The abundance, low cost, ease of use and ubiquity of smartphones/devices and mobile networks has brought revolutions among the different industries, in the ways they sell and operate. Earlier, mobile apps were only a means to make customers engage with and experience brands, mainly to market businesses. However, with the consumerization of IT, businesses not only aim at providing better customer experience through business-to-consumer apps (B2C), but are also focused at empowering their employees, making them more productive and exhibiting a smart work-environment through business-to-employee apps (B2E). Especially, businesses that are out there in the field.
Field service is one among those industries which is heavily impacted by this mobilization and consumerization. The industry has developed immensely over the last few years with several intelligent automating software, field service management apps, and technologies like wearables, video conferencing, IoT and more.
Increased sales with field service software deployment
“When it comes to appealing the ever-so-intelligent-humans, it’s no more about conning ads, fraudulent links, deceiving looks or false results; rather it’s all about intelligent tech offering them a better experience.”
Field service software has been by far the most disruptive tech that took the field service industry by storm. It brings home several advantages, like easy job scheduling, work order management, tasks automation, customer data access, transparent stock visibility, increased customer relationship management, decreased cost and time and more. And as far as sales is concerned, dealers across a variety of industries like, telecommunications, heating and air conditioning, medical, security and the like, testified that implementing a field service management system increased their equipment sales around an average of 12% in the very first year.
Take a note; it’s a 12% increase, just by using something that is already crucial to your business operations.
See below for signs supporting how field service software increase sales.
Field service apps provide good customer service, thereby creating customer loyalty and better sales opportunity
According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), businesses will experience a 100% customer retention rate when they are “very satisfied” with a business’ service. And a mere increase of 5% in customer retention and loyalty increases the business’ profit by 75%.
When your field service management software provides amazing service to customers, it could be one good reason why your sales has increased, because they are delighted and will continue to purchase new parts and services from you.
Anticipating a customer’s need buys his trust factor
Ever noticed those online ads you see, set to display based on your interests and priorities? The sites recognize your preferences and present personalized collections to you even before you realize what you actually need. Who doesn’t like the feeling that the seller knows them, understands their needs and wants to offer them the best they can get?
Field service businesses can use the same principle to engage their customers by offering personalized services and make them feel that their needs are well-understood and taken care of. Technicians can use the field service management software to pull up the customer’s data or history, to evaluate and anticipate the deeper needs of their client. This detailed info about the client and their business help agents to provide personalized services and upsell intelligently, making the customers feel comfortable.
“Customers are likely to buy (and recommend to others) additional products and services that the agent will suggest, if they have trust that the agent onsite knows their best interests.”
Productive technicians tend to complete more jobs and additional customer visits
With advanced features of smart scheduling and dispatching (getting the right technicians at the right place, on time, with the right parts) in field service management software , technicians are able to get to more jobs than they would, without it. With complete customer info (including contact, location, and on-site equipment), proper directions to customer’s site, photos, videos, equipment service history, technical manuals and more details available right at the technician’s fingertips, they can always do an additional job or visit more customers almost every day.“By empowering field service agents through such smart field service management apps that increase their productivity (to up to 14%), you’re essentially multiplying your sales force and increasing their selling opportunity by up to 14%.”
Real-time access to real-time information leverage faster sale processes
Technicians have better cross-selling and upselling opportunities because the apps allow quick access to details on products, services, add-ons and customer’s interests. If a customer has a requirement/is interested in a solution, the field service agent can immediately suggest a solution. He can show its sales materials, explain to the customer and create a quote for it instantly though his field service software (with appropriate discounts and reductions). Now, if the customer likes the solution and is satisfied with the quote, he can immediately give his consent through electronic signature capture. The entire sales process- from the myriad emails, calls, appointment schedules, to scenarios like canceled meetings and re-doing tasks, is thus trimmed down significantly.
Faster resolution times for customers
Customers like services to be quick. For instance, they wouldn’t bear the heat and wait for you to check with your dealer if a replacement part for their malfunctioning AC is available at their warehouse, nor will they wait until the parts become available and the service is ready. They will simply ditch you and go to another provider who can complete the maintenance in much lesser time.
A mobile field service application that has parts and inventory management function, not only keeps track of what is on your truck but also has details of what’s on other trucks in your vicinity and warehouse. If a particular replacement part isn’t available, you can instantly order it from where it is available, through the app. Thus, the services can be completed faster than those businesses, which need to place a hundred calls before getting the work done for customers.
