As anyone who runs a field service company knows, delivering superior customer service relies on keeping a number of processes running flawlessly, day in and day out.
Recently, we've helped a number of customers investigate what they need and want from a field service software. The easiest way to understand what your company needs, is to understand your greatest challenges when it comes to delivering the best field service, and how these can be conquered through automation and mobilization.
Based on our talks with a number of customers, here’s a list of what we see as the top 5 biggest challenges for field service managers today.
Challenge 1: Heightened Expectations of Customer Service Are the Norm
Customer service expectations have dramatically increased in the past few years. Thanks in part to 24/7 connectivity and the ability to reach companies via a number of different channels, customers now want instant response to queries, repairs or replacements to be booked immediately. And for any repairs that have been done, to solve the problem for once and for all. For field service companies the pressure to get it right, and to fix it correctly the first time has never been higher, a nigh impossible task without the help of technology.
Challenge 2: Delivering Stellar Field Service Involves Synchronizing Many Different Processes
One of the great challenges of delivering stellar field service is the number of "moving parts" in the process. From the moment a customer calls to the time the case is closed and an invoice sent, there are a number of steps that can be mismanaged, especially if a company is still primarily paper-based. Companies can conquer the hydra-headed field service process by automating and mobilizing it. Field service software can help managers in the office organize the workforce and help field engineers on the move better manage their individual workflows in one central place.
Challenge 3: Rapid Allocation and Re-allocation of Resources Relies on Real-Time Communications
Keeping track of where field service engineers are used to be impossible, unless they called in. It was difficult to re-assign tasks, or to know if engineers had run into problems, or if they had completed their assigned job ahead of schedule. Real-time communications and the ability to see where field service engineers are and where they are in their schedule can help managers rapidly re-assign those engineers that are running ahead of time, or send in additional help to those that have run into problems.
Challenge 4: Operational Costs Are Rising as Competition Is Increasing
Not only are customer expectations rising, but so too is the competition to deliver the best service. Add to this pressurized environment the fact that operational costs are also increasing. Indeed, keeping operational costs under control is one of a field service manager’s biggest headache. Parts that need to be ordered in, excessive drive times, extra tolls are all costing businesses money. Using field service software, managers can easily pinpoint where their operational costs are escalating and how to bring them under control.
Challenge 5: Keeping Field Service Staff Happy
Field service engineers are a company’s front line - letting them perform their jobs without jumping through operational or administrative hoops keeps them happy and hence, your customers happy. Mobilizing engineers with all the knowledge they need and the ability to get help quickly if things go wrong can dramatically improve their performance. Giving them tools to optimize their routes, bring down their drive times, ensure they have the correct parts and minimize their paperwork lets them concentrate on the job they were hired to do.