In an age of abundant consumer choice and instant communication, creating effortless customer experiences is crucial to your business’ health.
According to Strategies for Growth, when it comes to key performance indicators (KPI), best practices field service organizations (FSOs) place the greatest importance on customer satisfaction.
Field service businesses are using customer experience as a vital way to differentiate their service offering. And they’re adopting field service management (FSM) technologies to do it.
To help field service leaders like you make informed decisions about investing in these technologies, this article will discuss three key ways FSM technology can add value to your delivery of service:
- Internet of Things (IoT) and data for preventative field service
- Mobile technology to support technicians
- Customer service support tools
1. Internet of Things (IoT) and Data for Preventative Field Service
Along with seeing the rising importance of the customer experience, the field service industry is shifting from the break-fix business model to preventative outcome-based service ones.
It’s more important than ever for businesses to collect and analyze data in order to achieve cost-effective preventative service. When it comes to big data in field service, there’s a virtually infinite amount of information you can capture. Your organization needs to first hone in on which metrics are most important for improving customer experience, then design a plan to collect, store, analyze, and act on those data insights.
One way companies are moving toward data-driven preventative service is by adopting Internet of Things (IoT) technology. In the field service context, this move means installing sensors on equipment under contract and connecting those sensors to a network. Your back office can then receive an endless stream of data from equipment in the field, enabling staff to troubleshoot problems and perform preventative maintenance to maximize asset availability. This type of preventative service will extend the asset’s life and value for your customers, and is likely to extend the customer’s lifetime value to your organization as a result.
2. Mobile Technology to Support Technicians
Offering higher value service to your customers means equipping your field staff with the tools they need to complete service calls quickly and accurately. According to the Strategies for Growth Study mentioned above, 81% of companies interviewed are expected to invest in FSM solutions that include mobile tools for field technicians.
Thanks to mobile field service applications, your staff in the field will stay connected to back-office tools and information. A strong mobile solution designed for technicians can run both online or offline, and should enable field staff to perform the following tasks:
- Update work orders and reference job notes without relying on inefficient and error-prone paper record-keeping.
- Access customer and asset histories so technicians arrive at each job well-informed and ready to complete the necessary service.
- Schedule equipment and vehicles so your mobile workforce can adjust their schedules and perform necessary administrative tasks remotely in response to shifting priorities.
- Access real-time inventory availability to ensure technicians give your customers accurate information and can instantly order the parts they need to finish each job.
Interested in inventory management solutions? Click here to learn about Astea’s service parts management software!
Mobile field service applications put your field technicians in a position to act as brand ambassadors and capitalize on cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Engineers in the field may be your company’s only points of face-to-face contact with customers, who see them as experts thanks to the technical work they perform. By providing remote access asset lifecycle histories and service contracts, you can leverage field personnel’s position to offer customers continued or additional services that may appeal to them.
3. Customer Service Support
In addition to removing friction from the company-customer relationship with preventative service and mobile technology, a robust field service management solution includes functionality to directly improve the customer experience.
Just as your field technicians are connected with mobile applications, customers should be connected to the service they receive. The right field service solution has such built-in customer self-help functions as:
- Customer portals they can use to see full records of service history, equipment performance, maintenance scheduling, and more.
- A self-ticketing system so they can avoid lengthy phone calls and decrease time from service request to service delivery.
- Real-time automatic updates and technician location alerts so customers always know the status of service delivery.
- Contact platforms they can use to easily connect with customer service staff via email, phone, chat, or text messaging.
By using FSM technologies to empower customers in these ways, you not only make their service experience more highly personalized—a must in the current experience economy—but also free up your staff to perform more productive tasks.
Why Invest In Field Service Management Software?
According to PwC, consumers are willing to pay up to 16% more for better customer experience.
As the field service industry continues to shift to customer-centric preventative service models, you must place a premium on the customer experience.
By investing in FSM technology, your field service organization can boost customer retention and create growth opportunities while cultivating a powerful customer experience to win clients’ long-term loyalty.
Want more information about how to stay ahead in the changing field service industry? Register for Astea’s FSM Webinar here!