Customers tend to choose secure providers over others
Businesses using field service apps that can send the agent’s information, like photo ID, arrival time and identification card to clients give an added sense of security, and clients tend to buy more (and recommend to others) of their services.
It’s true that businesses do not often shortlist field service management software to increase their equipment sales. But as you saw above, those who have encouraged its use have definitely drawn more sales, revenue, and profit.
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Your field service technicians are the frontmen of your field operations. They are the ones who drive your services, making sure that your client’s problems are fixed well and on time. They basically keep your customers happy.
The least you can do is, to provide a happy work environment for them, and decrease employee turnover. Invest your time and money in them and you will see the results.
Also, as the demand for highly skilled field service agents is on the rise these days, hiring new agents would be difficult and expensive as well. Hence, you need to retain your already existing talented technicians.
Let’s see how field service management software can help in the retention of loyal employees:
Mobility goes a long way
Field service software is certain to make the jobs of your technicians much easier. And if it has an integrated mobile solution, then you can have your worker efficiency scales shooting up in no time. Here is how,
- Real time work schedule information – With mobile field service solutions, workers can get alerts, real-time information about work location, status, changes to their schedule etc., which saves them from the time and effort of having to get back with their providers, through a phone call or in person.
- Tracking inventory – Workers get to track the tools and equipment with the customers as well as with their providers easily, and manage their work accordingly.
- History of work order – Your field agents get to track the history of work orders related to a particular client, which gives them the confidence to approach the client with a new work that they would probably need, as they can always look back for references.
- Real-time status and work time updates – Mobile solutions enable your field agents to update the status of the work done by them, and also the duration of time they spent on the work, in real time, instead of calling or going back to the office in person.
- Access to instructions – Field agents can refer to instructions available in the mobile field service solutions, either as text or in the form of videos, whenever they get stuck. They can also check if there are other field technicians nearby, that might be available to give them a hand.
You can probably add a dozen more points to this list as you can see how much of an impact, mobile field service solutions can have on the work life of your field technicians. It makes their work easier by at least 50% undoubtedly.
This makes it possible for them to get jobs done faster, and take up more jobs and grow in terms of efficiency and capacity . Every employee would want to stick to a job that allows them to grow.
“Working with good colleagues, challenging job assignments and opportunities for career growth and development are among the top reasons for employees to stay with a company” – Raymond Noe, author of the book Employee Training and Development.
Adopting field service software alone, might not be completely effective, unless coupled with adequate training. While it may seem to be an obvious thing to provide initial training for the new software, you also need to provide routine training on updates as well as new tools and repairs. It helps them stay up to date on the latest technology in field service, as well as on common product issues thereby helping them improve their skills. If necessary, you can have online training sessions, or demonstrations, or provide news on product issues, tools and new repair procedures through your mobile field service solution, so that your field agents can access it from anywhere and any time they want.
Work appreciation is sort of a given for retention of employees of any business. Similarly, your field service technicians need to be appreciated for their work regularly along with providing them with the necessary training and knowledge. This makes them feel worthy and happy, which reflects in their performance as well. In the end, your clients will also be happy with your field agents’ work, which is ultimately what you want.
Many companies across the field service industry have been using field service software for improving their services as well as employee retention rates. Talk to our field service management software experts to adopt the right solution for your business and retain your field agents.
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Field service management software is becoming increasingly popular these days. With it’s advanced features of scheduling and dispatching and of course integration with mobile devices, there is no reason why managers like you would prefer anything else.
Now, mobile integration is one of the main advantages of field service management software. Without it, the whole purpose of the software to make field service management easier and faster for everyone, will not be properly served. Even a system with features like scheduling and reporting, will not prove to be very useful in terms of increased efficiency, if it’s not mobile integrated.
So, what exactly is the need for mobile integration in field service management software?
In the earlier developed, on-premise field service management systems, there was centralization of information and reporting but it required the field agents to re-enter the information they collected from the field through paper documents. Moreover, apart from a mobile phone to call, there was practically no way the managers could reach the agents and vice versa.
All these problems can be solved with mobile integration of field service management software. Here are some other advantages of mobile integration:
Back-end Service Knowledge Access
Technicians or field agents while at their work can look up manuals or diagrams available in the backend through the mobile integrated field service management solution and determine the best procedures for repair or even determine the parts or tools required for the repair. Even though your field agents may be experts, they could use tools and techniques that would help them complete their job in a better way. They could also make use of the history of repairs or warranty information etc. of a particular customer’s asset available with the solution to better help in their work. Moreover, they can access customer accounts for billing functions etc.
