Communication with your field service technicians is a two-way street. Not only is information flowing out to them via mobile technologies, but information is also coming back. Improve this information loop by keeping systems up-to-date.
An article on Service Management Online shares some data from its survey of field services companies, and the question of what information is being passed back from the field to customer service revealed some interesting results. A mere 10 percent of field engineers communicate GPS geocode and timestamps for any portion of a completed project.
Keeping your field services system up-to-date in order to expedite customer billing is critical to improving cash flow and reducing administration costs. Service organizations that are combining these tools are able to grow their business without incurring greater administrative costs. A well-integrated service management ticketing system, scheduling tool and mobile access will move the information from customer processing right to billing.
The Service Management Online article also notes that one of the most vital aspects of the information loop from the customer service team’s end is providing visibility to the field services team. This will enable tracking of workforce productivity and efficiency. This capability is vital in scheduling bookings, re-routing resources based on critical need and communication with the customer.
The only people who have visibility into calendars and resources are dispatchers. This means people are waiting for dispatchers to access this information, and that can waste time. The easiest way to see a technician’s availability outside the dispatch office is to provide a web-based portal. Authorized people can log in to the system, enter a few criteria, and available appointments are visible. This way, you avoid the backlog that can be created by funneling everything through the dispatcher.
Source: Service Management Online, October 2012