The role of field service is critical for organizations. Having employees working outside of traditional office perimeters, delivering value or services customers has been in practice ever since industrialization and modern consumerization came into practice.
Over time organizations have evolved their Field Service strategies to meet growing customer expectations. Today businesses drive to take their field service groups to the next level by optimizing the field service operation to not only offer improved customer experience but also enhance employee productivity.
But it is easier said than done. In this article, we will look at the top 5 challenges organizations face in their field services operation and how an efficient field service management tool like ServiceNow can help.
What is Field Service Management?
By definition, it is the management of a company’s resources employed at or en route to the property of a customer, rather than on company property. We most typically think of a service person who comes to a home or business to deliver/install an item or for a repair. Field Service Management though is applicable across industries. Some examples include:
- In telecommunications and cable industry, technicians who install cable or run phone lines into residences or business establishments.
- In healthcare, mobile nurses who provide in-home care for elderly or disabled.
- In gas utilities, engineers who are dispatched to investigate and repair suspected leaks.
- In heavy engineering, mining, industrial and manufacturing, technicians dispatched for preventative maintenance and repair.
- In property maintenance, including landscaping, irrigation, and home and office cleaning.
- In HVAC industry, technicians have the expertise and equipment to investigate units in residential, commercial and industrial environments.
For organizations with large field service operations, the quality of customer service and the overall customer satisfaction depends heavily on the excellence of field services and the process used to manage the operation. And while organizations strive hard to offer the best-in-class field services, they are met with challenges that can practically make it or break it for them. Organizations juggling between managing a field force and operations while ensuring customers have the most positive experience, seek the help of a field service management tool.
In a rapidly evolving organizational model that is empowered with digital technology, field service management is estimated to reach USD 10.81 billion by 2026.
Field service management tools are positioned to help organizations replace their legacy systems and redundant practices with new technologies that enable organizations to modernize their field service with digital workflows.
Top 5 challenges in Field Service Management and how ServiceNow Field Service Management enables organizations to proactively address them:
Service optimization and rapid resolution
One of the most critical deliverables of field service is the promptness. When customers request a service, they naturally want it to be fast and accurate.
According to a study, the average first-time fix rate is close to 77%. It means that for the rest of the 23% instances the customer query is not resolved in the first visit. For optimizing the service quality, it is crucial that the technicians or field workers with the right skill set are assigned to the customer’s requests.
With ServiceNow Field Service Management, organizations can deploy resources based on skill set, and ensure that the right field tech is dispatched based on the customer need. In addition, organizations can track inventory ensuring that parts are transferred to the appropriate locations as needed.
The ability for a field service representative to resolve an incident the first time with assurance, impacts the requester’ confidence in the organization. Customers want to spend their money with organizations they know can resolve issues that they may have.
Streamlining schedules for technicians
Most companies that offer field service without a contemporary field service management system are torn between optimizing their human resources while meeting the growing demands of the customers.
89% of customers don’t mind paying extra for on-demand technician scheduling, highlighting the importance of schedule adherence. In the conventional field service operation, optimum scheduling, resource planning, and resource tracking are next to impossible.
ServiceNow Field Service Management helps companies in dynamic scheduling based on locations, availability, and priority. Further, the solution tracks the real-time location of the technician, logging the travel time and the delivery time to apprehend schedule adherence and service quality.
Real-time communication and data access for field-service executives
According to a survey, 52% of the field service technicians state that inability to access service manuals and knowledge base right when they need it is one of the major challenges for them, which hampers the quality of the service.
Engaging and educating field technicians is crucial yet challenging, especially when the products and services are digital and ever-evolving. Empowering technicians with consistent and up to date knowledge sharing and collaboration is critical for offering ideal customer service.
ServiceNow helps in empowering technicians with a native mobile app that they can refer to, access knowledge resources, request service details and cross-check checklists before completion of the service. The field service representative can stay in touch with the back office in real-time, and efficiently resolve the request. .
Latent and complex paper-based data management
Companies that have not leveraged a digital field service management system often find themselves overwhelmed in paper-based data management.
This includes the delivery assignment and scheduling using latent, complex, and difficult to follow paper-based filing systems. In addition, the information that field technicians are collecting at the point of service in physical paper-based forms, must be tracked.
ServiceNow field service management smartly replaces the paper-based data management system with an intuitive dashboard and app that is easy to use agents and dispatchers as well as mobile options for field service techs. Field Service representatives can even work-offline when operating in areas with low or no internet connection.
Using analytics can be incremental in improving the strategy for customer retention, resource allocation, and overall profits from field service.
Field service organizations that utilize data analysis have seen an improvement of over 42% in their customer retention. Leveraging data metrics and developing insights into the efficiency of the field service organization is critical to continuous improvement.
ServiceNow Field Service Management Analytics and Reporting solutions contain pre-configured dashboards that contain actionable data visualizations that help organizations improve business processes and practices.
Providing excellent field service is critical to improving customer satisfaction. However, many field service organizations still schedule and manage work manually. This leads to repeat visits and frustrated customers and employees. But by embracing automation and digitization, there’s a way to keep up with rising customer expectations.
ServiceNow Field Service Management provides the foundation for organizations to take their Field Service Organization to the next platform. At Xceltrait, we understand Field Service Management and we understand ServiceNow. We help companies make the most of their ServiceNow investments and transform the field service operations.