Because you run a service company, you’ve realized that using paper to manage the activities of field service technicians is no longer enough to ensure you can provide increasingly demanding customers with responsive, efficient and effective service.
In addition, as a business manager, you spend a lot of time thinking about your company’s strategy. How can you reduce costs and increase turnover? How can you retain existing customers and differentiate from the competition? And how can you keep up with the digital transformation underway in your industry?
At first glance, all of these issues are critical enough to cost you at least a few nights’ sleep…
But, there is a way to optimize both technicians’ activities in the field and your company’s profitability. It’s called field service management software, and it can help you solve a lot of your problems.
Here are 10 good reasons to start using field service management software.
1 – Better customer satisfaction
Field service management software is designed to optimize the entire lifecycle of service activities, from the time the customer makes the request through to the final invoice. When the software includes automated planning capabilities, it can significantly reduce customer wait times by assigning service tasks to technicians who are available and have the right skill set for the job and by forecasting spare parts requirements.
With this type of solution, you can put your technicians in the best possible position to successfully resolve the issue on the first visit to improve your first-time-fix rate. And make your customers happy. According to a study published by the American firm, Aberdeen, customer satisfaction increases by more than 20% when a problem is solved on the technician’s first visit. Field service management software is an indispensable tool to achieve this goal.
2 – Higher turnover
There’s an intangible rule of business that says it’s easier and cheaper to keep existing customers than to win new ones. Improving customer satisfaction levels immediately strengthens customer loyalty. In addition, satisfied customers are more likely to spread the word, and good word of mouth leads to new customers. It’s a virtuous circle.
With field service management software, you can centralize all of your customer data and ensure that it’s always available to technicians. When technicians have better understanding of customers and their equipment they can respond more effectively and efficiently to each customer issue.
Technicians can even help to increase business by offering customers additional services. If the customer expresses interest in a particular service, the technician can immediately send the information back to the sales team so they can quickly make a proposal to the customer.
3 – Higher efficiency, lower costs
As we mentioned, field service management software lets you set up automated scheduling and provide each customer with the best technician for the job.
How does it work? Well, let’s use Praxedo’s SmartScheduler software as an example. This software uses artificial intelligence to assign the right job to the right technician at the right time. To do this, it considers:
The parts and tools with the technician
Estimated travel time
In a service-focused world, making optimal use of human resources is a strategic advantage. And field service management software is an indispensable tool to ensure service is provided with maximum efficiency and lower costs.
4 – Helpful new technologies
We’ve been hearing for a few years now that businesses are undergoing digital transformation. At some point, it becomes imperative that every company, including those in the service industry, join this digital revolution or risk endangering their future. In fact, continuing to work on paper when the rest of the industry is moving to digital solutions is, in the medium term, the best way to go out of business.
By deploying field service management software, service companies give themselves the means to compete and to deal with customers who are demanding increasingly high quality of service.
Field service management software also provides access to the technologies that are revolutionizing the way business is done:
Artificial intelligence for scheduling
Augmented reality for on-site problem solving
The Internet of Things and predictive analysis to anticipate breakdowns
Virtual reality to train technicians
In the field service industry, these technologies are no longer science fiction. The future has arrived.
5 – Happier technicians
Today, there’s a generational change happening in the field service industry. More and more young people are coming into the industry, and veterans are becoming increasingly rare. The way the job is viewed and the tools that are used are also changing. In a tight job market, it’s increasingly difficult to recruit technicians with the right skills and keep them.
More and more technicians are “digital natives” who are used to using smartphones and mobile applications. They expect to do the same at work. This generation will not be content to work with pounds of paper, adhere to rigid schedules, or lose time due to poorly planned travel routes.
In today’s service companies, technicians are the first ones to push management to deploy field service management software because it:
Makes their lives considerably easier
Reduces their margin of error
Reduces administrative processing requirements
Allows them to focus on core business activities and value-added tasks
6 – Better cash flow
With field service management software, you can use pre-filled and rules-based forms to gather more reliable data from the field. For example, forms can be developed so that technicians cannot complete field 3 if field 2 is not completed. Or, the report cannot be validated if the technician did not include a photo of the completed job.
The ability to collect more reliable field data and to automatically send the electronic forms directly to your billing system with a single click considerably accelerates the billing process. Companies that previously required between 3 and 5 weeks to invoice customers can now send invoices within a half day, or even an hour, of service completion. Faster invoicing means faster payments. Ultimately, that’s good for cash flow. And it’s all possible with the move to field service management software.
7 – Detailed activity monitoring
Field service management software provides dashboards that allow you to monitor the progress of key performance indicators. With a global, detailed view of technicians’ activities, you can make the best decisions at the right times. And you’re in a better position to meet contractual commitments for guaranteed service times, repair times and first-time fix rates.
8 – Increased technician safety
Field technicians are often required to work in complicated, and even dangerous, environments that require special precautions.
With field service management software that includes a mobile app, technicians can review a checklist of safety rules, equipment requirements and security measures before they start a job so they can succeed in their tasks without taking undue risks.
9 – Stronger data security
In addition to technicians’ physical security during service calls, data security is also extremely important in today’s world. Service companies and their technicians often have sensitive customer information.
Consider the case of companies that specialize in installing electronic security systems in banks or in nuclear power plants. It’s very important that customer data and floor plans showing system locations do not fall into the wrong hands. With field service management software, you can use secure servers and other means to protect electronic data. You can’t do this with paper, and it puts both the service company and its customers at risk.
In some industries, field service providers must meet security standards that prohibit the use of paper. To win in these markets, it’s crucial to follow digital processes and be able to offer certified levels of security.
10 – Superior quality of service
Finally, deploying field service management software allows service companies to significantly improve the quality of service it offers its customers. In an increasingly competitive economic environment, this is an important capability.
Teams ranging from schedulers to field technicians can gather and share deeper insight into each customer. The field service management software provides the history of every service call completed at customer sites so you can see statistical trends, metrics and other data that helps you understand what factors contribute to the success or failure of a particular type of service.
Ultimately, you can provide better customer service.