6 Common problems of Field Service Management

Field Service Management itself is a big challenge involving multiple levels of coordination.

With the digital evolution of businesses marking the revolution in working and marketing, it has become inescapable to adopt technology. Amidst all the aspects of field service management, effective strategies are needed to meet customer expectations, balance the workforce and come up with the profit figures.

Every business tries its best to overcome the challenges and get the success. But, it’s a herculean task for the field service managers to accomplish the targets and achieve results from all directions. Considering the echelon of competition, the impact of social media, fear of failure, financial constraints, and long-term survival, it is advised to take each decision smartly.

Irrespective of the industry and strength of an organisation, following widespread problems are faced while dealing with field service management, which should be tackled to achieve the ultimate goals:

Just like customers expect from the company for the products and the price they pay, the company relies on its employees to meet these expectations. This raises a concern that field workers who are away from the premises, are in reality maintaining their schedules. It’s definitely helpful to know about field service staff’s real-time location, their performance as per their skills & utilisation of duty hours. Tracking your field workforce whilst they are in the field, assists in allocating them work-orders, manage the task distribution & handle more requests from the customers in a day.

A field service management application for the workers to coordinate with the back-office time using service desk has proven to be the solution. You can see all your workers’ location, automation can schedule & dispatch jobs, track their hours & monitor the incoming customer requests with ease.

Use of field service management solution for mobile workforce has reported a 47% increase in the rate of jobs completed each day & 77% reduction in overtime.

Budget directives hunt every field service manager to make a profit for the organisation while maintaining equilibrium between quality of service for customers and number of workers. For the large businesses, although, they have high strength of employees, it should be noted that underused resources can decrease the profit and savings. SMBs have to keep a strict watch on extracting maximum performance from their limited number of field employees & retain their customers.

As per a research, that was done by The Service Council:

The average first-time fix rate for an organization is around 77%. That means that the field technician has to do at least one follow-up visit on about 23% of all service calls. This affects costs, asset availability, and in some cases, response time.

To achieve high first-time fix ratio, it is a wise move to employ field service management software that comes with intelligent automation. It allows for skill-based task distribution, having complete details beforehand enables the worker to visit the location with much readiness & succeed at fist attempt.

While providing a customer with better services, increasing the company’s reputation & making most of the available resources, there arises a question for the safety of workers going out to hazardous locations. It is one of the primary issues for many businesses to be in constant touch or have a way to connect to their workers to handle emergencies. Field service is a segment where many jobs involve a degree of risk to complete it. So, it becomes much necessary & organisation’s responsibility to trace & interact with their worker when they are doing such jobs.

A study revealed that 38% of employees left their field service management companies because of negligence consideration to their safety. Following which, the time and cost spent in the process to hire and train new employees cause a significant expense to the organisation.

Lone Worker application installed in field worker’s smartphone or tablet enables them to use “Check-in” button, set a timely reminder and notify the back-office time to send help if the worker does not respond in that time interval.

Customer relationship management practices adopted by any organisation have a huge impact to sustain their business. Retaining existing customers and gaining new ones requires attending each of them with equal attention. But, what if your executives spend their time only in answering same questions again and again? And if a customer is not answered, negative feedback on social media can prove to be a big setback. The confusion here — whether to allow your team to attend only customer calls or ask them to focus more on productivity in their work?

The right solution is the Customer module of field service software solution. A branded customer facing app and a dedicated self-service channel which notifies & assist them at every stage of their request. It reduces the number of calls & increases customer trust with effective CRM.

A holistic and comprehensive field service management solution has proven to reduce a customer’s typical four- or eight-hour wait window to one hour and give a satisfactory 98% positive customer experience.

Every company needs sharp and clear figures to analyse and compare their goals to the real outcome. One cannot blindly continue their practices and suffer later. It is always prudent to take future decisions based on the statistics & current scenario. But, do manual methods result in precise analytics? There has to be a provision to see the present situation and foresee what can be future if we continue the same techniques which will define the ultimate success. Emphasis should be to achieve workforce productivity, enhance customer experience with KPI & assist decision-makers.

Dashboard and reporting module of FSM (field service management) solution is designed for the decision makers to check the current trends of their customers, monitor the staff performance, know the product demands & get crystal clear reports for assessment. Analytics are useful to check and monitor the progress.

Correct decisions and automated processes help to achieve around 83% increased service delivery without increasing the strength of workforce. It also fosters growth and performance with necessary measures.

The crucial yet indecisive factor to know what is the exact way to arrive at the conclusion of service delivery optimisation & meet customer expectations. Industries consider many options like increasing workforce, increasing budget, employing more centres, attracting customers across mediums & more. But, there’s no point in gaining the customers and losing them by being lesser than your competitors. Neither will it help to have more people working without streamlined process where few are over-occupied & some have no clue about what to do. Over few years, software for field service management has proven its benefits to balance all these needs.

End-to-end management of requests with field service software that can be customised to meet all your requirements is the game changer. Advanced features like auto-routing, auto-scheduling, address picker, document upload, knowledge management, personalised themes, offline access & easy integration with existing business systems are the perfect cloud solution.

A company could save £91,400 and increase the profit by 46.8% and all delivered with ROI of just 2 months after they transformed their work using cloud-based Field service software solution!

Originally published at www.itouchvision.com on April 8, 2016.