State of Service 2019: Field Service Evolution Focused on Customer Satisfaction

7/11/2019 / Field Service / Workforce Trends / Emily Hackman

Focusing on the customer. It sounds like a pretty straightforward concept. There’s even a whole host of sayings about it, like “the customer comes first” or “the customer is always right”. But interestingly, when it comes to field service, a customer-centric focus hasn’t always been the way things are done.

For many field service organizations, success is measured by when a technician arrived, not if they fixed a problem and made the customer happy or added value for the customer. But Aberdeen research has found that when organizations invest in developing and strengthening the people, parts, and processes that go into delivering excellent customer experiences, they succeed in a number of ways and are able to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

In this first video in the video series based on the State of Service 2019 report, we’ll discuss how field service organizations (FSOs) are transforming and providing excellent customer service by leveraging improved management tools that have strong mobile capabilities and keep the entire workforce connected. We’ll also look at some of the challenges that organizations face when it comes to having a customer-centric approach to field service and the barriers that may be slowing their progress. And we’ll analyze how modern field service management solutions provide a clear path to Best-in-Class service that enables them to understand customers, build relationships, and add value.

State of Service and Challenges

So what’s the state of field service today? Interestingly, in other areas of a businesses infrastructure, new technologies are having a massive impact on how things are built and done. And while it may sometimes feel as if the field is lagging behind, the truth is that technology is rapidly transforming how service is delivered. Advances in mobile are putting information and increased capabilities in the hands of technicians. Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) are allowing live insight into equipment health that was impossible before. And advances in cloud and collaboration are making it possible to connect technicians, experts and customers to ensure fixes are effectively carried out. All of these trends are changing how service is delivered and managed. But they are also adding to the complexities and challenges that many organizations face today.

When we look at our research we see that some of the top challenges that field service organizations face are:

  • Number one challenge is growing complexity of service offerings (37% of respondents)

Other top challenges include:

  • Lack of collaboration within service
  • Lack of visibility
  • Lagging technology infrastructure

Strategies and Benefits

A key trend that we’ve seen for Best-in-Class field service organizations is the focus on information and visibility. These leaders leverage improved reporting, real-time analytics and performance tracking to ensure that the service they are providing is meeting customer needs and delivering value.

Businesses that are Best-in-Class when it comes to field service are four times more likely to have a high customer retention rate.

If you are a field service organization looking to improve your capabilities and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction, you need to look for ways to overcome challenges and better leverage the technologies and strategies of today. To reach this level, we have found that organizations need to work to improve their capabilities in field service management and in mobile capabilities. They must also ensure that they have deep visibility into all aspects of service. With these improved tools in hand, these organizations can meet customer expectations while reducing complexity and modernizing their field service capabilities

Want to learn more? Look for other videos in this series from Astea International and Aberdeen Research on the state of field service.

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