You are either experiencing it now or will be in the future—a workforce with less than 10 years of experience. With Baby Boomers retiring in greater numbers, they are being replaced by fresh-faced technicians, many of whom don’t have double-digit years of experience under their belts. While that may have been a problem in the past, mobile field service software with routing optimization is making it easier for those with less experience. In fact, it’s allowing field service organizations to alter their hiring practices and focus on skills other than wrench skills.
The younger workforce of today is embracing mobile solutions and want modern technologies in their work life. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons these young professionals are looking towards the field service industry. Now with these next-gen workers defining the workplace, it’s time to look at how they are working with mobile field service software. In what ways are they embracing the technology that the field service management landscape is shifting towards? And how is mobile field service software affecting how service is being delivered?
Put a Smart Phone in their Hands
Smartphones aren’t just a tool anymore, but a way of life. For next-gen field service technicians with less experience, smartphones are their lifeblood to great service on the job site. A recent survey said that 72 percent of those with less than 10 years of experience would prefer a smartphone as their primary device. That should come as no surprise, considering smartphones are so common today. Some businesses have even adopted bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, allow technicians to use their own personal phones that they’re comfortable with, rather than carrying both their personal smartphone and a company one.
With field service mobile apps, it’s now easier than ever to deploy a BOYD strategy. Mobile apps are installed, technicians use their own devices, and there is less training time involved. With smart phone technology advancing, it’s an obvious first choice above all other devices. Other options include tablets, but only 14 percent of technicians with less than 10 years of experience prefer a tablet as their primary device. For technicians with 20 or more years of experience, 33 percent prefer a tablet.
This means, you’ll want to look for flexibility in your mobile field service software. Whether you are using smartphones, tablets, or laptops, field service software and field service mobile apps can run on them. Apps are responsive, so they will fit the size of your screen no matter which device you use. Above all, this flexibility allows technicians to choose which devices they prefer to connect to their field service software. It’s not a one-size-fits-all world when it comes to mobility, and field service mobile apps are prepared to offer flexibility to your next-gen workforce. All this will help perfect customer service for your clients and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.
Giving Technicians Most-Relied-Upon Capabilities
With field service mobile apps and smart devices, technicians will rely on specific capabilities. Most of these are built into the devices themselves, such as email and texting, which expand communication abilities. Technicians can now communicate via text to get answers, access email from their phones, and stay off the phone and on hold when they need assistance. Mobile devices also come with navigation and turn-by-turn directions to help technicians get from job site to job site. This helps reduce drive times for technicians who now can be sent directly to their destinations.
When it comes to a mobile FSM software, much of its bread and butter is the ability to push work orders to and from the mobile device. Paper-based work orders are now a thing of the past, as the electronic version is sent directly to the mobile field service app. Technicians can fill out the work order and transmit it back for fast turnaround. It’s one of the bedrocks of any field service management software, and the most relied-upon capability for a field service mobile app.
The mobile app also allows technicians to check in and out of jobs, using the mobile app as a punch clock, calculating labor, break, and travel times. And, mobile apps give a technician an entire view of all their daily appointments to increase productivity. Technicians can see their schedules and know exactly what they need for each service call before they head out for the day.
Expand the Capabilities of Mobile Field Service Software
Some capabilities that next-gen technicians would love aren’t readily available. Mobile field service software, however, is making strides to add these functions to expand the service capabilities of these less-experienced technicians. One of the most vital functions next-gen technicians are asking for is access to service history. With less experience on the job, it’s in the service history that they can learn from the technicians who came before them. Next-gen technicians can now do their research on equipment before going into the service call to get an idea of past service completed and what solutions were performed.
Next-gen technicians are also asking for access to knowledge, which includes videos, manuals, and guides to repairs. Much like service history, this information can be the difference between a successful repair or not. Training videos can be added to work orders and made available on portals for technicians to access. This again removes the need for technicians to sit on the phone waiting for a response. With isolation being one of the worst parts of the job, especially when they are stressing out over a repair, it will definitely help to have access to information that will get them to a quick solution.
Attract the Next-Gen Technicians with Mobile Field Service Software
With baby boomers retiring, you’re going to need next-gen technicians to fill the void. What attracts them to a job is modern technology and the ability to use it in real-time to make their work easier. That means using their own mobile device as their primary tool for delivering service to their customers and for preventative maintenance. If you’re looking at a field service management software today, you need to be thinking of not only your next-gen workforce, but the mobile strategy to deploy with it.