Field Service 3.0 employs advanced technologies to automate manual processes and optimise service delivery. It redefines field service by understanding customer expectations that go beyond work orders; as a result, building stronger relationships and adding more value to every interaction. The Field Service Management market globally is predicted to reach $7.9 billion by 2026, and the use of technology in field service will only improve performance and fuel growth. With rapid industrialisation, developing countries like India are quickly emerging as high-potential markets for field service.

How field service has changed since the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to completely rethink their field service strategies. The need for social distancing meant no to very few agents in offices, and limited field visits to keep employees and customers safe. To ensure business continuity through all this, field service teams have quickly adopted technology that enables them to continue delivering quality services despite challenges.  

So, virtual assistance and self-service portals were  embraced to limit human contact. As even dispatchers and supervisors couldn’t work from offices anymore, they had to be enabled with mobile tools to ensure smooth operations. Field agents were equipped with the necessary information and tools to avoid repeat visits. And to reduce health risks during in-person interactions, strict COVID-appropriate measures were adopted. 

 A PWC report states that customer-centricity and customer experience will soon become the key brand differentiators in field service. This means that organisations in the space should be focusing on building a system that adapts to evolving customer demands even post the pandemic.

Technology enables connected field service to ensure customer satisfaction

Field service organisations that quickly pivoted on technology during the pandemic could ensure service continuity. As the trend continues, it has now become imperative to build a field service team that can navigate change with agility. 

Start by replacing legacy systems with modern solutions that leverage technologies like AI, ML, IoT, and cloud computing to:

  • Provide a real-time, consolidated view of service operations and customer data
  • Automate simpler, repetitive tasks like assigning tasks or scheduling appointments 
  • Surface cross-functional, data-driven insights to deliver better, more personalised services
  • Provide mobile support to enable remote working
The Service Council’s 2021 survey revealed that 90% of respondents think they need more knowledge to service modern products. The same survey also highlights the pressing need for a mobile single source of truth to improve their efficiency.

To ace Field Service 3.0 and improve customer delight, field service teams need an intelligent solution that provides a 360-degree view of each customer, visibility into agent schedules, knowledge resources, and tools that can enable them to:

  • Complete role-based tasks from anywhere
  • Optimise scheduling to ensure uninterrupted, quality services
  • Automatically update the system with information from the field
  • Provide deeper, more personalised customer interactions
  • Seamlessly collaborate with other team members

How to build a connected field service team to improve customer experience

Build a truly connected field service team on a single platform that connects all stakeholders and functions and allows you to:

1. Enable dispatchers and managers to manage operations more efficiently

  • Give dispatchers full visibility into customer requests, availability or proximity of agents, and agent skill sets - so each task is always assigned to the best person for the job.
  • Provide dispatchers with additional information inventory, latest COVID protocol, map views, etc. to further optimise scheduling and ensure the safety of field agents and customers.
  • Use automation to dynamically adapt scheduling to changing customer needs, employee emergencies, traffic, or weather conditions.
  • Contextualise signals from IoT devices with CRM data to help managers identify and address issues even before service requests are raised.
  • Allow supervisors to monitor individual agents during field tasks and assess agents’ performance based on specific KPIs, all in one dashboard to help improve their performance.

 2. Help field agents to drive personalised experiences and revenue generation 

  • Give them full visibility into customer data, so they can provide smart and personalised service, and recommend add-ons based on past requests, interactions, and needs.
  • Provide mobile solutions that enable remote working and keep field agents connected to team members and departments. 
  • Automatically update them with checklists, replacement parts, tools, and knowledge resources so they always arrive fully prepared on the job.
  • Provide step-by-step guides, AI-driven action recommendations and insights, real-time virtual support from experts to resolve issues in the first visit.
  • Use barcode-enabled parts, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), image or video recognition to increase accuracy and reduce task completion time.
  • Automate routine tasks like updating timesheets, task statuses, incurred expenses, session summaries, and service reports, so the field force can focus on improving customer experience.

3. Empower customers with self-service and complete visibility

  • Give them the power to schedule, reschedule, cancel appointments and book preferred agents on their favourite channels
  • Increase transparency by proactively messaging them with agent details and real-time ETA when help is on the way.
  • Enable them to share images or videos of assets for remote service assessment and to help them fix small issues on their own with guided, remote visual assistance.
  • Provide online payment, feedback, service reports for a safe, convenient digital experience.

Benefits of futuristic, connected field service

The application of technology in field service is only going to see an upward trend from here on. More businesses are realising the benefits of technologies like AI in improving productivity or IoT in enabling accurate, up-to-date data share.  

As internet penetration increases, leveraging modern technologies will enable Indian businesses to extend their services to even the remotest areas. So, greater digital adoption now will allow them to ensure higher customer satisfaction by:

  • Increasing asset performance and lifetime
  • Reducing asset downtime
  • Cutting down on service costs
  • Providing full visibility into service processes

How Salesforce can help

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 the webinar Empowering Customers and Technicians with Remote Support for more insights into the future of field service.

Also Read:

Reimagining Field Service Management: Optimising Productivity, Transforming Service, and Maximising Safety 

Unimark optimises field service and boosts customer engagement with Salesforce

Service Resilience in India