For some customers, field service is the face of the organization. Many times, those one-on-one interactions are the only experience a customer will have with a company. Given that many companies say they are now competing mostly on the basis of customer experience, it is clear how important it is to get field service right.
Whether completing an installation, doing a routine inspection or fixing an issue, it’s important the job is done fast and well to meet the needs of the customer and respect their time. It can be difficult to do under the best of circumstances, which means it can be nearly impossible to accomplish when the worst happens unless you are prepared.
So, how can you prepare your field service operations to be more resilient to handle whatever is next?
The importance of always managing the field service efficiently and safely is leveraged from three main objectives:
1. Complete work the first time
Customers would prefer nothing ever goes wrong, but if it does, they want to have it fixed as smoothly and quickly as possible. They want to schedule control and visibility into the field service visit. And they want the technician to be prepared to do the job the first time.
If you can schedule technicians with the right skills and parts for the task, you can help ensure the job will be completed correctly the first time. To pick the right people for the right job you need:
• Complete visibility into open tasks and technician information, so work orders can be efficiently managed and the ideal technician assigned based on proximity, availability, priority, parts on hand, and the specific skills required.
• Dashboards that give dispatchers real-time visibility into technician progress so they can easily view status and location at any time and monitor SLAs.
• Automated scheduling to assign tasks to the best available technician and free up dispatchers to handle urgent requests and exceptions. Reschedule work automatically if a technician is falling behind to keep SLAs on track.
• A 360° view of the customer by connecting field service and customer service. Not only does this equip your field service technicians with information on the customer’s history, it ensures the customer experience is seamless—from initial contact with customer service to the field service visit to follow up.
2. Fix problems before customers even know they have them
Preventing issues before they happen is the best way to improve customer experience. Completing regularly-scheduled preventive maintenance helps ensure uptime. With IoT and intelligent technology to monitor customer systems, you can also create a work order to dispatch a technician as soon as a potential problem is identified. When that isn’t possible, proactively notifying customers prevents unpleasant surprises and helps earn their trust.
To be able to fix issues before customers even know they have them, look for capabilities that can:
• Automatically schedule preventive maintenance, based on time or usage of an asset, to prevent downtime and improve the overall performance and lifetime value of that product or service.
• Deliver complete visibility into asset details and history to ensure comprehensive, proactive service visits and reduce truck rolls.
• Offer reporting tools that can help identify issues and trends, so steps can be taken to minimize customer impact and optimize technician productivity and efficiency.
• Notify customers of potential issues with built-in communication tools.
3. Improve technician efficiency to meet service level agreements
Meeting service level agreements is key to maintaining customer relationships and avoiding service penalties. It becomes even more critical as some organizations move to outcome-based service models. Maximizing your technician utilization and efficiency can help ensure you fulfill your service contracts.
To empower your technicians, look for a solution that can:
• Provide a mobile application that gives technicians everything they need in the palm of their hands, even when offline. Technicians should have complete visibility into work orders, maps, knowledge articles, parts availability, safety checklists, asset history, and more.
• Optimize routes and schedules to avoid excess travel or technician downtime. Technicians should also be able to avoid unnecessary trips for parts by seeing everything they need for the day’s tasks at once.
• Keep technicians safe and informed with instructions, knowledge articles, and checklists. Ensure correct procedures are followed by collecting feedback along with the work order debrief.
How can ServiceNow help you achieve these goals?
ServiceNow® Field Service Management helps companies efficiently manage location-based work. Customers can use online appointment booking to select the date and time most convenient for them. Dynamic scheduling automates the assignment process, basing it upon skill, travel time, priority, and technician availability. Central dispatch additionally allows dispatchers to easily modify work assignments using a drag-and-drop interface, among many more capabilities.
If you are interested in learning more about ServiceNow, contact us!
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