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4 Ways Field Service Technology Delivers Efficient and Safe Services

4 Ways Field Service Management Technology Delivers Efficient and Safe Services

Field service management technology gives field service providers the agility to respond to disruptions, while keeping technicians and customers safe.

Companies across APAC are reopening after COVID-19 lockdowns. For many of them, building business resilience is a priority. How can they adapt to disruptions like COVID-19, while maintaining continuous operations and safeguarding people?

This is particularly challenging for field services providers. Future lockdown directives may prevent field service technicians from visiting customers’ homes. Customers may also want to minimise visitors to their homes. Therefore, you will need to explore new ways to deliver superior customer service. At the same time, you have to prioritise the safety of your technicians and customers.

This is possible with the right Field Services Management (FSM) technology. For example, using remote assistance tools can improve first-call resolutions while limiting physical contact.

Here are four ways FSM technology can improve your field service operations, while protecting technicians and customers:

1. Understand your customers’ needs in the new normal

Field service providers must adhere to physical distancing restrictions. To do so, you may need to reduce manpower and service capability.

To neutralise this risk, reach out to your customers to understand their current needs. Then, reallocate the right skill set to meet customer demand. 

FSM technology enables effective reallocation by forecasting demand spikes across service territories. Use demand forecasting to mobilise back-up teams in places where service gaps occur. Demand forecasting can also identify high-demand areas that are suited to innovations like pop-up service centres.

2. Maintain service level agreements while ensuring worker and customer safety

To limit in-person customer visits, use remote customer assistance tools. These include live video calls, augmented reality technology, or artificial intelligence.

During the pandemic, Sports Engineering And Recreation Asia Ltd. (Seara) could not send technicians to customers’ homes. That did not stop the fitness equipment supplier from helping customers to install equipment. Group Customer Service Manager Nisarat Chokwattanakansir explains:

One of our customers had some old people at home who were vulnerable to COVID-19. We were able to do pre-installation with video from our warehouse. Then we sent the new equipment to the customer with the installation report. The customer then confirmed receipt on the digital platform. This made our customer’s life easier.”

Sometimes, in-person customer visits are necessary. In these cases, give your technicians access to remote support resources. When technicians can resolve cases on their first calls, they can avoid repeat visits.

3. Use FSM technology to increase customer service flexibility

For example, Field Service Lightning (FSL) gives customers the flexibility to self-serve. Real-time communication from technicians also reduces the need for physical visits. 

If physical visits are a must, equip your technicians with FSL-connected devices. This can help to reduce incomplete operations due to missing information. 

FSL can also ensure that  replacement parts are always available. This prevents your technicians from making repeat visits due to missing parts. 

Finally, FSL helps to match technicians to jobs within their field of expertise. This increases the likelihood that technicians solve cases on their first calls and minimises follow-up visits.

4. Simplify customer support processes

A FSM management platform can do more than minimise customer visits. It can simplify customer support processes with self-service scheduling. It also increases visibility into the statuses of ongoing contracts, thus reducing uncertainty.

FSL, for example, supports customer self-service with chat bots and knowledge base access. This is critical in view of physical distancing restrictions and cost effective in the long run. 

Ronnayot Leangumnuay, Deputy CEO at Advanced Business Solutions and Services Co., Ltd explains:

During the pandemic, the need for customer support has increased. We give our customers access to a knowledge base through Salesforce. If this can’t solve the customer’s issue, we then send a field engineer to the site.”

Disruptions like COVID-19 do not have to derail your field service operations. With a FSM platform, you can use demand forecasting to close service gaps. You can also use remote customer help tools to improve first-call resolutions and increase customer satisfaction.

But a FSM platform is capable of much more than crisis management. The right FSM platform can streamline customer support and provide opportunities for self-service.

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Annie Teo

As Regional Sales Director of Service and Platform Cloud, Annie is responsible for the growth of the Salesforce Service and Platform Cloud business in Asia, assuring customer success through an optimal adoption of Salesforce software to solve business requirements. Salesforce is the most innovative, trusted, inspirational, and fastest growing enterprise software company in APAC. Salesforce is the #1 trusted CRM accelerated by their customers. Annie has more than 20 years of IT experiences since her graduation from National University of Singapore with a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science. Her experience spans widely from security, application development, implementation, business process design to back office solutions such as enterprise resource planning. She is widely acknowledged for her strong ability to connect with customers’ problems and bring to bear with the right solution fit. Throughout her career, Annie held various sales management positions in a number of global companies such as Oracle and Hewlett Packard. Annie also holds a graduate diploma on ACCA Financial Management.

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