Evolutionary Trends in Field Service Scheduling Software

There was a time when field service companies relied on paper and pen scheduling methods. Then with the time, the service scheduling process became a bit more complex. To help them in the process, paper pad and printed calendar gave way to spreadsheet based scheduling.  These minor improvements helped were not sufficient in resolving  the problems and complexity of service management.

Today, new generation of field service software like Field Force Tracker are revolutionizing the field service industry.  Field Force Tracker efficiently manages scheduling of work force. It is very easy to move around schedules and re-assign resources as needed.  This leads to better utilization of resources.

Changing Field Service Needs

Across industries, modern-day customers demand new levels of real-time communication and visibility when it comes to field service. Unfortunately, legacy solutions and approaches limit organizations from satisfying these growing expectations. The good news is that field service scheduling software is evolving to help deliver exceptional service without compromising profitability. As technology changes the very nature of software, your organization should look for opportunities to take advantage of new capabilities that improve your bottom line and customer satisfaction ratings.

Improving Customer Communication

Outdated processes and technology once forced customers to “start from scratch” each time they interacted with a company or service rep. When it comes to scheduling services, customers increasingly want streamlined communication – and they want it via the channel of their choice.

Today, your service organization can pick up where it left off with customers, no matter the channel. Whether a customer sent an email, used online chat, or spoke to a rep on the phone, the latest field service scheduling software can log these interactions. That means anyone in your company interfacing with the customer has all relevant knowledge at their disposal. And this directly translates into a personalized interaction, leaving customers beaming with pleasure instead of fuming in frustration.

Making Dispatch and Work Order Management More Efficient

There will come a day when customers expect on-demand service. Until that time arrives, your field service organization can at least make the manual dispatch process more automated. Calling upon the algorithms and automation enabled by today’s technology, you can bring dispatch into the modern era.

The likes of emergency protocols, traffic protocols, and real-time updates are enabling dispatch models and modules that allow dispatch professionals to maintain a level of efficiency never before thought possible.

Imagine having access to real-time route information, tech activity while on-site, and notices when jobs are completed. Such insights make it possible for your dispatch manager to keep track of field technicians and job status with ease. And what about being able to predict travel issues (such as traffic congestion and seasonal weather disruptions) to reduce idle time, better plan travel time, and allow for backup resources to step in quickly when necessary?

Field Force Tracker Can Do This All Today

Smart field service scheduling software can also map service technicians’ schedules against customer needs to identify opportunities for greater efficiency. As a result, your organization can assign a mix of high and low priority jobs to technicians, reserving capacity for emergency work without impacting the overall flow of assignments. Moreover, today’s software can deliver alerts and real-time updates so your leadership team is aware of scheduling concerns – and improvements.

Hand in hand with this, relational databases and predictive intelligence are unlocking greater personalization. Picture using predictive software to analyze data gathered across all company systems and get insights that enable proactive work order management. This same technology can be used, for example, to identify the percentage of customers experiencing the same issue, pinpoint when they are likely to experience the issue, and understand the average amount of technician time required to address the issue. By proactively scheduling time to replace or update parts or products before an issue occurs, your field service organization can ensure customers don’t experience disruption – and do it as efficiently as possible.

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Delivering Seamless Experience to Customers

We all know that the modern businesses have revolutionized customer interactions. When it comes to field service, the demand for better experiences is real. Specifically, customers crave a way to understand technician location and exact arrival time. Fortunately, field service scheduling software and other advanced technology is evolving to enable more personalized, real-time interactions.

 

Waiting for a field service visit – or dealing with a tardy or no-show technician – all can be detrimental to the overall customer experience. Combine this with the fact that most field service organizations still rely on phone calls to communicate with customers, and it’s easy to see why customers feel exasperated.

 

Streamlining the appointment booking process can go a long way to improving the customer experience. Customers hate feeling they are wasting valuable time waiting for a technician to arrive. Your organization can use scheduling software that empowers them to book a day and time of their choice – through their preferred channel, whether that be mobile, web, or via phone.

Utilizing Mobile Solutions

Another way to enter the modern era is to outfit your field service dispatch center and technicians with real-time mobile tracking and, social media channels such as social media and SMS texts. Mobile tracking enabled via your website or custom app empowers your customers to keep tabs on the technician’s location. At the same time, communicating with customers via social media or text brings them the real-time interaction that eases their worries about when and if a technician will show up.

Sometimes the resolution to a customer issue requires a repair away from the customer’s location, such as repairing a downed telecommunications line. These scenarios can be especially frustrating for customers who feel blind to the repair process. In addition, answer the call by outfitting your technicians with wearables such as smartwatches. Using these, they can transmit service data and job updates via voice recognition back to headquarters. By bringing your techs online while on the job, you are empowered to deliver real-time updates to customers across all channels.

Delivering consistently good customer service and keeping pace with ever-evolving customer demands is no small feat. However, by taking advantage of the latest field service scheduling software powered by advanced technologies, your organization can satisfy expectations efficiently. That means you grow your competitive advantage and your profits.

Best Field Service Software

About Field Force Tracker

Field Force Tracker (http://www.fieldforcetracker.com) is a leading global provider of its award winning mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Our solutions enable businesses of all sizes (from 1 user to 10,000 users) to meet the challenges associated with managing and running complex service operations. It helps in improving the productivity of their mobile workforce.

