Post By Charlie Heywood on May 17, 2016

Is your business prepared for the Uberisation of field services management?


For businesses like engineering services where those in the field are a vital part of your customers’ service, you can no longer afford to ignore the latest technologies. Not if you want to survive, as the latest research and surveys indicate a growing trend growth in this area. We explore the competitive landscape and how the latest software can keep your customers connected.

The exponential growth of field services management

It can come as no real surprise that MarketsandMarket’s report Field Service Management Market – Global Forecasts to 2019 estimated a growth from $1.58billion in 2015 to over $3.5billion in 2019.

The on-demand culture is naturally penetrating every business sector. Customers do not expect to be waiting on hold for service issues either – they want a faster, more responsive and flexible service. The Service Council’s September 2015 survey showed that 58% of business where field service have experienced an increase in non-telephone service requests to 58% from 12% the previous year. They also found that improving service profitability was the highest priority for field service based businesses.

Providing online customer services may go some way to assist. But with the right software in place, many businesses are now finding that their engineers and technicians are the forefront of their business.

(Tech trends are also driving service as a profit. You can download our eBook, “The top field service management software trends turning service into a profit centre” {{cta(‘285b580d-f6f9-4b09-bdc6-84ebf17f0e0d’)}} .


The catastrophe of an uninformed engineer

Field service managers without decent software will be all too aware of the perils of sales, finance and services not being aligned. The engineer may have checked the state of play the night before but if he’s out and about he needs to know of any new service requests, complaints, contract cancellations or amendments and what parts he needs so that he can adapt in real-time.

The latest software not only keeps your staff updated whilst in the field, it optimises your force with drag and drop planning and route optimisation. Instead of reacting to service calls, you can be proactive with predictive maintenance.

The brand ambassador

Service is the end-game in this sector, being the main differentiator when products are increasingly commoditised. So instead of seeing your field staff as those with just the technical knowledge, there is a growing trend towards making your field staff your brand ambassadors – increasing customer satisfaction. They just need the tools and mobile devices that integrate with your latest CRM and finance systems can provide this.

Just like a logistics delivery, customers can be kept informed of the likely time of arrival and updated if there are any problems. Instead of an engineer getting to site and announcing to a frustrated customer , “Oh, this isn’t a problem I’ve come across before – it’s quite unusual” they can be guided through a servicing checklist for the customer’s specific parts / equipment (which can also help with remembering the finer details that can be forgotten over time).

Then when the servicing is over (or whilst chatting during the servicing), your field staff literally field the calls from your contact centre. Your customers often have questions that can be met with a blank look and a “You’ll have to call customer services about that”. If your engineer could answer customer queries, check stock levels, order parts and then update all this whilst on the move – it not only makes the customer happier, it reduces duplicate paperwork.

Turning “I want it now” into sales

Instead of seeing the extra demands of the customer as a burden, all of this extra information at your field staff’s fingers is only a positive for your sales figures – so long as you harness them wisely. As skilled technicians in a face-to-face environment they are your customer’s trusted advisors and so the best person to pick up on issues or opportunities and recommend the appropriate solutions for them.

Access to product and stock information and the CRM on the move lets them do this.

Connecting all the dots

We often find that customers have invested in field management software that only gives the field staff some additional information – or integrates only with some aspects of sales or finance. Best-of-class systems can integrate fully with all of your business functions to provide additional automation and costs savings.

Why not discover more by downloading our eBook on the latest technology features you should be looking for if you want to operate service as a profit? Click {{cta(‘285b580d-f6f9-4b09-bdc6-84ebf17f0e0d’)}}. 


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