Paul Whitelam | 10.25.17
Summary >

Across industries, modern-day customers demand new levels of real-time communication and visibility when it comes to field service. Unfortunately, legacy solutions and approaches limit organizations from satisfying these growing expectations. The good news is that field service scheduling software is evolving to help deliver exceptional service without compromising profitability. As technology changes the very nature of software, your organization should look for opportunities to take advantage of new capabilities that improve your bottom line and customer satisfaction ratings.

Improving Consistency Across Omnichannel Customer Communication

Outdated processes and technology once forced customers to “start from scratch” each time they interacted with a company or service rep. When it comes to scheduling services, customers increasingly want streamlined communication – and they want it via the channel of their choice.

Today, your service organization can pick up where it left off with customers, no matter the channel. Whether a customer sent an email, used online chat, or spoke to a rep on the phone, the latest field service scheduling software can log these interactions. That means anyone in your company interfacing with the customer has all relevant knowledge at their disposal. And this directly translates into a personalized interaction, leaving customers beaming with pleasure instead of fuming in frustration.

Making Dispatch and Work Order Management More Efficient

There will come a day when customers expect on-demand service. Until that time arrives, your field service organization can at least make the manual dispatch process more automated. Calling upon the algorithms and automation enabled by today’s technology, you can bring dispatch into the modern era.

The likes of emergency protocols, traffic protocols, and real-time updates are enabling dispatch models and modules that allow dispatch professionals to maintain a level of efficiency never before thought possible.

Imagine having access to real-time route information, tech activity while on-site, and notices when jobs are completed. Such insights make it possible for your dispatch manager to keep track of field technicians and job status with ease. And what about being able to predict travel issues (such as traffic congestion and seasonal weather disruptions) to reduce idle time, better plan travel time, and allow for backup resources to step in quickly when necessary?

All that is possible today.

Smart field service scheduling software can also map service technicians’ schedules against customer needs to identify opportunities for greater efficiency. As a result, your organization can assign a mix of high and low priority jobs to technicians, reserving capacity for emergency work without impacting the overall flow of assignments. Moreover, today’s software can deliver alerts and real-time updates so your leadership team is aware of scheduling concerns – and improvements.

Hand in hand with this, relational databases and predictive intelligence are unlocking greater personalization. Picture using predictive software to analyze data gathered across all company systems and get insights that enable proactive work order management. This same technology can be used, for example, to identify the percentage of customers experiencing the same issue, pinpoint when they are likely to experience the issue, and understand the average amount of technician time required to address the issue. By proactively scheduling time to replace or update parts or products before an issue occurs, your field service organization can ensure customers don’t experience disruption – and do it as efficiently as possible.

Delivering the Uber-like Experiences Customers Expect

We all know that the modern businesses like Uber have revolutionized customer interactions. When it comes to field service, the demand for Uber-like experiences is real. Specifically, customers crave a way to understand technician location and exact arrival time. Fortunately, field service scheduling software and other advanced technology is evolving to enable more personalized, real-time interactions.

Waiting for a field service visit – or dealing with a tardy or no-show technician – all can be detrimental to the overall customer experience. Combine this with the fact that most field service organizations still rely on phone calls to communicate with customers, and it’s easy to see why customers feel exasperated.

Streamlining the appointment booking process can go a long way to improving the customer experience. Customers hate feeling they are wasting valuable time waiting for a technician to arrive. Your organization can use scheduling software that empowers them to book a day and time of their choice – through their preferred channel, whether that be mobile, web, or via phone.

Another way to enter the modern era is to outfit your field service dispatch center and technicians with real-time mobile tracking and, “Uberized” channels such as social media and SMS texts. Mobile tracking enabled via your website or custom app empowers your customers to keep tabs on the technician’s location. At the same time, communicating with customers via social media or text brings them the real-time interaction that eases their worries about when and if a technician will show up.

Sometimes the resolution to a customer issue requires a repair away from the customer’s location, such as repairing a downed telecommunications line. These scenarios can be especially frustrating for customers who feel blind to the repair process. In addition, answer the call by outfitting your technicians with wearables such as smartwatches. Using these, they can transmit service data and job updates via voice recognition back to headquarters. By bringing your techs online while on the job, you are empowered to deliver real-time updates to customers across all channels.

Delivering consistently good customer service and keeping pace with ever-evolving customer demands is no small feat. However, by taking advantage of the latest field service scheduling software powered by advanced technologies, your organization can satisfy expectations efficiently. That means you grow your competitive advantage and your profits.

Keep your organization ahead of important trends by subscribing to the ClickSoftware blog.