“The customer comes first.” “The customer is always right.” These often heard slogans nod to the importance of customer satisfaction.
But the field service industry hasn’t always been customer-centered. Historically, many field service organizations (FSOs) measured success based on when technicians arrived, rather than how quickly those techs resolved customers’ problems.
Reactive service models won’t satisfy customers today. But Aberdeen research finds organizations who invest in FSM solutions that strengthen the processes behind the delivery of excellent customer experiences, stand out from their competition.
In this video, the first in a three-part series based on the Aberdeen State of Service 2019 Report, we here at Astea look at challenges FSOs face in improving service delivery’s customer focus. We also analyze how modern FSM implementation can help them overcome these challenges by making the most of mobile technology, cloud solutions, and emerging technologies.
Understand Changes and Challenges in Modern Field Service
Technological advances are transforming service delivery:
- Companies are moving from paper-based to digital service delivery systems.
- Technicians in the field and office staff stay better connected thanks to mobile technology.
- Customers monitor and control more of their service experience through personal portals and mobile apps.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) and big data solutions bring the promise of predictive service.
- Augmented reality (AR) allows technicians to train for more repair scenarios more effectively.
- Cloud-hosted FSM solutions give technicians, office staff, customers, and managers real-time access, from any device, to the most up-to-date information.
But FSM implementation also presents challenges.
In Aberdeen’s survey of FSOs, respondents cited the evolving complexity of service delivery models—for instance, meeting new consumer demands for guaranteed uptime—as their number one challenge.
Field service organizations also reported these top challenges:
- Lack of collaboration across teams
In the field, in the office, and on the go, teams aren’t connected to each other or the information they need in a timely manner.
- Lack of visibility
Managers can’t understand or improve the factors that move success metrics without quality data analytics and reporting.
- Out-of-date technology
Continued reliance on legacy systems that don’t support new needs such as technician location tracking, remote connectivity, and customer self-help portals is holding FSOs back.
In most cases, trying to rise to these challenges with outdated FSM solutions simply isn’t practical.
Realize the Benefits of FSM Software
To meet new and evolving market demands and move the needle on customer satisfaction, best-in-class field service organizations—defined as the top 20% of performers—are upgrading their field service management software.
Robust FSM solutions with cloud-deployed mobile apps facilitate team collaboration by giving both office and field staff access to the same information from any location at any time.
Using mobile apps on a smart device, technicians in the field can reference service lifecycle histories, previous customer interactions, and job notes.
At the same time, clients can use customer-facing applications to see their transaction histories, track their technician’s location, or schedule maintenance without needing your office staff’s help.
Another key best-in-class trend is the use of AI-powered analytics and reporting. By feeding data to self-managing reporting tools, managers can gain deep business insights into all aspects of service delivery.
For example, Astea’s FieldCentrix service management software provides detailed self-generating reports on facets of your business such as:
- Contracts management
- Response times
- Work order management
- Job types
With these insights at hand, you can fine-tune your service delivery to better meet customer expectations.
In addition, by combining artificial intelligence analytics and IoT technologies, your FSO can make predictive service a reality. Connected equipment in the field can send live data, diagnostics, and error codes to predictive maintenance software. AI applications learn from historical patterns to identify areas of potential failure and create maintenance work orders before customers experience any downtime.
This predictive capacity brings great value to the client, and positions service organizations to move toward outcomes as a service (OaaS) business models.
State of Service 2019 Video #1: Field Service Evolution Focused on Customer Satisfaction
Take Your Company to Best-in-Class Status with FSM Implementation
Best-in-class service organizations have a higher level of customer satisfaction and are four times more likely to have a high customer retention rate, according to the Aberdeen report.
If you want to prepare your FSO to take on a more competitive marketplace and more demanding customers, you’ll need innovative ways to overcome your current challenges and deliver higher value experiences. Organizations that adopt full-featured, integrated FSM solutions achieve these goals more successfully.
By leveraging cloud solutions with real-time universal data updates and business insights gained from AI applications, your FSO can work toward predictive service, exceed your customers’ expectations, and join the ranks of the top 20% of performers.
Want to find out more about how best-in-class companies tackle the modern field service industry’s challenges? Watch the full State of Service Webinar here.