Managing Field Service Operations in the Mobile Era

The growth and adaption of mobile technologies has revolutionized everything.   Field Employees are no longer happy using paper based forms and bulky registers.   Good technicians are ambassador of your company and core assets. It is important to keep them happy on the job. It is is going to reflect on services that they will provide.  This article describes how cloud based Field Service CRM like Field Force Tracker can help you in increasing job satisfaction and at the same time, improve your company’s profitability.

Field service engineers have life blood of your service business. They have more face-to-face contact with customers than any other part of a business. They’re responsible for all sales, installation, maintenance, support, and other tasks that require direct access to the products and services a business provides. They also have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction and relationships. Now they want to use mobile devices, mobile enabled software and mobile forms based software. Is your company ready to provide all this?

Reducing Operational Costs of Field Service Delivery

Managing operational costs in a business is vital.  Field service depends upon keeping the operation costs down.  There are many variables that can affect profitability of a business. Hence, it is necessary to optimize every opportunity to keep costs down. Daily operational expenses such as rising fuel costs, high employee overhead and low first-time fix rates, and employee churn contribute to it.  It makes it challenging to maintain control of operational expenses in the field service business.

The recent published research shows the list if issue that service company face. On the top of the list is keeping operational cost down, improving employee utilization and stretching market dollars. When asked by small business owners about their main issues in running the service business, here are the key issues cited:

  • Rents of office spaces
  • Parts and Inventory Costs
  • Fuel and vehicle maintenance
  • Marketing and Advertising Costs
  • Back office Accounting Support services

Deploying Field Force Tracker – The best of breed Field Service Software

Field service software like Field Force Tracker can help in addressing these issues. It provides features that address precisely these concerns:

  • Employee Management
  • Job Scheduling and Assignment
  • Easy Dispatching with Ability to Reschedule Jobs
  • Single Click Assignment and Re-scheduling
  • Advance Inventory Management
  • Advance Service Contract Management
  • Customer, Job and Employee History
  • Customer Portals, GPS tracking and Google Maps
  • Web Service Ticket Management
  • Payroll Management
  • Timesheets, daily Clock In and Clockout
  • Invoices, Estimates and Quotes.
  • We have 100s of more features and customizable Settings

To reduce for variable costs, a business can move to stabilize OPEX by restricting the possibilities of revenue leakage. For example, a company that’s managing day-to-day operations with a paper and/or whiteboard process is not using technologies to make their operations more seamless. Implementing a field service management system like Field Force Tracker provides visibility for dispatchers to verify when jobs are complete. Software also let them  schedule calls better and more optimally. Jobs can be assigned in closer proximity to one another to reduce travel time and fuel costs. This ability addresses the second top concern for service businesses, that of better scheduling and dispatching.

Another area that may be improved lies in end-to-end, bidirectional communication between the back office and the field, which helps in the management of workflow and processes. Eliminating the need for data entry and the need to decipher the handwriting of field workers reduces errors and the amount of time spent translating paperwork.

Companies with a mobile workforce may experience high employee turnover  as a result of stress in the field. Multitasking behind the wheel with paperwork, low safety standards, and a low first-time fix rate all contribute to high stress. High stress results in high turnover and ultimately, higher costs.  Deploying a FSM Software using mobile technology enables the field service worker to function in a less stressful manner. This creates employee-considerate environment, helping field service workers to feel more valued. They are then less likely to leave. This environment also lends itself to being a recruiting tool for qualified new hire candidates.

Automating the service processes through mobile technology not only reduces operational expenses, but creates pleasant experience for customers too. It results in a less stressful environment will be apparent to customers. Field service workers and other employees that are customer facing can provide a better experience. This will improve customer satisfaction ratings, reduce customer churn and higher customer referrals. Collectively, this will help in reducing the operational expenses and increasing profitability of your field service business.

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What makes Field Force Tracker Users  Always Happy

Field Force Tracker has been designed with Field Technicians in mind. When we were designing the software, we interacted with numerous plumbing companies, appliance repair technicians and electrical service companies. We did trial runs with photocopiers rental companies. A lot of improvements and suggestions that came users were incorporated in the software. The result is an easy to use system that technicians and field engineers love. Office dispatchers and managers can get lot done in day after abandoning the system.

Field Force Tracker is so feature rich that it will take a company several large operations before they can make use of even 50% of features. Once our employees start using the system, they are amazed with the ease they can serve the customers, manage finances and deal with customer issues. The user comments are pearl of wisdom for us. Our users have been always very appreciative of our team work.

When field technicians realize that positive changes that  Field Force A Tracker – the best of breed field service solution brings, they quickly fall in love with the mobile app and the software. The admin users such as dispatchers love it as well because they can accomplish a lot in the day. They can get all the job completion data  from the technician in real time. They can see where their techs are at all times using the integrated Google Map and everyone on the team is on the same page.

Enhancing Value Using Field Force Tracker

An easy to use service software can help everyone in the company to better manage the effectiveness of your service delivery.  Using extensive capabilities of Field Force Tracker’s software, you can improve the effectiveness for field services in your organization. Deploying a rich cloud based field service CRM software with mobile apps can improve your ability to manage your business. This facilitates service managers to better management of your service resources in the most cost effective way.

