Increase Overall Satisfaction with Field Service Management Solutions
By Daniel M. Horton, CIO, Sallyport Global
Management of field service operations have come a long way from the manual process it once was, with technology playing a significant role. This transformation has advanced the overall experience by enabling a more efficient process complimented by automation, increased communication, and availability of essential data. Regardless the size of your field team, implementing the right Field Service Management solution will enable your company to work smarter, better, and faster.
More businesses are making this investment to gain better insights and control over their day-to-day operations while increasing worker productivity, customer satisfaction, and effectiveness. Field Service Management solutions have enabled a more streamlined process by automating key processes, and putting valuable information in their employee’s fingertips, whenever it is needed. Ease of access to this important data allows for quicker, more reliable decision making and has positively impacted businesses and their customers.
The convenience of a Field Service Management system is as much for your customer as it is for your business. Customers now have the opportunity to submit their requests through a mobile app, a web interface, or even by phone if that is still their preferred method. Once a ticket is opened they have the ability to track the progress and provide additional details or feedback throughout the process. Providing this level of commitment to the customer strengthens relationships by simplifying and streamlining communication between customers and staff. Their participation in this process also ensures you can respond quickly and accurately to their needs. Fostering this kind of interaction and engagement is a win-win situation that provides a higher level of comfort with increased satisfaction.
Bridging the gap between the field and office should no longer be an issue since your personnel have the ability to function outside of the office for longer periods of time without a breakdown in communication or data sharing.
Communication to the end-users throughout the process is key
This real-time experience allows everyone to stay in-sync with work orders and enables your personnel to work more efficiently and handle more calls per day while providing a higher level of service. To further streamline operational processes, there will typically be the ability to integrate into existing ERP and CRM systems to minimize manual or redundant data entry.
If you are running field service operations and have not implemented a system dedicated to supporting that function, now is the time to put one in place. Choosing the right solution can be time consuming but since this product is such an important part of the business and contributes to so many areas, it is important to include the right stakeholders from the beginning. Select a team with representation from each area of the business so there are knowledgeable personnel that can share their experiences and talk through existing challenges that need to be overcome and help determine the business requirements. By appointing a project team and getting them together in the same room as part of the selection process, you’re less likely to experience conflict down the road.
As with any technology purchase, the key to making a successful decision is to stay focused on the problems you want to solve. I have always found it helpful to create a decision matrix that lists all of the business requirements in one column and then dedicate a column for each potential software solution. As a team, determine the weight of each requirement and create a grading scale. After going through the evaluations at the end of the exercise, the matrix will select the solution that is the best fit for your needs. This approach also allows each team member to document their feedback for future reference.
The solution you choose should provide the key information you need to run your field service operations effectively. This may seem obvious, but it’s an important requirement that the solution you are about to invest in is simple and easy to use. Doing so will increase adoption levels and encourage usage. Mobility online/offline options should also be a requirement considering the primary usage is in the field. The mobile interface should be full featured so be sure it is tested to the same standards during the evaluation process.
Communication to the end-users throughout the process is key. It is important that you keep everyone informed about what is happening and how the new system will benefit them. Doing so will build anticipation and increase adoption levels. The selection of your Field Service Management solution should be used as an opportunity to make an announcement and celebrate the decision.
My last piece of advice would be to make sure you partner yourself with a company that is committed to the successful implementation, training, and support of the system you have selected. You are making a commitment to your business and your customers, so it is important that you are require the same level of commitment from the solution provider. Choosing the right solution provider should be considered a long term commitment and you should have absolute confidence in their ability to support you.