Barrett Coakley | 07.31.19

The benefits of having a mobile workforce management solution to help deliver a better customer experience is a frequent topic of discussion. However, most of the advice focuses on the new expectations that customers have around service driven by the “uberization” of people’s daily lives. While this is certainly true, there are 2 other areas that should be emphasized around the benefits of mobile and the customer experience.

An Engaged Employee Delivers Better Service

The impact of unengaged employees on an organization is dramatic. Unengaged employees cost the economy billions of dollars a year. Unengaged employees also impacts the ability of your organization to deliver a superior customer experience. In fact, Gallup found that companies in the top quartile of employee engagement experience 10% higher customer ratings. Getting and keeping employees engaged is not an easy undertaking, however, one area that has been shown to help impact engagement is the use of current technology, like mobile devices.

The use of mobile technology impacts employee engagement in a number of different ways, including:

  • Collaboration: Mobile devices provide a channel for technicians to interact with other colleagues and provide a connection to the office to help solve problems and receive advice. The factors that drive higher engagement - such as how employees feel about the work they do - are affected by increased collaboration. A mobile device is a key tool in increasing collaboration
  • Information: Having the complete information on a job enables the employee to better interact with the customer to help them solve their problem. Mobile devices can provide the technician with updated customer information, the ability to communicate with a customer, detailed information on the job itself and the ability to show their location and ETA. All of this information provide an increased level of comfort and control over the situation. These factors help to increase employee engagement as they have the information to properly handle the job and increase the likelihood of a pleasant interaction.

A report from Aruba Networks found that 73% of employees using digital tools reported a positive impact to their productivity and 70% cited improved collaboration. Field service organizations need to eliminate manual and inefficient processes to help drive engagement and a mobile workforce management solution can be an important part of this effort.

Learning and Development Opportunities

Not every employee has the same level of experience and skills, an obvious statement. However, as baby boomers retire and new workers fill these roles, it will be extremely important to train new employees in order to provide good customer service. A mobile device can help in two ways; delivery of mobile courses and use of data to track the duration of jobs to identify training opportunities.

Providing ongoing learning can help speed up the time an employee becomes productive and also helps drive deeper engagement. For example, this report found 52% of high-engagement companies have employees who spend an average of 31–50 hours learning per year compared to only 20% of low-engagement companies. In addition, with more millennials entering the workforce, learning has to become a priority as Gallup found that 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important to them in a job. With mobile devices, organizations can push out personalized courses to help train and engage employees, even when they are not in the office.

Completing jobs in a timely manner is important to controlling costs. However, not every technician is as proficient as they need to be and might need to spend more time on an installation or repair. The key is to try and identify who might be lagging and could use some training to get up to speed more quickly. By tracking individual job duration, you can spot employees that might need training. For example, Katelyn joined the organization 9 months ago. By tracking her job duration, you can see that is taking her 20% longer than other technicians with similar experience to complete an installation. Considering installs are an important driver of revenue, it makes sense to provide Katelyn with additional training or mentorship to increase her performance.

The use of mobile workforce management solutions primarily focuses on improving productivity and the customer experience. However, as with many forms of technology, there are additional nuggets of information that you can get from the data to help improve other operations and processes that might not be so evident at first glance.