Assisting new employees in the field

When you start working in a new position, most people are overwhelmed with information. Nowadays, even the most simple day jobs require employees to follow standard procedures and knowledge around what to do in specific situations. Most people can quickly learn the 80 % normal situations. But what about the 20% non-standard situations. These can normally be handled easily when you work on the same location, and can get help from colleagues. But happens if you have an entire staff of field workers?

Example: The evolution of complexity in parcel delivery

Any profitable delivery company or courier will have a workforce consisting mostly of field workers delivering parcels. Initially in the history of delivery, the documentation you had for actually having delivered a parcel was a signature on document.

Signatures on paper is so embarrassing for logistics/delivery companies that we had to find a stock photo to show this. No serious delivery company would show a picture of this anymore. It is all history.

Delivery companies were some of the first companies to implement handheld devices as PDA’s, palm pilots, and mobile devices to their field workers (deliverymen and couriers). Below is an example from the Canadian Post:

The PDA of Canadian Post.

Using these devices gave the possibility of tracking delivery, and gave their customers electronic evidence that parcel and goods had been delivered. With these devices, new possibilities and opportunities emerged for the delivery companies. Besides documentation, these devices could be used for all kinds of data logging. And many new procedures were created around the devices. Two main use cases are:

  • “Parcel delivered”, where the customer signs and the deliveryman or courier logs the delivery.
  • “Customer not home”, where the courier finds the option on the device and logs that he was not able to handover the parcel.

For most delivery companies these two scenarios cover 80% for the work. All new employees can learn that. But the last 20% consists of hundreds of other scenarios, most were developed for these devices. Scenarios such as:

  • Customer refused to accept delivery
  • Customer ID seen
  • Parcel placed in front of door in agreement with sender
  • Address not found
  • Missing address information
  • Not delivered on time
  • Delivered express
    …and the list goes on.

These possibilities are hiding in a UX nightmare of large menus and lists. With the implementation of mass consumer devices like Android devices, the list of possibilities has just grown — including payment.
With these internal and non-intuitive apps new employees have to waste time navigating through all the possible options. This isn’t something something you’d want to be doing if you’re already late on your delivery route. As you can see below, the user interface can be quite complicated:

New employees get confused by the endless possibilities.

Since the field worker have nowhere to get help before they get back to the office, the result is that new employees do nothing or put in the wrong data.

Over time, this lack of knowledge can turn into bad habits. While I worked in the delivery industry, this was a daily battle: Getting employees to actually do the right thing — because they never learned it due to being in the field.

To give you an idea of the consequence of putting in wrong data; it often means that the parcel will be unnecessarily redelivered (very costly) or returned (angry customer).

So what can you do to help field workers in a critical situation like this?

Guide the new field worker in the moment of uncertainty

By adding a simple help button, new delivery employees can get help to put in the right data in the moment of uncertainty.

GoToAssist Concierge is a new product that can be used to solve the onboarding problem for field workers by providing the possibility to get help from the back office. Experts in the back office can guide the new employees directly on the screen, can help the field worker complete the right data entry in as fast as 20 seconds.

By adding a simple button, the new employee can directly contact the back office. The distribution manager or an experienced employee can quickly help the new field worker select the right category and continue on his route without faulty entries. Below we’ve shown how the back office (distribution manager or experienced employee) sees the mobile device of the new employee and can guide him directly in the situation he is in.

Experienced employee showing the new employee how the mobile app is used.

Add it to your internal mobile apps today

GoToAssist Concierge is free. Yes, you read that right. Why? Because we want to know what you think. As Concierge grows, you’ll be able to try new beta features and share feedback on how useful they are. Eventually, some of the beta functionality will be offered as part of a premium Concierge plan. But the free plan will still be free. The free plan includes unlimited users and up to 1,000 support sessions per month. It also provides three application keys, so you can add Concierge to three different mobile apps.

Learn more and sign up today at