The 2020 Change Management Plan For Your Field Service Business

It is time to make New Year’s resolutions. Field service management decision-makers need to do well to end outdated practices. Practices past sell-by-date breed inefficiency and drag down the business. 
Here is a change management action plan that your field service business needs to implement in 2020 to drive success and growth. 
Related Reading: What 2020 Holds In Store For Field Service Industry

1. Ditch Manual Scheduling

Manual scheduling is error-prone and inefficient. It takes away valuable time that you can otherwise spend on core revenue-generating activities. Scheduling delays and blind dark spots prevent the business from seizing opportunities. 
Even without such drawbacks, scheduling is a complex task. Effective scheduling entails correlating a host of variables such as:

  • Work orders,
  • Emergency and routine maintenance,
  • Technician skill set,
  • Employee leaves,
  • Travel time to the client location,
  • Equipment tracking, and
  • SLA compliance.

Automated scheduling factors in such variables with ease, and schedules with 100% accuracy. It optimizes agent time and ensures the right agent does the right job. Adopt an FSM suite like ReachOut to automate your work order management and task scheduling.

2. Avoid Shadow IT

Many field service managers and supervisors customize ad-hoc Excel sheets and other software to undertake specific tasks. Once comfortable with it, they do not bother to press for a proper enterprise-level solution from their IT team. 
Such ad-hoc arrangements harm your enterprise IT:

  • Legacy or manual systems block your visibility into field service operations. Lack of visibility prevents managers from making proactive interventions to solve pressing issues.
  • This will also lead to data silos that inhibit your analytics. Analytics enables you to make customer-focused decisions, crucial in today’s competitive age.
  • It allows cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities in a weak application and can cause a slip-up of commitments through the loss of data in transit.
  • It creates a disjointed experience for your customers.

3. Resolve Opacity

Opacity breeds inefficiency and degrades the customer experience.
In today’s Uberized world, clients expect to know the exact location of their technician. Most clients expect live tracking of technicians as a basic service.
A good field management suite goes beyond the ability to track the technician’s location. 
An ideal FSM software is one that;

  • Leverages predictive solutions such as Google Maps, to estimate travel times and offer an ETA.
  • Commits to an appointment based on travel estimates.
  • Factor in live traffic updates on the day of service and unforeseen delays at the earlier client location, to change ETA.
  • At the back-end, a good field management suite offer supervisors live insights to fix trouble spots and cut slack.

4. Minimize Wait Times

A long delay between making a service appointment and a technician arriving for the service puts off clients. 60% of consumers rate service as poor when they experience a long delay. They expect technicians to attend emergency jobs within two hours.
A field management suite optimizes technician allotment and reduces wait times. But a field service suite is of little use without qualified technicians. Businesses need to hire extra hands or train technicians to shorten the wait time.
Field service businesses need to invest in collaboration and augmented reality solutions to enhance the customer experience.

  • A strong collaborative suite allows the technician to connect with a skilled resource at a remote location.
  • Augmented reality solutions allow technicians to effect a fix through hands-free instructions.

These technologies enable resolution without putting off complicated repairs for another day.

5. Stop Being Complacent with the Status Quo

For a field service business, it is important to keep up with the growth of technology or changing customer expectations.
Leading field service managers invest in Artificial Intelligence and IoT to enhance their customer experience.

  • Artificial Intelligence predicts the nature of equipment failure and aids predictive maintenance. 
  • Tracking machines under service contract using IoT sensors enable proactive service.
  • Linking field management suite with inventory makes sure the technician goes to the client location with the correct spares.
  • New technologies such as deploying drones and Augmented Reality aided fix will improve efficiency and increase ROI. 

Related Reading: How IoT and AI is Driving Field Service Innovation

6. Ditch Piecemeal Solutions

It is common for enterprises to develop different solutions for different functions, over time. Soon an ecosystem of disparate piecemeal software comes into play. A good new year resolution for field service enterprises is to ditch legacy piecemeal software or integrate it into a comprehensive field management suite. 
A complete field management solution ensures the seamless flow of data. It offers

  • Visibility into the entire gamut of operations. The relevant stakeholders get real-time information, enabling prompt action. 
  • A robust and secure digital ecosystem 
  • Efficient allocation of resources and better scheduling
  • An advanced FSM will enable marketers to make informed commitments and take up only realistic goals.

7. Stop Ignoring Customer Service

Many field service businesses equip and train technicians only on technical aspects. They ignore customer service. Field service technicians are often the only face-to-face contact for customers.
Consider technicians as brand ambassadors. Train them in soft skills, to deliver the best service possible. Technicians who leave a good impression on customers double your chance of the customers coming back to you for repeated service.
Related Reading: Keeping Your Field Service Customers Satisfied In The Digital Era
Field service businesses succeed when they meet or exceed customer expectations. Work towards a culture of placing the customer first in everything. With customer expectations constantly shifting, this is routine rather than one-off. Even top customer-focused enterprises cannot afford to rest on their laurels. ReachOut offers the world’s most affordable field services organizer. Get in touch with us to learn how ReachOut can transform your field service business in 2020.

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Aarathy is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at ReachOut Suite. She is majorly into content marketing and focuses on getting the messaging right across a host of marketing collaterals. While not working on content, you can find her juggling SEO, social media, branding and more. She enjoys exploring new frontiers in digital marketing and the associated challenges keep her going.

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