“The Humanity of Service” – Astea International APAC’s Roundtable at Field Service Sit-Down 2019
Steve Scott and Ben Hartman will jointly keynote the roundtable discussions on why employee satisfaction and customer experience are key factors for a seamless service execution. This session at Field Service Sit-Down 2019 will leverage the 30+ years of experience that the Astea APAC team has in helping Field Service organisations accelerate their service transformation journey.
Astea International APAC is proud to speak at Australia’s premier senior level field service conference, Field Service Sit-Down 2019, taking place October 2 – 3, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. The theme for this year’s conference focuses on the importance of both agility and customer centricity. To that end, Astea is hosting a roundtable discussion on “The Humanity of Service” to explain how the most important elements of service delivery — the humans — need to be the centre of your attention.
Ben Hartman and Steve Scott from Astea’s APAC team leading the discussion on “The Humanity of Service”
FSM technology is only capable of driving efficiencies when it is used effectively by all the people who interact with it, most notably your technicians and your customers. But how do you ensure that all these service delivery participants have exceptional experiences with your FSM applications? For technicians, it means having apps that are easy to navigate. For customers, it means having convenient self-service tools that empower them to help themselves.
Ben Hartman and Steve Scott from Astea’s APAC team at the Astea booth.
Are Your Technicians Tech-Savvy?
Service Management applications and the business processes they automate should be navigated with ease to make ‘the day in the life of a technician’ exceptional. However, rapid advancements in technology can be a benefit or a burden depending on how you look at it. Regardless, the technicians who help keep the world running need to keep abreast of change . . . otherwise, your field service organisation will not.
In a recent survey by the Service Council, 46% of technicians said that the worst part of their job is dealing with paperwork and administrative tasks. And 93% of technicians claim that solving customer problems is the best part of their day-to-day.
Your technicians want to help your customers. It’s up to your organisation to give them the tools to do so easily, efficiently, and most importantly, enjoyably.
This oftentimes starts with giving your front-line workers mobile field service apps that can be used on their preferred smartphone or tablet. To encourage faster user adoption, these applications should mirror the mobile apps that your employees use on their personal devices every day.
For example, how about giving them a mobile app based on Google Material Design principles? This way it gives your employees a familiar User Interface that is easy to learn and easy to use.
What about giving them a mobile field service app that offers one-click access to knowledge assets like service manuals, training videos and even augmented reality?
According to the Service Council, 82% of technicians want on-demand training videos and 95% want live video support and augmented reality.
Helping Customers Help Themselves
We live in the age of Amazon, Uber and Netflix where consumers demand more service options, faster service times, and visibility into their goods and services. For field service organisations, meeting customer expectations means a growing focus on improving customer communication through self-service tools. One of the biggest trends in field service solutions is the proliferation of self-service solutions to meet these needs, from live chats, to social media based support, online communities and customer portals.
Gartner predicts that by 2020 a customer will manage 85% of their relationship with a company without interacting with a human.
When used effectively, self-service solutions boost customer satisfaction and engagement and provide organisations with the opportunity to improve efficiency and control costs. With a solid self-service strategy in place, everyone wins.
According to Aberdeen, companies with self-service programs boost customer profit margins by 6.8% a year.
Just a Few Ways that Service Management Technology Creates Happy Customers
- Helping customers help themselves – providing a self-service tool allows customers to take complete ownership of their service experience. By logging into their account, they are able to troubleshoot their own issues, review their service history, view invoices, download manuals, and learn about new product upgrades and maintenance tips. Supporting this journey leaves customers feeling empowered to find answers at their own convenience.
- Warranty and Contract Management – using an online Customer Self-Service portal, customers can easily view the status of their warranties and maintenance contracts. Reporting tools provide insight to SLA’s and KPI’s.
- 24/7 availability – traditional business hours no longer govern customer communications. Customers want to be in contact with service providers at their own convenience with ‘round the clock access to a self-service platform to make requests and report problems at any time, from any device. This kind of access helps customers feel like their problem is in the process of being solved. Plus, field service companies can provide online support with no agent interaction required.
- Notifications and status updates – wasting time waiting for a technician to arrive is a huge source of frustration. Customers want to be able to access regular, real-time updates on the status of their service call including the location of their technician and their estimated time of arrival via their mobile device. The right software will live by the rules implemented by each business, providing specific time windows that deliver the visibility that customers expect. Providing this level of visibility and transparency into your operation helps build trust and a sense of security that the customer’s needs are addressed.
- Customer controlled scheduling – using an online customer self-service portal, customers can simply and easily request the type of service they want, when they want it. Giving customers control of appointment selection reduces the likelihood of last minute cancellations, missed service calls and costly repeat technician visits.
- Decreased service costs – with customers free to schedule their own service requests, access their own information and have better visibility of their technician arrival time, the time spent by the customer service department responding to routine enquiries is significantly reduced, thereby cutting headcount and related administrative costs.
- Increased revenue – if customers are demanding self-service via web or mobile, then it makes sense that by offering this, companies are improving their customers’ experience and, as a result, driving superior revenue growth. Self-service also provides greater opportunities for cross and up selling opportunities via targeted offers on a web portal for example.
- Improved workforce utilization – a self-service portal can also help improve your business’s resource allocation. When customers request service or schedule an appointment, they complete all the details online, including the necessary skills and equipment for the job. This information can be used to determine the best technician for the job and automatically schedule the best route.
- Route Optimisation and GPS tracking – the days of manually planning routes are a thing of the past. With the variety of options available to consumers these days, it’s imperative that route plans be efficient and flexible, accounting for last-minute changes while taking into account distance, vehicle availability, and more. With route planning technology, same-day delivery and dispatch changes can immediately be sent to drivers, allowing businesses to accommodate customer requests with ease and provide the visibility customers are looking for.
In order to keep costs low while meeting and exceeding the demands of your customers, you must integrate FSM technology to manage crews, fleets, and overall business operations and ensure service-driven companies can save both time and money. When equipped with the right tools, field service businesses can conquer customers’ new demands while exceeding expectations.
To learn how the Astea International APAC team can help your field service organisation create more tech-savvy technicians and happier customers, join our roundtable discussion “The Humanity of Service” at Field Service Sit-Down 2019 or contact us.