Guest Column | September 12, 2022

How To Stay Modern In Field Service Management

By Burak Ciflikli, Jotform

Remote Field Service Visual Assistance

Our society has quickly become accustomed to living and working virtually. Nevertheless, don’t assume that all clients or customers want hands-off experiences. As Salesforce reporting shows, 70% of people say they still value face-to-face interaction, especially when they engage with field workers.

Field workers are unique in that they serve as the first — and sometimes the only — impression between a company and the public. This puts a great deal of pressure on them to ensure their customer interactions are top-notch. Otherwise, consumers may decide to jump to a competitor.

So how can field workers and their employers make sure they’re delivering world-class service and support? 

From Old-School To Modern Technology In Field Service

Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at how field service management has evolved. Not long ago, field service teams and technicians had to make decisions solo, keep manual logs, and relay information verbally or in written form to colleagues. The process was arduous and led to inefficiencies and errors.

Utility field workers, for example, often had to perform emergency repairs, capture meter readings, and track consumption without background data to support them. Yet they were still expected to stay on top of everything and leave customers feeling confident. 

Today, everything has changed thanks to digital technologies and automation. With field service software and related tools, those same field workers can depend on everything from connected sensors and monitoring devices to telematics and pre-built, cloud-based systems. In other words, they can stop making decisions in the dark.

Good field service management software can accomplish a lot. It speeds up technicians’ calls and makes it possible for field workers to have customer details at their fingertips. It allows for real-time inventory knowledge, forecasting, and ordering. Plus, many software solutions can be tweaked to apply to a wide range of large and small businesses that provide field service.

Updating Field Service In Any Organization

Whether you're in HVAC, plumbing, or remodeling — or field service is just one part of your larger organization — you may want to emphasize revitalizing your field service management tools if you've been considering a digital transformation. The following tips will help you reconsider how you use data, create value through stronger customer interactions, and pick the solutions that align with your immediate and long-term needs.

1. Consider employing telematics.

Telematics has revolutionized the ability of companies to better manage and monitor field-related fleets, as well as field workers’ habits. For instance, telematics information can indicate when drivers leave their engines idling and drive up costs. The same information can provide insights into questionable driving habits, ensuring that you can intervene before bad driving brings down your brand.

You also can use telematics in other ways, such as tracing maintenance expenses over time. Knowing in advance when fleet equipment may be ready for repairs or replacement can keep you prepared and your assets running smoothly.

2. Offer field workers a streamlined mobile app.

Many companies that provide field services have begun to explore the benefits of a mobile app for their field workers. Once logged in, field workers can find all the forms they need in addition to critical information.

Ultimately, you’ll want your mobile app to provide a holistic form management solution. Each form or piece of content, from contracts to videos, should serve a key purpose and feel completely intuitive. Take the time to find out what your field service technicians need on a day-to-day basis. Then deliver those items within the app. 

3. Focus on improving the customer experience.

Customers want their field service encounters to be seamless and stress-free. Modern field service management software programs can help. Texting or emailing a pre-built invoice, sales, and billing forms right away eliminates the worry that these documents will be lost in the mail. And it makes logical and practical sense that a field worker can update a service contract.

Whenever you can, think about ways your organization can use field service management software to exceed customers’ expectations. Even if all you do is make your field workers’ jobs easier and more efficient, you should see a direct correlation in improved customer satisfaction ratings.

Digital transformation isn't the simplest of tasks but being strategic about future-proofing your field service management will open the door to positive opportunities and a stronger connection with the people your field team serves.

About The Author

Burak Ciflikli is the COO of Jotform.