Differentiating Service Delivery: The Time Is Now
Author: Stewart Hill
Just a few days ago, Gartner released their annual Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management which positions ClickSoftware as a Leader. Within their description of the industry and the future opportunities for vendors, they outline a Nexus of Forces: “The convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobility, cloud and information patterns that drive new business scenarios.” In other circles, this convergence is simply abbreviated to SoMoClo: The Social Mobile Cloud.
Gartner isn’t alone in their thinking either: Aberdeen Group has tracked the emergence and subsequent maturation and convergence of SoMoClo since 2009. In their May 2012 update, they reveal that “Only 20-25% [of service organizations] have a dedicated social team [or strategy]”, “34% of organizations are using mobile field service applications”, “Less than 20% have deployed cloud-based applications”, and “46% indicate that cloud computing will impact their automation roadmap in 2012.” Given these figures there is clearly a long way to go before an integrated approach to SoMoClo becomes the norm.
Gartner supports this view in their recent Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management citing: “We’ve found the adoption of these technologies lagging, and see it as a missed opportunity for service businesses.”
Product and service commoditization, and equalization of prices often means that he current era of delivering service to customers is becoming highly focused on differentiating the service itself. Those service businesses who can embrace SoMoClo technologies stand the best chance of differentiating themselves by providing unique and fulfilling customer service experiences.
ClickSoftware provides numerous products and mobile applications that support this growth in collaborative SoMoClo to improve customer service and customer efficiencies, alongside improving internal employee productivity through a variety of optimizations. ClickSoftware offers a platform for all the above – not just one or two-point solutions – by integrating social, mobility, cloud, optimization and Artificial Intelligence technologies to improve customer service and workforce productivity.
- Group-level Optimization: Optimize the allocation of people to jobs and time slots at the group level, minimizing overall travel, and maximizing overall SLA performance.
- Worker-level Optimization: After allocating jobs to a specific technician, their productivity and customer service is further optimized through providing administrative solutions such as timesheets, compliance aids, and selling aids.
- Customer-level Optimization: Optimize the customers’ experiences by maximizing the output of services for the minimum customer input (e.g. time) using web-based appointment booking, technician estimated arrival time, and proactive notifications by text messaging, voice, social media, and email.
- Community-level Optimization: In any medium, large, or catastrophic crisis (or event) there is a need to coordinate, optimize, and communicate both to, and between, numerous, diverse, and sometimes massive workforces (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, 911 Emergency Services).
It is the technology underneath the SoMoClo integration and collaboration that drives business change and collaboration across all of these levels. If such credible industry analysts are correct in their forecasts, this is set to explode in 2013 and laggard service businesses will be left behind indefinitely.