Coronavirus has had two significant effects on field services companies. On the one hand, it has changed the way businesses themselves connect with their customers, with the challenge of offering maximum service quality and the best customer experience in the new conditions, while at the same time safeguarding health and guaranteeing the safety of customers and technicians. On the other hand, it has boosted the digital transformation of these companies to guarantee their competitiveness, improve their efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. In this context, Field Service Management solutions are becoming a genuine lever for change.
How Field Service companies have been transformed since COVID-19?
It is undeniable that COVID-19 has led to significant changes for Field Service companies in many aspects: from the business culture to its digitalisation process. Since fields services are an essential activity, this transformation has been brought about much faster than in companies from other sectors.
In this article, we are going to look at the 6 main transformations experienced by field service companies:
- Communication with the customer
- Management and allocation of incidents
- Asset management
- Remote assistance (teleservice)
- Preventive maintenance
- Business Intelligence
Transformation 1. Improvement in communication with customers
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Field Service companies have made an effort to clearly communicate the repercussions of COVID-19 on the services they offer, especially in terms of action time frames and restrictions of their activity.
From the contact details of customers contained in a field service management tool such as Task4Work and the integration of these tools with CRM solutions, of collaboration and marketing automation, Field Service companies have sent communications to customers through web pages, emails, social networks, answerphones, etc. In the case of interventions where travel is required, technicians have also conveyed the protection guidelines to the customer (use of mask and gloves, disinfection of parts and machines, etc.).
This way, the customer has felt that they have received a service at all times and it has improved the company’s image, also increasing the rate of loyalty. The favourable opinion of customers on any channel (social networks, websites, etc.) consolidates the brand’s reputation in the sector and facilitates the arrival of new customers.
Transformation 2. Updates in the management and allocation of incidents
The health safety of customers and technicians has become the main priority of Field Service companies, causing an update in the allocation filters and criteria.
Field Service Management solutions (FSM software) such as Task4Work are helping companies in the sector to plan and allocate the provision of services with maximum precision and safety by being able to indicate new essential information: times of availability, restrictions on travel in the area, PID required, etc. This way, technicians travel, if necessary, with the resources required to carry out the job in one single visit.
They are also contributing to the fact that organisations are updating their criteria for the allocation of interventions and preventing the risk of exposure to the virus of technicians and customers. An example: when receiving requests, some companies ask the customer if there is or has been anyone with the virus in the home. If not, the first available technician is allocated; if there is, the visit is delayed for a minimum of 30 days (if it is not an urgent intervention).
Transformation 3. New criteria in the management of material assets
Material assets have also been affected by the impact of this pandemic. It hasn’t always been possible to have new machines or spare parts available within the time frames agreed with the supplier due to sourcing restrictions. Furthermore, client companies have sought to extend the useful life of components to minimise costs wherever this has been possible.
Thanks to FSM software, companies can ensure competitiveness and profitability for their customers, guaranteeing the optimum condition of material assets, contributing to extending their life cycle and notifying in advance of any possible risks or renewals required.
Transformation 4. Increase in remote assistance
Many Field Service companies have had to offer their services without their staff being able to travel around (a study by TSIA claims that 78% of companies surveyed did not send technicians to customers during the height of the COVID-19 crisis). To overcome this situation, this type of company had to opt for:
- Implementing collaboration solutions
- Implementing new remote assistance technologies in their FS solutions
- Developing or creating service portals for the customer, where they can find information about the main incidents and how to fix them
This type of tool has led to huge benefits for Field Service providers:
- Construction of a database of knowledge of incidents, constantly updated and which receives useful contributions from customers
- Improvement of the experience of the customer, who obtains a fast response to their incident
- Possibility of fast payment collection using the available online payment systems
- Increase in the productivity of the technicians, by focussing their time on more complex incidents
- Increase in the time for training technicians, by removing a large amount of their travel
- Reduction in travel costs, by carrying out those that are strictly essential
- Optimisation of technicians’ service routes
Transformation 5. Preventive maintenance
Concepts like the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are helping to identify potential faults in advance and programme the necessary preventive maintenance.
FSM tools facilitate the receiving of data directly from monitored devices, its correct interpretation and recognition of habitual patterns, which enable the action proposals to be adjusted precisely.
This way, the services company reduces costs by adjusting its planning, allocating the appropriate technician at the required time and with the necessary spare parts to resolve the incident.
Transformation 6. Clear commitment to Business Intelligence
The pandemic has contributed to the increase in data collected by Field Service companies: from that entered by the call centre to that stated by the customer on the portal, to the data transmitted by the monitored devices (IoT) or that provided by the technician on the service form…
In this context, the field services sector has clearly detected the need to use tools that analyse and filter this enormous flow of data (Big Data) to obtain information with an added value that improves decision-making. Ultimately, they have clearly committed to Business Intelligence tools that also enable them to:
- Find possible weak points in machinery and assets when analysing their track record
- Discover new business opportunities
- Guarantee the profitability of contracts by reducing risk
- Simulate business scenarios to make appropriate decisions and meet their customers’ expectations
The more modern FSM solutions are easily integrated with business analytics tools, which enables the data to circulate fluidly between both types of software to easily obtain information with an added value for the business.
At Intelligence Partner we have developed Task4Work, a complete Field Service Management (FSM) software that offers companies from the sector the necessary features for their competitiveness and productivity in the new setting.
In this respect, it stands out for being 100% prepared to offer remote assistance and control the necessary travel in real time, as well as being fully integrated with Machine learning/IoT technologies and with BI, ERP, CRM, etc. solutions.
Do you want to find out about this FSM solution? Contact us and we will show you how Task4Work can transform your business.