How Field Service Management Apps are Revolutionising the Industry
With the global field service market predicted to reach $4.45 billion by 2022, the adoption of field service management (FSM) software is increasing dramatically to keep up with growing demand. Field service management apps have the power to revolutionise the industry by enabling data-driven decision making and eliminating historically burdensome manual processes.
Therefore, businesses that continue using outdated legacy systems and manual, paper-based processes must undergo a digital transformation to stay ahead of the curve and avoid becoming obsolete.
That’s why we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about field service management apps. Read on to learn more about the history of FSM technology and discover how apps for service technicians can benefit your business, your team and your customers simultaneously.
A Brief History of Field Service Management Technology
Historically, most field service organisations have relied on spreadsheets, whiteboards, outdated software and paper-based documentation to manage their operations. But, while these traditional methods may have worked in past decades, they won’t cut it in today’s world where customer expectations are becoming trickier to meet, and there is less tolerance for error.
In the digital era, customers demand transparency across the entire transaction, strong communication, a personalised experience and speedy services. In fact, a staggering 76% of people now expect companies to anticipate their needs and will decide to purchase goods and services based on customer experience (CX) alone.
Thankfully, technological advancements in recent years have made it possible to meet customers’ high standards. By automating the entire process — from appointment booking to invoicing and payment — your clients receive straightforward, convenient experiences that will make them want to use your organisation time and time again.
However, technology can do more than simply impress your clientele. With talent shortages expected to disrupt field service companies within the next decade significantly, business leaders will be forced to innovate and think outside the box to ensure that they can still manage a high volume of work.
For instance, repetitive administration tasks like filling out timesheets slow down technicians and steal time away from them that could be better spent attending to bookings. Field service management software automates such tasks, which frees up their time to complete more jobs without becoming burnt out.
Read on to learn more about some of the main advantages a field service management app can provide.
How Apps for Service Technicians Can Benefit Your Organisation
There are many positives to adopting field service technology to manage your entire operation. Here are the top five benefits your business could enjoy by providing your technicians with a field service mobile application:
1. Live Tracking and Real-Time Updates
Did you know that 89% of today’s customers prefer to use an ‘Uber-like’ service to track field service technicians and receive updates on arrival times? But, if your team has to rely on phone calls and texts from your technicians, providing such updates is impossible.
In contrast, when you use modern field service management technology, you can use GPS vehicle tracking to provide your customers with real-time updates on the whereabouts of their technicians.
The system will automatically send text and email alerts to your clients, including an estimated arrival time and a link that allows them to track the technicians live. So, never again will your customers be left disgruntled from waiting at home all day after being provided with a vague time slot.
Plus, apps for service technicians have the added advantage of enabling rapid communication to the back office via instant messaging, eliminating the need for time-consuming phone calls. As such, your administration team has an accurate picture of what’s happening in the field and can make better-informed decisions when dispatching workers to jobs.
2. Happier Customers
80% of field service technicians believe that access to a mobile application is critical to increasing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers. Suppose you send your technicians into a job without providing them with essential information; it is much more challenging for them to complete the work correctly the first time.
Unfortunately, modern customers lead busy lives and won’t appreciate needing to make multiple appointments for a simple job. At worst, you could end up losing business as clients opt to use your competitors who were early adopters of FSM technology and therefore better equipped to deliver satisfactory service.
Stay ahead of the curve by seamlessly connecting your technicians and back-office team and enabling them to communicate in real-time. For example, your admin staff can allocate stock, equipment and assets to each job, meaning your technicians will always arrive at an appointment with the correct gear to complete the job the first time.
Then, once the job is complete, your technicians can fill out all the necessary paperwork from their mobile devices and provide your customers with an electronic invoice straight away. Clients will appreciate the rapidity of the service, alongside the straightforward payment methods, and your back-office team will have a complete digital record of all the documents for future reference.
3. More Engaged Team Members
Economists at the University of Warwick have found that being happy at work makes people around 12% more productive. Consequently, to get the most out of your team, you must consider ways to ensure they feel valued and have all the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.
