Times are changing, and businesses are becoming more mobile. At one point, it may have been impossible to run a field service business remotely, but now, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have made it a reality.
The truth is that at this point if your business has yet to embrace mobile technology, you may be left behind as other companies are figuring out how to take full advantage to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. According to a recent study, nearly 75% of businesses that use mobility tools have seen an increase in worker productivity, while half have seen increases in customer satisfaction rates. Additionally, going mobile is helping companies reduce paperwork and travel times–both of which equate to cost savings.
Overcoming Barriers to Adopting a Mobile Field Service Solution
Mobile devices are no longer an on-the-job distraction. Instead, they now enhance how field service technicians do their jobs. However, many field service organizations see barriers to implementing a mobile solution, whether it be the cost of technology or low projected ROI. According to a recent study by Aberdeen, nearly half of field service organizations are resistant to change. In a way, it makes sense. Why make changes to a system that’s seemingly worked for decades?
Here, we explore the benefits of mobile field service and the reasons why you should consider making your company and technicians mobile.
1. Real-Time Field Service and Improved Communication
In today’s “on-demand” economy, you can order a pizza, taxi or just about anything else from the comfort of your smartphone. Typically, field service staff has been managed and dispatched to customers in a traditional and hierarchical manner, but this is no longer a viable model for remaining competitive.
Today, customers expect service to be delivered faster, more flexibility and responsively and mobility makes this possible for field service organizations. Mobile workforce management has changed the game when it comes to how customers communicate with field service organizations and technicians. With a mobile field service solution, everything from requesting appointments and invoicing to signing off on reports and notifications can be accomplished from anywhere. Additionally, field service technicians can communicate directly with customers.
2. Improved Customer Satisfaction
Over 80% of mobility experts have seen an increase in customer satisfaction through their investment in mobile devices and applications for field service workers. With the right tools and services available, field service workers can deliver higher-quality customer service by addressing and resolving issues in the moment and context of need.
For example, a field repair technician with a tablet showing all relevant technical specifications related to a faulty complex machine can access critical information right at the moment of need as well as engage with offsite support staff to quickly resolve the issue, minimizing the disruption to the customer.
3. Increased Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities
Your technicians can become your field service company’s best sales people. Nearly two-thirds of mobility experts report seeing an increase in revenue through increased cross-sell/up-sell opportunities. Mobile field service software like RazorSync allows technicians quick access to information on related products and services. When a customer wants information from one of your technicians, it will be right at their fingertips, significantly increasing the chance of closing a sale.
4. The Power of the Cloud
Another side of field service mobility is the added benefit of cloud computing, which enables an organization, no matter what size, to implement software solutions more quickly and hit the ground running. Mobility and remote resolution capabilities are best linked to the cloud; they need the cloud to work together successfully. The cloud, which works by storing information remotely, is what allows workers to access the information they need whether they’re on- or off-site.
Additionally, the cloud allows workers to collaborate with one another by sharing reports, documents, or customers history to help fix machines more efficiently. Security is another key benefit of cloud-based business management. It’s likely that technicians will have access to sensitive data over various networks. The best cloud solutions offer robust security guarantees to ensure adequate protection of sensitive information. That’s why it is critical that you choose a field service software solution that makes data security a top priority.
5. Empowering Field Service with a Mobile Application Strategy and Data Insights
A mobile field service solution provides your technicians with the ability to share, store and view job data while in the field, which acts as a virtual link to the back office to help inform and empower them. Having full and real-time visibility into your field operation is a critical success factor. Mobile applications can offer visibility into everything ranging from status and location to performance of field assets, and whether or not technicians are getting to the right place at the right time with the information, they need to do their job correctly.
In the end, the goal is that technicians have the information they need to fix the customer’s problem the first time before quickly moving on to the next task. When service companies begin utilizing mobile solutions, there is a wealth of data captured related to technician performance, customers, vehicle location and work order status.
By itself, this data is not enough to make intelligent business decisions, but when analyzed and turned into usable information, it can make a huge difference. By integrating data between the field and back office systems such as ERP and CRM, other departments like sales, marketing, and engineering can collaborate more efficiently and maximize the value of information.
Field service companies have a choice. At its core, service is a partnership between customers and the organization. Without the ability to use captured data efficiently, the opportunity to evolve and improve is mostly lost. However, with smart data insights and analysis, field service professionals can make use of real-time information and knowledge to make the right decisions. Additionally, owners can see the big picture behind their service business to make smarter decisions going forward, and it all starts with the catalyst of mobility.