For the vast majority of organisations, managing a team of service employees can be challenging and complicated. The fact that it consists a lot of variables that is used to be logged, monitored, and controlled manually, it took some serious amount of time and precision to monitor, knowing that any unpredictable changes could happen anytime. Electronic databases definitely helped, but they were still susceptible to human error and a lot of companies have suffered because of delays, miscommunications and inaccurate information in these situations.
As connected mobile devices skyrocketed and systems started communicating with each other a lot easier, software developers started devising a technological solution that would help in managing the field service operations, helping unsatisfied business owners/leaders get rid of inefficiencies that are common in the traditional way. This resulted to a smart field service management (FSM) technology that is built to automate the operations of any team of field service workers through mobile systems.
When it was estimated that the FSM market would reach to over $3.5B, a lot of companies in the industry have started working on their own FSM developments as part of their strategies. As the demand from the customers and the logistics of managing field employees continue to rise, many business and organisation leaders are now realising the overall value of having an FSM software in place which also benefits the employees, customers and shareholders.
FSM Software as the next step of standard connectivity
From the beginning, FSM is another system designed to monitor and manage different aspects of operations in the field. These normally consists of fleet / vehicle tracking, job scheduling and management, scheduling, web portals and more. As a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, it is usually managed through a cloud-based portal which is also accessible from mobile devices of the field employees on the job.
FSM solutions would not even exist if not because of the evolution of cloud technology over the last decade. As it continues to advance, cloud solutions became more viable, so as cheaper data storage and mobile devices in terms of handling more sophisticated software. And it didn’t take long for every field service professional to have access to an advanced FSM technology. With an office staff able to coordinate changes or a job/service request while the field staff able to access these information and relay it to the customers all in real-time, FSM has been a game-changer in terms of changing the way the managers, employees and clients communicate with each other.
The Impact of FSM Software nowadays.
An improved business-customer relationship has been one of the most significant changes brought by the adoption of FSM technology. In many innovative ways, FSM now allows the staff (from all levels) to engage with the customers which is slowly changing business leaders’ perception about customer experience. With a fully automated and integrated systems, an employee with the access can deliver the same information real time. Same thing goes with any delays or setbacks as the latest update can be instantly communicated to the client with updated ETA and notification. IF a field service personnel is behind the schedule due to any unforeseen circumstances, updated ETAs can be communicated easily with the help of GPS and other innovations.
As FSM software becomes a common tool for businesses, customers are now expecting it as a regular feature of their service. According to recent studies, 90% of customers are now expecting to see modern technology applied to their service scheduling as many are even willing to pay premium for it. In the FSM software marketplace, companies that embraced this technology as part of their innovation has allowed them to engage with their customers more which the customers view was treated as important.
Continuous Improvement of FSM to drive efficiency.
Managing a field service team can be complicated and managers used to juggle a lot of tasks just to clear the path for the field staff to service the clients. Just scheduling and dispatching of tasks efficiently can be cumbersome which includes identifying the right staff to service the customer based on their availability, location and skills/expertise. Then we add factors like the flow of communication, monitoring the field service team’s productivity and the status of the job, which requires a lot of time and energy that can result to slow reaction time.
But with the power of mobile, most of these processes can now be automated through the incorporation of FSM solutions, as these tools can now be used to improve productivity and drive efficiency on both ways. This can be done by incorporating an improved scheduling as well as the availability and access to real-time data from any device. Moreover, managers can now monitor the status of jobs right at their fingertips through real-time analytics.
Establish a Better Customer Experience
A technology-based solution is not worth it, if it doesn’t improve the customer experience whether through direct communication or the convenience for staff to do their jobs. This tool impacts the customer in different ways as well as provide the companies new solutions in establishing a better customer experience. If an FSM software’s capability to integrate with other systems can give customers a cohesive experience across different channels, it will definitely cement its place in the customers’ journey.
Knowing the customers more intimately is one of marketing automation’s key goals, as another feature of an FSM software is to translate this experience in the world of field service. Field Service professionals will be more equipped to provide a personalised experience for the customer, which according to different studies, is what most of the customers expect. Moreover, comprehensive analytics and integrated data can be utilised to decipher patterns in the behaviour of the customers to come up with better predictions in the future.
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