Panasonic understands the difficulty of managing field service teams while ensuring successful customer experiences. Using the right technology strategy helps solve these challenges. In this article, Business2Community explores how adopting digital record keeping and mobile software can lower costs and allow teams to work more efficiently.
Field service should be an integral part of your customer service strategy, and it can be profitable. Unfortunately, keeping a field service team can also be very expensive, and it may not seem that their services are paying for themselves. If you’re having a hard time managing the expenses of deploying a field service program, don’t fret – it is possible to lower your costs and overhead by intelligently deploying technology – without sacrificing customer service.
Follow our field service technology tips below to learn how.
Don’t use paper in the field
Does your field service team use paper forms in the field? If so, you’re wasting valuable time and resources when the information on the paper has to go back to the office to be entered into your systems. Replace all paper with a mobile software platform that contains pre-filled options in drop-down menus and checkboxes for your field staff and customers to fill out. The software should be connected wirelessly so that this information can be immediately sent to the home office. If there are additional parts that need to be ordered, this will allow the orders to be put in the system before your field staff returns to the office.
Dispatch orders electronically – not over the phone
To save your field service reps additional time in the field, switch from phone calls for dispatching work orders and replace calls with electronic orders. The more electronic dispatching you can do in the field – by eliminating paper and phone calls – the more time your staff will have to work one-on-one with customers and get from job to job faster.
Use digital audit trails to reduce disputes and protect yourself from potential liability issues
In addition to saving time and making it easier for your field service reps, using all-digital programs can help protect you if disputes arise over the work your field reps performed. Use your digital programs to create a complete audit trail that keeps a GPS and time stamp, documents the work completed with pictures, and collects digital signatures. If there are any questions about the jobs your reps performed, you’ll be able to use the digital audit file to make your case and protect your company’s reputation.
Give your field reps the tools to upsell in the field
Make each field service visit an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. Give your field technicians a picture of a customer’s history and purchasing patterns by making this information available to your reps when the customer’s ticket comes up. Use software that gives a customer’s background information and suggests products and services that your team can upsell.
Keep accurate records of your field reps’ whereabouts when they’re in the field
Do you know where your employees are at all times? Do your customers know when your field reps will be arriving and leaving? Invest in software technology that sends your office and customers alerts of where your reps are so that your office staff knows where they can be reached, and so that your customers can know when to expect the service rep.
Today’s field service technology gives you power to maximize your field service
Agile GPS systems, mobile software applications, and programs that are designed specifically for field service technicians will give you and your team the tools to maximize the time they spend in the field. They’ll be able to focus on solving the customers’ problems, move quickly from job-to-job, have the tools to upsell and cross-sell, and be continuously linked to your office staff. Take advantage of today’s field service technology tools – the investment will pay off quickly, and, most importantly, your customers will appreciate the job your field reps execute while in the field.