If you’re expecting your technicians to turn up at each booking with limited knowledge of the job and then fill out several pages of paperwork each day before manually turning it into the office, you’ll likely find that your team is disengaged. Workers who aren’t engaged may struggle to deliver high-quality work to customers and suffer from more accidents on the job.
However, apps for service technicians are designed with your team’s needs in mind. When you use FSM technology to manage your operations, it records every interaction you have with your customers. Subsequently, your technicians will be able to see a detailed report of the job requirements, so they have all the information they need to carry out the work effectively.
Additionally, technicians can complete all paperwork directly on their mobile devices and immediately send it to your back-office team. They can fill out their timesheets and send customers invoices as they go. FSM technology eliminates the need for technicians to hand paperwork into the office at the end of the day, and in turn you both reduce the margin for error and free up more time for your technicians to attend extra bookings.
Paperless processes don’t just benefit your field-based team, however. You will also benefit from increased productivity behind the scenes. When you go paperless, you eradicate the time-consuming administrative tasks that have long plagued office staff. Your back-office team will appreciate the simplicity of seeing customers’ files on one easy-to-use platform, leaving them with more hours to focus on tasks that can help grow and develop the business.
4. Rapid Troubleshooting and Improved Health and Safety
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed that UK businesses lose approximately 38.8 million working days each year due to work-related illness and injuries. Aside from potentially damaging your reputation and causing harm to your workers, health and safety blunders can cause severe delays and impact your entire organisation.
The good news is, with the right technology, you can minimise the risk of illness or injury. For example, field service management apps enable you to set up mandatory workflows and risk assessments that technicians must complete before they can begin the work or fill out their timesheets.
If your technicians come across a hazard that could jeopardise the project, they can immediately alert your back-office team. They’ll then work with the technician to safely mitigate the issue and get the work back on track.
By making health and safety a priority, you’ll lose fewer days to illness and injury, and your team will be able to carry out their work without worrying about their surroundings.
5. Maximised Schedule and Ability to Respond to Emergency Call-Outs
Half of all fleet managers believe that the ability to quickly reroute field technicians for emergency jobs is the most crucial factor to their success. Keeping everyone updated on schedule changes comes in close behind at 48%.
But, if you don’t have an effective communication channel between your back-office team and field-based workers, it can be tricky to contact the necessary individuals and inform them of changes to the schedule. Not to mention that information can be misinterpreted or cause confusion that leads to missed or delayed appointments.
Let’s imagine a customer has just called with an emergency job, but your office is using a spreadsheet for job scheduling. Your team would need to manually work out who is local to the customer and call each technician to see if they can cover the work. In addition to being a lengthy process, it could have a knock-on effect on your other bookings and cause customers to become frustrated.
Instead, when your technicians have access to a field service management app like BigChange, they can see any schedule changes in an instant. Your back-office staff will be able to locate the most relevant technician local to the emergency job and re-allocate other bookings to those with availability. Everyone can continue with business-as-usual, and no appointments will be impacted due to the schedule change.
Field Service Management Apps are a Worthwhile Investment
According to data from Verizon Connect, meeting customer expectations is the biggest challenge for 56% of field service companies today. For 38%, scheduling and dispatching inefficiencies present the most significant obstacle. Clearly, traditional methods of working aren’t working anymore.
Reliance on legacy systems, spreadsheets and paper-based processes cannot keep up with the rapid pace of the modern workday. Nor can they provide the level of service required to delight your clients and keep them returning to your business in the future.
In order to survive and thrive in a competitive post-pandemic landscape, field service organisations will need to ensure their technicians have access to the latest and most accurate information. Fortunately, field service management apps provide workers with everything they need at their fingertips.
From detailed information on the customer’s booking, to pre-assigned stock and digitised paperwork, your technicians will be able to spend less time on time-consuming tasks and, instead, focus on doing what they do best.
Arm Your Technicians with the Right Tools. Transform Ways of Working with BigChange’s Field Service Management App.
Allow your technicians to see all job information in one place.
With the BigChange Mobile Application, your field-based workforce will have everything they need to deliver excellent service. Technicians can share real-time updates on location and job statuses, guarantee on-time customer payments with electronic invoices, and enhance communication between technicians and your back-office.
All from the palm of their hands.
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