Guest Column | January 14, 2014

How To Boost Field Service In The New Year

Brendan Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer, FieldAware

By Brendan Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer, FieldAware

Technicians and contractors are improving customer service each year, so why should 2014 be an exception? Tools such as field service scheduling and service management software have made it easier to be efficient and on time for appointments. Organizations would be smart to take the calendar change as an opportunity to look into what they can do to make the new year even more prosperous than the last.

Improvements to service in the field is essential, according to the Aberdeen Group's Aly Pinder, who said as the face of the company, the experience technicians provide their customers will likely make or break their willingness to work with a business in the future.

A recent report by his company found businesses that have a 90 percent or more customer satisfaction rate see service revenue growth of more than 6 percent and an overall revenue growth of 3.7 percent, as well as a customer retention rate of 89 percent. This spells out exactly why companies need to keep pushing forward: The better customers feel about an interaction, the more likely they will be to return.

Cloud computing could be an option
Cloud professional Udi Keidar said on CBR Online that adopting a cloud-based solution could be a great way to improve and innovate a company's field service software in the new year. More companies are starting to utilize this platform, he said, as it helps workers efficiently place orders, communicate with technicians and save customer data.

"Cloud computing makes such a range of tasks affordable, and there's no longer the need to keep specialized IT staff on hand to manage application-specific servers or related equipment," Keidar wrote. "The benefits for field service companies extend to cost savings, less complex implementations and having access to current applications and technologies."

Specifically in the field service industry, he said having these applications in the cloud can help companies bridge the communication gap more effectively than other software. This will likely mean more productivity, an efficient workflow and time savings, all of which will make for vast service improvements.

Managing scheduling and timing better
No customer wants to wait for service they are paying for. Software professional Jeffrey Wartgow wrote on Electric, Light and Power Magazine that organizations should adopt a mobile workforce solution to help keep scheduling and timing on point. Not only will more visits with customers and clients happen in a timely manner, but the mobile app can let clients know if there are any changes, a technician is running late or any other pertinent issue. People love transparency and having an efficient mobile workforce gives just that.

Field service professional Kris Hoskins wrote on Business 2 Community that there may be no better way to improve customer service than by giving a mobile workforce a customer-friendly app to work with. A great app will help technicians make information-based decisions, know more about their inventory and help impress customers with how much they know.

"Show up at the customer site fully equipped with the service history of their equipment," she said. "Customers like to work with companies that make their interactions fast and productive … would your customer would be more impressed if they approved your work order on an iPad Air, or paper and clipboard?"