With Field Force Tracker, customers can create service schedule and route quickly, dispatch sooner, collect correct information at once in the field and invoice faster. The field service software makes it easy for users to eliminate waste, get more done in less time and be more profitable.

Field Force Tracker is a wholly owned unit of Rapidsoft Systems Inc. (http://www.rapidsoftsystems.com). Rapidsoft Systems, Inc. has its main office in Princeton, NJ, USA, a US R&D Center in Mercerville NJ, and sales, support and development offices in Palo Alto, CA, USA, Singapore, Dubai (UAE), Bombay, and Noida (India).

Benefiting with Mobile Workforce Management

Smartphones have changed everything around us.  They have made it possible to have data on finger tips at all times.  The constant availability of connectivity has revolutionized the field service industry. More and more organizations are migrating their field force from paper based work orders to completing work orders using Mobile Applications.

Field Force Tracker  represents the best of the breed Field service management software. It comes with powerful field service mobile applications for iPhone and Android phones and tablet. Field technicians can perform most of the tasks using these applications.

Understanding Benefits of Smart Phones for Field Service

Mobility, mobile workforce, and mobile workforce management software are all top of mind for today’s field service executives. After all, in a smartphone-saturated world, most companies rely on workforce mobility to some degree. But like many, you may wonder what exactly this all means. Are the terms interchangeable? Do they describe different aspects of the same framework? How do new technologies change mobile apps and services?

At Field Force Tracker, mobility is at the heart of everything we do. We believe in mobility as the great differentiator in field service. Crack the mobility nut, and everything else falls into place.

In the following paragraphs, we share real-world insights on modern mobile workforce management in the hopes that it helps you harness the power of mobility.

Defining Mobile Workforce Management

In an increasingly connected, mobile, and customer-centric world, modern mobile workforce management requires every field service organization to compete on the basis of satisfying customer expectations with frictionless, remarkable experiences. And organizations are now held to the highest standards set by the likes of consumer companies like Amazon and Uber. Simply put, answer the call for seamless, transparent, responsive service and real-time assistance—or go by the wayside.

Delivering on this mandate means every field service manager, dispatcher, and technician needs real-time access to the right information in the right context, at the right time. And they get that through mobility.

Mobility puts valuable information about parts availability, expert assistance, documentation about the problem or asset, and more in the hands of field technicians. But it also enables dispatchers and managers to receive real-time status updates from the field. With access to information everywhere and anywhere, mobility empowers field supervisors in many ways. They can confidently make real-time updates to schedules, locate a replacement tech to handle an appointment for a delayed technician, assign an emergency service call to a nearby tech, and even manage and train technicians in the field. And they can do this from a mobile device while in the field.

So what software and technology is needed to enable mobility in the field? First is easy-to-learn software—built on industry best practices—that delivers accurate, up-to-the-second data to a well designed, user-friendly, continually updated mobile app.

However, savvy field service executives are connecting mobile device management, the Internet of Things (IoT), automated scheduling, and big data to further advantage. Smartphones connected to IoT sensors in homes, factories, and more provide technicians and scheduling software with real-time data and diagnostics. These sensors can even inform technicians about faulty equipment before a customer complains. With IoT and big-data-crunching capabilities, organizations now accurately predict service volumes and automatically schedule accordingly.

Barriers to Adoption of Mobile Solutions

With a clear imperative to deliver higher levels of customer service faster and better than ever, you would think mobile workforce management would be seeing rapid uptake. While field service organizations grasp the benefits of adopting this software, they must address a few issues on their path to modernization.

First are the typical difficulties that come with deploying new technology:

  • Getting buy-in to make a change
  • Ensuring proper deployment and integrations
  • Training employees to make mobility part of their daily routine

This brings us to the second biggest barrier: aging technicians who push back on new ways of working. Change isn’t usually welcomed by anyone, but older generations in particular can be obstinate about embracing new technologies. Getting these experienced, skilled workers on board is essential to success.

Finally, organizations cannot overlook the costs associated with a mobile workforce management initiative. The expense to introduce any new technology can spiral out of control if the project isn’t managed well and adoption issues aren’t overcome.

Deploying Mobile Solutions

Despite the challenges, mobility is a worthwhile and strategic initiative. Organizations that take a strategic approach to mobile workforce management can reap tremendous benefits. By adopting a workforce mobility solution that meets the most challenging needs of today and supports the field service organization’s future direction, companies can position themselves for ongoing success. Such a solution empowers technicians and managers to satisfy customer expectations for personalized experiences and rapid resolutions that set the company apart.

About Field Force Tracker

Field Force Tracker (http://www.fieldforcetracker.com) is a leading global provider of its award winning mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Our solutions enable businesses of all sizes (from 1 user to 10,000 users) to meet the challenges associated with managing and running complex service operations. It helps in improving the productivity of their mobile workforce.

With Field Force Tracker, customers can create service schedule and route quickly, dispatch sooner, collect correct information at once in the field and invoice faster. The field service software makes it easy for users to eliminate waste, get more done in less time and be more profitable.

Field Force Tracker is a wholly owned unit of Rapidsoft Systems Inc. (http://www.rapidsoftsystems.com). Rapidsoft Systems, Inc. has its main office in Princeton, NJ, USA, a US R&D Center in Mercerville NJ, and sales, support and development offices in Palo Alto, CA, USA, Singapore, Dubai (UAE), Bombay, and Noida (India).