Transparency and Communication
Gone are the days when you did not know where your field agents are or what they are working on. With the help of mobile integrated field service management systems, you will be able to get real-time job updates and even location information. They also enable real-time communication between the field agents and the managers so you are always ready with information for your customers, as and when they call.
Efficient Data Collection and Accounting
As mentioned before, field service management systems that were not mobile integrated required the field agents to enter work related information twice. Such redundancy of data led to wastage of time and effort thus decreasing productivity. Mobile integration enables the field agents to enter data directly onto the system thereby saving time. Moreover, some solutions offer advanced features like payment processing which allow your agents to collect payments too. All of these digital records further enable smoother accounting and auditing.
Routing and scheduling features are the main highlights of any field service management system. But when you have them integrated with a mobile device, you can allow your agents to view their schedules while they are at their work so that they can plan their work accordingly. Based on the location information of an agent, the routing feature helps to plan an optimized route between all the sites that are pending for a particular agent. That way,work becomes systematic and productivity is increased as more work orders can be attended to per day.
All these features make mobile integration for field service management solutions inevitable if you want to increase productivity. Your field agents are the representatives of your company and they reflect the quality of your service. Hence, if they perform better, your customers will be more satisfied. In order to stand ahead in satisfying your customers, you need to have field service management software with all the mentioned features and mobile integration.
Contact us to develop a field service management solution just for your Business.
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Gone are the days when getting electrification or plumbing issues fixed in a building meant endless number of phone calls and long hours of waiting. And mostly at the end of this the issue may or may not be fixed. A myriad of issues from lack of accountability, coordination and centralized system for tracking and follow ups cause frustration and loss of reputation.
There used to be a number of issues like these with regular paper-based field service management systems, all of which contributed to the general inefficiency of the market as a whole. But organizations these days have become much more sophisticated as many of them have already realized the need to move to Field Service Management (FSM) software.
Today, Field Service Management solutions are being adopted by various industries for their field service operations. They play a very important role in enhancing organizational productivity and efficiency. According to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets the global FSM market is forecasted to grow from $1.58 billion in 2014 to $3.52 billion by 2019 and the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is expected to be 17.3%. And the biggest market in terms of market size is expected to be North America.
That said, here are some reasons which have led to the expansive adoption of Field Service Management solutions by organizations and, of course, the growth of the market:
Real-time based solution – The technicians or the field service agents, as well as the providers, have real-time access to all the required information. The providers are always aware of where their agents are, what work they are doing, when they finish their work etc. So, the agents are always in contact with the providers unlike the old system of field service management.
Quick, systematic scheduling and dispatching – A service can be assigned to a field agent based on availability, location or manually by the manager. The field agent can be alerted to new work orders through SMS, E-mail or push notifications on his smartphone. Thus, service to the customers is made faster and more efficient.
Limitations of ERP and CRM solutions – There was once a time when ERP and CRM solutions had the upper hand in the field services industry. They could enhance efficiency by automating the processes and optimizing resources. But they failed to meet certain specific demands of field service management like scheduling, dispatching performance management etc. These demands led to the increased adoption of Field Service Management solutions and thereby increased productivity. And, of course, most advanced field service management software easily integrate with ERP and CRM solutions.
Reduction in operational cost – The overall cost of operations are reduced when compared to paper-based field service management. All the costs relating to maintenance and storage of paperwork and contacting service agents etc can be eliminated. Moreover, the costs involved in the process of a particular field service can be tracked easily because of the transparency of the solution. This helps to keep a check on costs and avoid redundancy or duplication. Also, its history can be tracked to save on inventory costs and even fuelling costs, by finding the most efficient way to reach the area of service.
Integration with mobile devices – It is important for the field agents to have access to information relating to their job or client while they are at their work. They may also need to record job details. Field Service Management solutions have the advantage of being mobile integrated and so all these activities can be done easily. Hence, mobile integration is one of the biggest factors that has contributed to the increase in adoption rate of FSM solutions.
These factors put together with the ease of use, really makes Field Service Management Solutions popular. Although, companies still use ERP and CRM solutions for managing field services due to lack of awareness.
FSM solutions help workers to collaborate and work effectively. They enable real-time collaboration among the field agents as well as the providers and thereby increase productivity and organizational efficiency. They also have features like automatic notifications, advanced GPS tracking, reporting etc. which further help in making work more organized and efficient.