How To Get The Most Customer Value From Field Service Technology
By: Samir Gulati, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at ServicePower
In a rapidly changing market with increasing demand for field service business, it can be difficult to determine what characterizes a successful field service provider. While securing sales and achieving profitability are objectives for any business, scaling growth, maintaining excellent service, and ensuring high customer satisfaction are essential to company prosperity. The right field service management (FSM) software can aid businesses in their quest to thrive in these areas while also boosting Net Promoter scores and revenue through cut costs.
Keep the following considerations in mind when evaluating field service management technology to choose the best platform for your business goals.
Assess product offerings
The key to successful field service models is offering flexibility to customers and what their individual businesses need. Not only must servicers address organizational needs, but they have to also anticipate fluctuations within the field service workforce and evolving demands of end-customers. To get the most value out of a field service system, identify varied product offerings that provide flexibility. Automated technician dispatching, intelligent schedule optimization and broad mobile technology capabilities should be a part of any comprehensive field service portfolio. Also, the best providers will offer tool variations to clients based on the workforce they enlist for field service. Whether a company uses employed workers, third-party contractors or blended workforces, the best field service technology platform will offer customizable solutions and pairings of their products to best suit company needs.
Estimate costs and pricing
While FSM offers great benefits for businesses in a variety of different industries, many companies miss out on the superior service or growth opportunities as software cost concerns continue to serve as an adoption barrier. For businesses just beginning to implement field service technology or even for those looking to scale to the next level, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model will be their ticket to greater service digitization. Field service organizations with an all-SaaS model are more affordable pricing models that offer easier scalability as customer operations and needs grow. Additionally, servicers that offer field service suites on a subscription basis will be optimal for businesses looking to keep costs low. By purchasing FSM via a per-user per-month fee, customers can avoid high upfront costs when deploying the solution and retain freedom from rigid contracts. Top field service companies offer these types of flexible pricing models and businesses should seek them out to keep costs low and still benefit from FSM integration.
Evaluate growth opportunities
Just as business operations and customer expectations continuously evolve, so must suite offerings and innovations. When assessing a potential field service management software for your organization, technological sophistication is imperative. The incorporation of new technologies and partners into a field service suite will keep the platform relevant and forward-thinking. FSM portfolios today are on the cutting-edge of technology, implementing artificial intelligence (AI) for scheduling and inventory management for productivity increases of up to 68% and introducing augmented reality (AR) capabilities for remote service, which has proved pivotal in recent months. Customers should also consider providers that can extend their services to mobile devices so that technicians can expand their geographical reach and service footprint.
Top field service providers will also contribute more to a company than just their personal products. A successful agency will also bring partners to the table that can further expand the service relationship. For instance, top global consulting firm PwC has partnered to deliver joint field service management offerings to manufacturing firms, enhancing the direct sales channels and broadening the distribution channels of field service partners.
Compare expert opinions
There are many options when selecting a field service management provider and the decision can be overwhelming at times. When in doubt, turn to industry experts and analyst organizations for performance reviews of potential vendors. For example, each year Gartner produces an annual Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management assessing the industry’s top players. Also, Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Pipeline Company, recently awarded their Customer Value Leadership Award which recognizes superiority in overall price, performance and quality of FSM services. Looking to growth organizations and market analysts for industry insights will also be helpful in determining top performers in various areas, ultimately guiding decision-makers toward the best solution for their workforce.