Why Your Field Service Business Should Leverage Knowledge Management
Any business has to rely on an abundance of informational resources for its survival. But none of these sources are valuable if you cannot access or easily navigate through the ocean of data. Hence, it’s critical for companies to have a proper process or system to collect, organize, and share information to improve the knowledge base of their team. Knowledge management, also known as information management, is a systematic approach to capture knowledge and manage it as an asset. It allows people to connect with the information they need. Here are five compelling reasons to co-opt knowledge management tools for your field service set-up, and how to go about it.
1. Deliver Consistent Customer Experience
One of the key elements of knowledge management is aggregating information in a central repository. Field service technicians and agents can tap on such a repository to deliver outstanding customer experience. Customer expectations are rising with the advent of digitalization. To survive the competition, you need to be customer-centric and re-orient your systems and processes to focus on the customer. Today’s customers engage with the brand through mobile apps, websites, phones, online channels, or social media. They prefer to gain a consistent experience across all these digital touchpoints. They dislike starting afresh every time they make a conversation with a brand.
Related Reading: Keeping Your Field Service Customers Satisfied In The Digital Era
This is where knowledge management tools can help. A technician or agent who deals with the customer logs in the details to a central repository. The next executive engaging with the same customer gets access to such info at his fingertips. An analytic engine chips in with supporting information such as customer preferences and other valuable cues. The agent engages with the customer as a continuation of the earlier session and appeals to his preferences. A centralized repository eliminates issues related to data silos and fragmented content. A cloud depository ensures anytime, anywhere availability, 100% uptime, and keeps costs in check.
2. Better, Effective Service
Knowledge management facilitates effective collaboration, aimed at sharing knowledge. Knowledge sharing allows technicians to improve efficiency and eliminate re-visits. For the customer, it shortens wait times. The knowledge repository should be easy to access and navigate and well-organized. It should also support powerful keyword-based search, which enhances productivity.
Consider an instance where a technician assigned to do a job cannot do the fix, owing to some complicity. Knowledge management allows easy access to information, allowing the technician to do the fix and prevent a re-visit.
A good knowledge management system is one that:
- co-opts instructional videos, interactive schematics, and 3D parts catalogs that offer technicians a wide variety of resources to do the job well.
- support Augmented Reality, video chats, and chatbots to enable high-level collaboration on-the-job.
- offers instant information to the technicians using the Google-like search feature. Most enterprises have an ecosystem of disparate databases and field technicians waste valuable time searching for information.
3. Simplify and Organize Implicit Information
Explicit data such as how-to guides, memos, and other factual materials are easy to document and access. Codifying tacit knowledge, such as experiential and intuitive know-how is equally crucial. Documenting and storing implicit information such as rapport with a customer, the attitude or approach to the task, and relationship patterns with the customer are significant to manage the future service requests.
Tacit knowledge often makes a difference and leads to breakthroughs.
Here are a few ways enterprises can codify tacit knowledge:
- Detailed onboarding documents and periodic plans
- Mentoring programs at various levels
- Periodic one-on-ones with team leads
- Software and tools to track insights from meetings
A good knowledge management suite co-opts such initiatives. It offers critical insights to back up the motivational pep-talk.
4. Pre-Empting the Ill-Effect of Employee Churn
In a service company, employee resignation means losing years of inculcated environment-specific experience. The company loses a treasure-trove of practical knowledge imbibed at work.
Effective knowledge management tools, mitigate the damage. Recording information in a central depository captures the field technician’s valuable expertise. Categorizing it through keywords and intelligent indexing makes it accessible to others. The new employee, referring to such information goes through a smaller learning curve.
5. Analytic-Based Improvements
A centralized knowledge management system:
- Tracks a technician’s usage of resources to offer cues on training needs.
- Offers insights on skills and services in demand, for top management to fine-tune strategies.
- Identifies consistent top performers and codifies their work practices.
- Combines a powerful analytic engine to glean useful insights.
An ideal knowledge management system is one that emulates Google’s mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”, at an enterprise level.
ReachOut offers a structured way to collect, store and retrieve information. The cloud-based FSM suite, accessible through intuitive mobile apps, works online and offline, allowing technicians to access information even in remote locations. It offers flexible and scalable ways to organize knowledge effectively and boost the productivity of your field service reps. Contact us to learn how ReachOut can impact your bottom line.
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