Organizations of all stripes—from consumer-facing companies to B2B enterprises—must navigate an array of ever-changing market conditions and shifting customer expectations to stay ahead of the proverbial curve. Most companies rely on new technologies to help solve these business challenges, and field service organizations are no exception.
In a new Mize-sponsored report from Worldwide Business Research (WBR), 100 field service leaders from across the U.S. and Canada shed light on the strategies and technologies they use to maximize equipment uptime, deliver robust customer support, and everything in between. Findings from the WBR survey align with some of the field service and depot repair industry trends we’ve been seeing in the marketplace, with four key areas bubbling to the surface: customer self-service, in-platform knowledge sharing, connected communication, and mixed workforce management.
Customers Crave Self-Service Capabilities
Self-service options are advantageous for both service organizations and customers. According to WBR’s research, 57% of the field service leaders surveyed say they were prompted to seek a greater level of self-service capabilities for customers because customers themselves were demanding such options. As a result, many companies (59%) are training technicians to recommend self-service before going on-site. Empowering customers to not only self-resolve simple issues with focused knowledge enablement but also to request and schedule service appointments without the aid of a service representative reduces management overhead. Helping customers help themselves also allows them to reach a resolution faster and more efficiently.
Knowledge Sharing Prevents Service Gaps
As the adage goes, knowledge is power—and that’s especially true for field service organizations and their technicians. When asked to rank their primary considerations when purchasing equipment for their field service operations, 44% of respondents indicated that ensuring the knowledge transfer between field service veterans and new hires or contractors is a top-three priority. Instilling institutional knowledge ensures all levels of your field service workforce can provide the consistent and repeatable experience customers have come to expect.
In-Platform Communication Keeps Your Workforce Connected
Another chief concern among field service leaders is communication: 47% use a lifecycle management system for communication and scheduling purposes. Augmenting your workforce requires efficient channels of communication between contracted employees, internal users, and in some cases, with customers. Like self-service, this streamlines the service and repair process to provide results sooner.
Workforce Management Leads to Efficient Field Service
Whether your workforce is exclusively contracted, internal, or a mix of both, enabling workforce management is essential to effective field service activity. With a structured, connected approach, things like first-time fix rates, knowledge sharing, and customer service improve; and formerly siloed systems become seamlessly integrated. This approach also enables you to reduce administrative overhead—by equipping customers with the tools they need to resolve basic issues, you won’t need to rely on manual customer service processes for each and every customer query. In the end, your organization will spend less time executing tactical tasks and more time devising strategies to drive useful change.
At Mize, we’ve encountered these challenges time and again. By investing in a connected platform that addresses each of the four areas, you can provide exceptional multichannel customer service while continuing to expand capabilities to meet your business needs. Whether your goal is to increase and drive revenue through field service or simply reduce the cost of management overhead, a holistic service lifecycle management solution can help you set a new standard for field service.
Michael Johnson, Product Manager for Field Service Management at Mize, has 10 years experience managing diverse IT helpdesk and network infrastructure teams in Field Service Management. Drawing on his IT management experience leading teams in repair, implementation, configuration, and monitoring, he applies that knowledge to designing and managing service software solutions for field service and depot repair.