The Evolution of Field Service Software: Your Customers Will Thank You to Keep Up. Like most forms that technology takes, field service software solutions are fluid entities – ever growing, ever changing, moulding itself to suit the current trends and fulfil customer expectations.
The recent years have seen a marked difference in field service standards and consumer needs as compared to the preceding decades, not always in a very positive sense. Consumer expenses and resource costs have become inversely related, with the former on the decline. A report by TomTom and TNS concluded that 87% of Europeans had to deal with tardy field service agents. Another report, based on research conducted by Cognito brought to light that 67% of UK consumers believe service standards have been falling for the last three years.
So, is field service truly deteriorating, or do consumers simply expect more than they used to in the past? No matter what one concludes, there is a silver lining to these trends. With the technologies like Cloud Computing becoming ubiquitous in FSM software and the easy availability of the Software as a Service model, field service software solutions are evolving at a fast pace. It is up to businesses that utilise field service to keep up with advancements and use this growth for customer satisfaction.
So how has FSM changed in recent times?
Automation and Integration
Bringing dispatch up-to-date with modern times is crucial. Manual scheduling and dispatch are error-prone and obsolete – the time has come to sit back and let those machine learning algorithms do what they were created for. With the implementation of various protocols to fall back on in case of crises, predictive intelligence lets one circumvent problems caused by traffic, weather, etc. and the capability to prioritise field work while taking employee schedules and customer needs into consideration. Field service software products are now more efficient and personalised than ever before.
The integration of data from various channels – from consumer hotlines to route information to on-site activity – also makes for a far more productive visit. Reporting managers can monitor their field force with ease, and consumer needs are looked after in a much more effective way.
Consumers do not want to deal with uncertainty while waiting for a technician for hours with no-show and realising the valuable time they have wasted. Real-time tracking of field service reps by both clients and dispatch managers is a boon – consumers can keep tabs on the exact location of the employee assigned, the time left for them to arrive and any potential delays or issues that may come up en route. These features make for far more satisfied customers.
Continuous Communication with the Customer
In the age of social media and instant gratification, consumers want their interactions with customer care to be consistent and up-to-date – as making customers repeat their problems across numerous channels is not a good way to go. Gone are the days of looking up helpline numbers. Consumers require access to personnel 24/7, through media of their choice – phone calls, emails, or online chats. Field Service software let the field agents log and streamline these sessions, ensuring the next employee in line is fully informed of the problem and progress, saving both parties a lot of time and frustration.
Much like smartphones and smartwatches, smart field service software solutions have now become the norm. The ever-evolving technology is making old practices redundant by the day to make sure that the business keeps up with the time and doesn’t get left behind!