What is field service management, and how can it help your company’s field service be the best it can in order to solve customer problems quickly and efficiently?
We’ve all been on the receiving end of field service. We’ve all waited for a technician to arrive at our home, office, or factory to investigate and fix a problem. Sometimes it can be a quick process that enjoys smooth sailing and great communication. Other scenarios can be frustrating, time-consuming, and riddled with errors.
What is field service management?
So what is field service management, and how can it change your customer service game for the better? According to Gartner, it “includes the detection of a field service need (through remote monitoring or other means, inspection or a customer detecting a fault), field technician scheduling and optimization, dispatching, parts information delivery to the field, and process support of field technician interactions.”
When field service management (FSM) is done well, technicians can serve as front-line agents that create a better customer experience and inspire long-term loyalty among busy customers who’ve developed high expectations for a quick fix.
Great FSM can deliver on the promises made during the sales process and by the larger brand, rather than undermining that effort.
Learn the challenges and benefits of field service management
Keeping any field service organization running flawlessly is no easy feat, however. There are plenty of challenges facing field service management, including:
- Customer expectations that are higher than ever
- The need to manage a boatload of moving parts
- The need to constantly reevaluate and reallocate resources
But there are tremendous benefits of field service management software:
- It allows companies to communicate in real-time with customers
- Improves operational efficiencies by optimizing routing and scheduling
- Offers more timely service
FSM has become particularly popular in industries like telecom, but also in healthcare, where homecare workers track information about patients, and specialized industries like mining to provide workers with precise location information.
Cloud-based technology is transforming FSM
This massive shift in field service management over the past decade is evolving quickly, thanks to the latest mobile, IoT and AI technology. With integrated, cloud-based software, field service management can create a supportive, agile environment for technicians that increases customer satisfaction.
Not surprisingly, a whopping 60 percent of FSM companies are planning on implementing IoT in the next 10 years. In this interconnected, integrated universe, companies can graduate from devices that indicate a need for service only after a system failure to devices that proactively schedule a maintenance call with a field service technician.
A truly mobile field service management operation can also take advantage of a liquid workforce, harnessing technology to create a flexible, adaptable, change-ready, and responsive workforces. With machine learning and IOT integrations, your field service efforts also become proactive to prevent issues, rather than simply reacting to problems.
Maximizing field service management with data
The ability to be mobile is key to maximizing performance in field services management. But it’s access to the right data — and the useful insights that can be drawn from the data — that can be a boon to organizations every step along the way. This includes improving and speeding up the resolution process, extending a company’s customer reach, and generally becoming a more lean and productive organization.
Also, the valuable links between onsite and offsite data can really help FSM soar. No field technician is thrilled by limited access to customer service history, parts, repair knowledge, and predictive maintenance data. And customers certainly frown when they realize repairs could be more costly than anticipated.
The best, most useful data leads to faster and more effective field service that encourages far more smiles from both technician and customer.
Ready to rock FSM?
A strong end-to-end customer service experience is a must in today’s competitive, customer-centric landscape. That means supporting the customer throughout the purchase lifecycle, including after the sale.
During that post-sale period, all the promises that were made can’t suddenly be broken with poor support. Through field service management, every interaction brings insight, expertise and precision, which increases customer satisfaction.
Getting field service management right has become table stakes. No organization can ignore the options available to ensure an unbroken chain of customer experience. FSM is about putting the right tools in the right hands so that first-class service with as little interruption as possible is assumed – throughout the entire customer lifecycle.
Assure a unified service experience for every customer, every time, across every platform.
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