Service companies in all parts of the world are trying to move to electronic model of providing services. Paper based operation is too slow to address customer concerns and cannot provide suitable data analysis to the business. Field Force Tracker is the most comprehensive software for field service management.  It takes care of everything from customer management to the payment collection for a service company. By using this software, our clients can see major improvement in their productivity and the customer satisfaction. Service managers are constantly working to improve the quality and effectiveness of their service delivery with Field Force Tracker.

Why Field Force Tracker

Mobile enabled, cloud-based field service software was designed to provide ease of use with incredible flexibility. Along with the ease – and speed – of our implementation and the ongoing support service that we provide we enable companies to take full advantage of today’s mobile field service.

Field Force Tracker’s power mobile apps for iPhone and Android are available to all new and existing Field Force Tracker customers. They can extend the feature set with the enhanced mobile forms capabilities, and better system integration.  Field Force Tracker, a mobile enabled web-based field service management software, streamlines technician scheduling, dispatch, customer management, vendor and employee management, work orders, equipment maintenance, inventory tracking, contracts, estimates, invoices, payments and accounting. It is considered one of the most feature rich software of its kind.

About Field Force Tracker

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). Its 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).

 

Improving Field Service with Better Scheduling

Customers expect their problems to be resolved fast as the failure of a HVAC or Plumbing unit may come at a time when their life quality depends on it. On the other hand, in some situations, the problem may be such that it can wait for a day or two the repair.  When an equipment breakdown occurs, customers have a hard time explaining their urgency. Everyone wants his or her service tasks to be handled fast and on priority.

This is where an Advanced scheduling software like Field Force Tracker shine. It can help you optimize your resource scheduling by separating high priority jobs from the low priority jobs. It can also help you optimize the use of your precious work force resources.

Poor customer experience is one of the biggest reasons for non-retention of customers, resulting in losses and lower revenue. On the other hand, statistics show that a company with good customer service policy can expect to have as high as 75% of its sales coming from returning customers. Since service industries are evolving themselves into customer centric from product centric business models, it is imperative that the customer be happy.

Field Service software for Computer Repair Service Business
Field Service software for Computer Repair Service Business

Ensuring Optimum Field Technician Scheduling Efficiency

You start by picking the best-suited person for the job. You ensure that the representative you assign is capable, that he is in reasonable proximity to the job location, taking into account the commute time, among other things.

Assigning the right field service expert is crucial to good customer experience. No two jobs are exactly similar and neither are any two persons in their ability to solve an issue. The onus is on the field service manager to know the unique skills of each employee and discern the most suitable resource for the job. Of course, with increasing digital transformation tools for field service management, job scheduling can be automated largely.

Providing Right Tools to Field Technicians

A Field technician can only solve the problem using tools that he or she has access too. They not only need tools to do actual repair, but software tools that can facilitate them to diagnose and fix the problem faster and quicker.  For example, in Field Force  Tracker software, a technician can immediately check the customer history or past repair history.

Since face-to-face interaction with the customer is part of their job, a field service professional must have good  manners to deal with customers. They also must know to value the customer’s time. To this end, a representative need to be equipped with complete knowledge of the issue and the required parts so that they can have a better chance of fixing the problem at the first go. In addition, customers will place more faith in a professional who appears to know what they are doing.

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Avoiding Repeat Service Calls

First time fixes save the customer any further inconvenience, and they also save the company a great deal of time and money that could otherwise be used to attend to other jobs. A report by Aberdeen suggests that if the average first-time fix rates for a company is above 80%, the customer satisfaction goes up to around 90%. On the other hand, with a first time fix rate of below 50%, customer satisfaction nosedives to below 50%. Most often, it is due to poor customer experience that companies fail to retain customers. Fixing problems the first time helps build trust with the customer, promoting the idea of the company’s reliability and building its goodwill.

Despite the best of efforts, some problems are just not solved in one visit. In such instances, the field service manager would do well to assign the same person for the second and perhaps subsequent visits, as the first time. Customers tend to feel more comfortable around a representative that they have already met before and the problem is faster diagnosed and solved when the two communicate better with each other. Often, a customer will be less inclined to be difficult and demanding when they become familiar with the representative.

Managing Job Priority

The field service management  software like Field Force Tracker facilitate a professional to schedule the work with a mix of both high and low priority jobs so that if an emergency service request comes in, they can reschedule a low priority service visit and attend to it. Prompt addressing of the customer’s complaint is a determining factor in customer satisfaction. Capital Equipment Manufacturers (CEMs), for example, will always require immediate attention in case of unexpected failures. In such a case, a technician will have to be swiftly assigned, prioritizing their skill set and previous history of first-time fix rates, and rescheduling other low priority jobs to allow availability.

Service visits are important. They are one of the few personal interactions between the customer and the company, and given the direct influence of customer satisfaction on the bottom line and the goodwill of the company, it is paramount that they be agreeable and pleasant to the customer.

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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).