In today’s challenging business environment, efficiency improvements are the way to profitability. Many competitors sacrifice margins for market share, preventing rate increases. Service providers can instead optimize service management to reduce operating costs. Optimizing service management also speeds up job execution and reduces errors. Key metrics, such as customer satisfaction and asset utilization, improve. 

The best way to optimize service management is through service management software. Good field service software centralizes information and streamlines operations. It automates processes and enables managers to have greater control over field operations.

1. Automated Scheduling

Scheduling can make or break field service. Scheduling using spreadsheets, whiteboards, or first-generation tools is inefficient, error-prone, and time-consuming. 

Identifying field crews with the relevant skill-sets available to do the job is stressful enough for schedulers. Emergency repairs may cause diverting resources to a non-scheduled work site. Customers often request schedule changes or may cancel a work order altogether. Assigned field agents call in sick or encounter delays at another work site owing to unexpected extra work. Rescheduling jobs leads to scheduling clashes. It could also lead to situations where field technicians work long hours, impairing productivity and safety. It also has a spill-over effect on the other work orders assigned to the same technician. When schedulers reassign jobs manually, they must consider several permutations and combinations. It often leads to mix-ups, such as work remaining unattended or two work crews attending to the same jobs.

Automated scheduling streamlines scheduling and makes the process dynamic. Algorithms link to the HR database holding the technicians’ certifications. It matches the depository details with job requirements and shortlists qualified field agents. 

The software assigns the work order to the nearest eligible field agent to reduce travel time. 

Automated scheduling streamlines scheduling, reduces employee downtime, and speeds up resolution time. Workforce productivity and operational efficiency increase. The field service team does more work with the same resources. 

Read more: A Crystal Ball Gaze Into What’s In Store For Field Service Management In 2022

2. Streamlined routing

Automation of service business software streamlines routing. The field service software integrates with maps and guides field agents through the best routes. Real-time traffic and road blockages mean the shortest route need not always be the fastest or the best route to a work site. Reaching the work site faster allows work crews to cover more sites in a day. Customer wait time reduces, and asset use ratios improve.

3. Improved agent productivity 

Effective service management empowers field agents and improves their productivity. 

The field management software: 

  • Centralize information to enable a single source of truth. Field agents, service managers, and other relevant stakeholders get access through intuitive dashboards. 
  • Enable work crews to access relevant customer details, service history, and work orders. They may also use the app to access product service manuals and troubleshooting guides. 

Empowered field agents become motivated and more committed to their job. The result is better quality, improved first-time fix ratios, and reduced employee turnover. 

4. Better supervisory control over field agents

Field service software routes all incoming service requests through a ticketing system. Assigning a ticket to each customer request makes it easy to track the request to its logical end. The service manager may follow the progress of the work order from job assigning to invoicing.

GPS tracking of field crew locations through the service management app enables real-time control. Managers may track the live locations of agents. They may:

  • Intervene in case of lag to set any issues right.
  • Offer real-time ETA to clients about service delivery, including arrival times and time for resolution.

5. Customer self-service capabilities

Best-in-breed field service software offers a customer portal and mobile apps. These applications, accessible through smartphones, enable self-service capabilities for customers. Customers may 

Make service requests 

  • Ability to change the work order
  • Track the ETA of the assigned field agent
  • View and pay invoices

Customers can do all this through the painstaking process of calling customer support. For the enterprise, the load on support agents reduces. Overall, the self-service capabilities improve the customer experience. 

Read more: 7 Ways an Enterprise Service Management Software Boosts Service Business Growth

6. Dynamic audits and reporting

Service management software offers ready forms and templates. These resources enable:

  • Routing operations through structured workflows, in any order
  • Guiding inspectors through checklists.
  • Auto-population of form fields to improve accuracy.
  • Co-opting images and videos to reports using the agent’s smartphone camera.
  • Auto-generating reports according to the set format.

7. Instant invoicing and payment collection

A comprehensive service business software allows agents to generate invoices on work completion. They may also collect the payment before leaving the work location. 

The service business software collates invoice data from different databases, such as 

  • Time spent by field agents from timesheet logs.
  • Rate and discounts from the work order.
  • Spares are consumed from the inventory management software.

Configuring the field service software with an email client enables auto-dispatch of the invoice to the customer.

Integration with a payment collection portal such as Paypal offers flexible options to customers. Field agents may collect the payment through these platforms before returning from work.

Many businesses underestimate the importance of accurate invoices and timely payments. Timely payment eliminates the need for follow-up and improves the company’s cash flow position.

Service management software such as ReachOut offers service teams a comprehensive tool. The cloud-based platform comes with an extensive feature list and robust technical capabilities. The business may schedule jobs, dispatch work crews, and conduct audits seamlessly. Field crews may access information and collaborate effortlessly. They also get prompt notifications of assigned schedules and changes. The software streamlines workflow, improves efficiency and makes field agents more productive.

ReachOut Suite offers advanced scheduling options such as easy calendar views and drag-and-drop interfaces. A host of customized forms streamline workflows and make inspections easy. Service providers may also upload their customized, stylized forms. They may transition from paper mode to digital mode effortlessly, without disruption. Native integrations and API ensure seamless data flow among enterprise and third-party systems. Connected processes, such as invoicing, take place effortlessly.

With ReachOut, the investment made in the service management software pays back in double-quick time. Efficiency improvements and productivity gains translate to considerable savings in internal costs. Faster project execution and greater control over operations lead to better customer satisfaction. This leads to more positive referrals and returns from customers. 

Connect with our experts today, or try ReachOut Suite for Free!

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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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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