July 2015.)
Here are the reasons why you should overcome those barriers and make your technicians mobile:
Real-Time, Flexible Problem Solving
Everything is expected to be immediate nowadays. When a customer’s machine breaks, they don’t want to wait for days to schedule a service appointment. Service has to come on demand and in real-time. We are used to ordering pizza, a taxi or someone to help us with our grocery with the tap on the smartphone. Why should it be different for field service?
With mobile technicians, your first-time fix rates will shoot up since you will have empowered your field service workers to be able to solve problems in real-time. They can use mobile devices equipped with field service software to ask colleagues questions or seek out information and manuals on machines so they can properly diagnose and service a product on the first try.
And while many companies have begun to wisely focus on both preventive and predictive maintenance, it is “important that organizations remain vigilant and flexible enough to be able to adjust to unexpected events which could not be forecast,” says Aly Pinder, Jr., Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen Group.
To put it more plainly, sometimes accidents happen and things break suddenly that were not--or could not be--predicted. With that in mind, field service companies need to have the option to utilize mobile technology to handle these types of situations immediately and schedule service on-demand.
When equipped with mobile devices, technicians are connected to the answers they need to solve problems wherever they may be. According to Aberdeen Research, 69% of Best-in-Class organizations “equip the field team with access to peers and remote experts through mobile devices.”
Better Customer Service
Great customer service is critical in today’s business climate, and the tools you invest in for your business must improve service for your customers. This is another reason why having mobile technicians is valuable. Well-performing companies have used mobile to encourage their techs to perform better, and to differentiate the field service they offer from the competition. Sepp Greil, a hotelier who uses Cald’oro coffee machines in his hotels, was impressed by the company's implementation of a Coresystems Field Service Software.
“For me, seeing all the efforts listed on an iPad was new, but I could understand exactly what had been done,” Greil said. “The service was rendered much faster and more efficiently and I can only congratulate the company on implementing this solution.”
Today, technicians are expected to deliver great customer service on top of completing fixes and service calls. Technicians are now salespeople and customer service agents, in addition to being engineers. Now if, for example, a customer cannot be on-site while the field service tech is there fixing a broken machine, mobile can be used to confirm with the customer that the SLA has been met.
A Connected Team
Going mobile isn’t just for your technicians, and it doesn’t benefit them only either. Great field service companies work with their IT departments to create a mobility strategy that is inclusive and beneficial across the board, not just for technicians who use mobile in the field. When implemented correctly, mobility will assist techs in being more productive, give customers better and faster service, and help executives and leaders of the company have a real-time perspective of how the field service company is operating.
Still, companies should invest in mobile wisely, and not like a teenager looking to get the newest device because it’ll make him the most popular kid in school until everyone other kid gets one too. Investing in mobility is an on-going, strategic business element. Pinder Jr. of Aberdeen Research says, “the Best-in-Class leverage mobile to provide the field team with real-time information, the entire team with integrated data, and management with the insight into field performance and location of service resources.”
Utilizing mobile field service software and mobile workforce management not only makes your customers happy, but it can also make your technicians happy. Now is the time to make the switch from paper-based systems to mobile to give your techs the ability to deliver better service. And the best-in-class have a 76% employee satisfaction rate, which is higher than industry standard and laggards. Mobility also takes training out of the office and gets new technicians out in the field sooner. Thanks to mobile devices, new technicians will have all the training tools they need along with direct access to their peers and colleagues who can help them through more difficult fixes.