Strategic – The New Buzzword in Field Service
There were many amazing things that happened in 2018 in the field service management industry. Processes became faster, technicians are more valuable, and mobility took over. There is a word, however, that sums up what happened to field service organizations over the last year – strategy.
The entire industry has become more focused on strategy in how to grow and deliver excellent service. It’s analytical, increasing big data, more strategy sessions to find ways to venture forward. It’s made the industry realize that field service management (FSM) can be transformed with strategic field service management software. Field service has focused on three primary areas in their quest to build a better service strategy:
- Being customer-focused
- Become a truly digital company
- Be better connected company-wide
Field service management is about building strategies for those key areas. They will have the greatest impact on service delivery. It’s more than just getting your technicians to repair equipment, but about the experience, because customers are wanting more. At the same time, you need a connected environment for your technicians to work in. One where the digital capabilities are at the forefront of your strategy to advance your business.
Create Brilliant Customer Experience
One major strategy field service management organizations have focused on is the experience their customers have. FSM looked around at all service providers and asked themselves – what are they doing that we are not. It’s more than just being the Uber version of a field service provider. But it’s not far off, as customers are demanding more from their field service technicians and organizations. And they are more willing to find someone else who will provide them the experience they want.
At one point, it was just about ensuring your technicians were there on time, but now, that is only the beginning. Customers want the full range of experience from:
- On-demand service
- Faster ways to request service
- Technicians with the ability to quote jobs
- Notifications of when technicians are on their way
- Answers to their questions immediately
Customer experience is no longer just a buzzword in the industry. It has real strategic value for an organization that wants to grow. It’s why field service management companies are turning to field service management software to assist in their customer experience. They want on-demand, fast actions, and real-time answers, and only field service software can provide it.
Planning for a Digital Future
To create a better customer experience, field service organizations are strategically planning their digital future. They are transforming their organization using mobile field service software by embracing modern technology. We are way beyond paper-based work orders and spreadsheets at this point, because those should have been done away with years ago. Today, we’re talking about full mobility to create an effective workforce. Mobile devices, field service mobile apps, Internet of Things (IoT) and layers of technology to build a better service team.
Companies are starting to see the benefits of an approach that has digital at the forefront. They are taking the first step with field service software and adding many different layers to round it out, such as:
- Greater knowledge access
- Better visibility into operations in the field
- Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Field service companies are seeing today that they are only as valuable as the technology they have. It’s why the first strategy for many in the space is to implement a digital field service software. One designed for enhanced analytics, scheduling and dispatch tools, work order management, preventative maintenance contracts and project job costing tools. With those in place, the strategy being talked about is how they are used to better the business. That’s where they look at enhancing technicians with quoting tools or having real-time resource routing maps to dispatch.
Going truly digital and transforming a business to that age is a massive strategic undertaking that many in the field service space are aiming for, because of the overall value it brings to their company.
A Connected Service Company
What has come out of this trend of being strategic is field service companies recognize they need a better connection. It’s not enough for one part of the business to be digital if the other is still working in the past. It must be a true company-wide shift to be more connected. That’s why during these strategic sessions, it has been made obvious that technicians in the field need to be connected to those in the back office. And of course, the office needs to be connected to technicians in the field. Field service work can be isolating, but modern technology is bridging that gap. Technicians now have access to more information than they had before, such as:
- Service history
- Parts and inventory controls and numbers
- Quoting and sales tools
It’s important to customers that technicians can get answers quickly. And your technicians don’t want to be left alone on an island trying to solve a problem when they need support. That’s why the strategy has been to connect everyone together. Dispatchers know where technicians are, technicians can access history to complete calls. Both get the information they need to provide speedy service to a customer.
What Is Your Field Service Strategy?
Heading into 2019, many field service organizations will have to decide what strategy they are going to take. What will bring them the best results on so many different levels to run a more effective business? Field service management software will be in that decision, as it’s connected, the digital platform will offer the best customer experience. Field service organizations who want the all in one solution for their problems will turn to a field service software. And if it’s not part of your strategy going forward, it very well should be. Field service software is seeing great returns in technician earning power, the volume of calls scheduled, and better customer service levels. Make field service software not just part of your strategy, but the base on which it is built.