With inputs from Yashwant Rai, Principal Service Cloud Specialist

Organisations employing field service agents have one all-consuming question during the pandemic: how to ensure both optimal operations and maximum employee safety?

The pandemic has moved the needle on customer expectations from service in general. From faster response time to personalised support, customers expect service agents to make their lives simpler. Now, when it comes to field service agents, the sheer physical presence of an agent takes the expectations a notch higher. Customers look upon the field agent as the face of the company, at their doorstep to fix their issues. Companies too, are increasingly realising that the role of field agents is fast evolving into that of the company's brand ambassador, where the agent has immense potential to:

  • Build strong 1-to-1 customer relationships
  • Convert customers into brand advocates
  • Upsell and cross-sell based on a customer’s immediate needs
  • Register their feedback and influence sales and marketing strategies

If companies are looking to offer the most trusted field service in the fastest time while also prioritising agent well-being, here’s what they should look for in their field service management software: 

Virtual remote assistance: Is a ‘work from home’ technician still in the realms of imagination? Not any more! Safe and contactless virtual support is a possibility with field service management software which offers virtual real-time guided interactions and remote assistance over video chats. Using such software, technicians can resolve customer issues quickly and successfully, even as they work from home. Virtual remote assistance is also a great option for on-site technicians seeking guidance from off-site experts. 

Intelligent appointment scheduling: Services such as fixing equipment require expertise that cannot always be replaced with remote assistance. Moreover, according to the Salesforce State of Service Report, 70% of customers still prefer in-person service to alternatives.

Here’s where businesses can take advantage of solutions with an intelligent appointment scheduling feature. With jobs automatically assigned to the right field service agent based on availability, time, skills, and location, businesses can update customers with agent details such as arrival time, safety protocols, and other related information. Businesses can do all this while optimising agent scheduling for the right fit. 

Early anomaly detection: Predictive maintenance with Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help with the early detection of anomalies or equipment failures. When signals from an IoT platform are contextualised with business rules in a CRM,  field service managers  armed with these deep insights can proactively ensure that (repetitive) issues are fixed before they occur. Predictive maintenance with field service management software like Salesforce Field Service also increases the first-time fix rate as technicians arrive prepared – with complete knowledge of the issue, the right tools, and product parts needed to fix a customer problem. 

End-to-end operational visibility: A field service management software with comprehensive analytical capabilities can help managers gain easy, real-time visibility into operational performance and KPIs. Managers can remotely review agent performance and immediately address customer pain points. Performance analysis visualisations can inform service managers’ next-step recommendations for agents, boosting agent productivity and efficiency.

Deep mobile capabilities to further empower your field force

Field service agents are typically a mobile workforce. To give these agents greater autonomy and speed in decision-making, it is critical to offer them access to all vital tools and information on the go. 

With a field service mobile app, agents can always stay on top of appointments, stock and inventory status, knowledge articles for guidance, and safety protocols, etc. while also collaborating with managers, peers, and dispatchers in real-time. For instance, the Salesforce Field Service mobile app is an all-in-one tool for the mobile workforce. It is completely customisable to give field service agents the features they need and even offers offline capabilities so that they can operate optimally regardless of network connectivity. 

Field service management software makes field service effective and seamless. Salesforce Field Service is an AI-enabled solution that comes power-packed with tools, guided safety protocols, knowledge articles, reports, and dashboards that have been built exclusively for the field service team in any company. The solution prepares field service teams for the new normal by helping them to deliver a customer-centric service that gains them customer loyalty.

Click here to watch a demo of Salesforce Field Service.