Bill Patterson is an executive vice president and general manager of CRM applications at Salesforce. An experienced technology leader and customer advocate, he drives the future of Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, and Salesforce Essentials.

Field service hasn’t been immune to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many on-site service jobs were canceled or deferred for months due to safety mandates, travel restrictions, and customer concerns. As a result, some field service organisations have had to halt operations and reduce resources.

However, people continued to need support in their homes and businesses — reinforcing that field service remains mission critical. Many jobs, like repairing a washing machine for a family with six children, installing a standby generator for a senior citizen who lives in a hurricane-prone area, or maintaining an ultrasound machine for a hospital in a major city, need to be done by a field service technician in person. And according to Salesforce Snapshot Research, 70% of customers [best to view dashboard on desktop] prefer on-site service over video.

Both mobile worker and customer safety has always been top of mind in field service. Today, as field service appointments increase, the need for safe, fast, and complete service delivery — the first time — becomes even more important. Along with best practices, a flexible field service management solution helps your organisation to adapt and innovate to be resilient in today’s world. You become more proactive, agile, and efficient in your approach to field service delivery — all while providing mission-critical service, ensuring customer satisfaction, and driving revenue.

 

Connect with customers to prepare for the appointment

Communication helps build trust and customer engagement. Field service management facilitates communication by empowering customers to self-serve with chatbots and customer portals and enabling organisations to provide updates on technician arrival time with automated alerts and messaging. Use this functionality to instruct customers on what they need to do to prepare for a safe service visit, including cleaning the workspace, wearing a mask, and social distancing. 

 

Ensure first-time fix rates to avoid another visit

According to the State of Service report, 45% of mobile workers waste significant time because of inaccurate or outdated information. Make sure they have a complete view of the customer and job information, as well as knowledge articles, on their connected mobile device before they arrive for a service visit. Having all data easily accessible in one place and being able to collaborate with other experts while in the field helps to boost efficiency and improve first-time fix resolution. This increases overall customer satisfaction and positions your organisation for new business opportunities.

 

Have the right parts to make sure the job is completed quickly

Preparation is key. It isn’t enough to have the right field service technician at the right time for the job. They also need the right type and number of parts at the time of service. For example, when a field service technician arrives to repair a 3D printer for an existing medical device customer, it’s critical they have all the necessary parts to get the job done right, the first time to avoid inconveniencing them with a follow up visit or delaying critical service requests. Inventory management powered by artificial intelligence (AI) recommends the best parts based on previous work orders to make sure your mobile worker always has what they need.

 

Unlock revenue opportunities to drive business growth

Eighty percent of service leaders say field service drives significant revenue, and 79% say it drives new revenue streams (State of Service). In addition to training your mobile workers to identify sales opportunities in the field, tap into AI-enabled asset performance insight to boost revenue. For example, AI provides visibility into asset data, enabling you to see when the warranty for a piece of equipment has expired or not covered by a preventative maintenance contract and get recommendations on additional services to sell.

 

Set up for success with Salesforce Field Service

The world is reopening and field service organisations are addressing their backlogged jobs. With field service management, you can be more innovative in how you safely, proactively, and efficiently meet customer needs and drive business growth through automated communication, connected information, and AI-driven insights.

Learn how Salesforce Field Service can help you to succeed in field service delivery today, the next normal, and beyond.

 
This post originally appeared on the U.S. version of the Salesforce blog.