We always talk about how field service companies have now become totally mobile, with top notch field service mobile solutions and devices that support it. And yes, the benefits that have accrued from the so-called phenomenon of “field service mobility”, have been massive for most companies.
But let’s break that down for a bit and see what life would be like, without mobility.
There are still a number of companies that haven’t adopted mobility. Let’s see what challenges they face.
So a regular field service organization encompasses three roles majorly – that of the technician, the dispatcher, and the service manager. Automation for all these roles essentially revolves around their responsiveness. How promptly they are able to respond to customer calls and complete service schedules, is what makes all the difference. The field agents spend most of their time out attending service calls and traveling, while the managers need to assign tasks to the technicians and ensure the timely completion of jobs.
In order for a regular field service company to do the above-mentioned jobs efficiently, there are several challenges that they go through. They are:
Non-Availability of Real-Time Information …
Field service technicians, at any cost, need real-time information about the tasks that are assigned to them. They need to be constantly updated with any changes in tasks, inventory and also information related to the customer location.
They might need to make calls while executing a work order at the customer site, to enquire about stock availability at the office or availability of other parts and equipments with their colleagues nearby.
Similarly, the dispatchers also need to ensure that the right technicians are available at the right places at the right times. They need to know in real-time, where a particular technician is, what he is currently doing and what the status of his assigned job is so that they can assign jobs accordingly, leading to faster and more efficient attending of customer calls.
Leading to Reduced Productivity and Efficiency …
The field service technicians, at the end of the day, need to report their work to the main office. In a paper-based reporting system, the technicians need to take down all the nitty gritties of their work, including any material or labor expenses incurred at the site, on their service sheet, and it might take days to get invoiced.
Apart from this, the technicians may not always get the exact location information for their clients, in which case they might need to contact the customer for more details through call or email.
Furthermore, on the absence of any kind of service history for a particular client, it may be difficult for technicians to address issues arising for the same client or even similar clients.
And in Turn – Low Levels of Customer Satisfaction
As more or less an implication of lack of real-time information, customer service calls may not be promptly addressed or responded to. Moreover, due to lack of service history or information on stock levels and the like, the technicians may take more than a single visit to solve customer issues. All of these have a negative impact on customer retention.
Manual and paper-based work reporting can also lead to delays, not to mention errors, upon redundant manual entry of important information. Poor organization of work on the whole, can be a total turn-off for customers, amounting to their dissatisfaction.
As a result of low productivity and reducing customer satisfaction levels, the profits take a serious hit as well.
The traveling costs may rise because of the repeated visits to the customer site.
Duplication of efforts in work reporting can lead to increased overtime. It can also lead to delayed and inaccurate invoices from errors creeping in; all leading to further losses.
So now you know just how important technology and mobility is in field service. Contact us to get these issues resolved.
What are some of the issues that you have come across in your field service business?
We would like to hear.