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Tradespeople on the Go: How Ford and Salesforce Are Gearing Up for Big Changes in Field Service

Last month, Ford Motor Company announced the launch of VIIZR, a CRM tool built on Salesforce Field Service designed to help small business owners run their businesses from anywhere. 

Software solutions in the field service space have traditionally been targeted at larger organizations — organizations with IT teams and experience with enterprise software — rather than at the small business sector.  

As a result, millions of small businesses in the trades—such as landscaping, plumbing and  HVAC companies—who want to prioritize the employee and customer experience are stuck working with paper invoices and handwritten customer records. They don’t have modern digital tools for managing their mobile employees and providing onsite support.

That’s why Ford built VIIZR on Salesforce Field Service. It will deliver a tailored solution that helps tradespeople schedule field appointments, send invoices and manage customer relationships from one integrated, cloud-based platform.   

Paul Whitelam, SVP & GM, Field Service Management at Salesforce, shares more about VIIZR and how small businesses can take advantage of the latest trends and technology in field service.

What does VIIZR mean for small businesses and the field service industry? 

The combination of Ford and Salesforce is an exciting opportunity to bring CRM technology to small businesses, where productivity and efficiency is increasingly important. 

This SMB-focused technology gives Ford’s commercial customers a complete solution for managing mobile workforces and providing onsite service. This will make it easier for tradespeople to provide an exceptional customer experience, even while they are on the go, and provide small businesses with the agility they need.

What are some of the struggles trade businesses encounter today when managing their customer relationships? 

When it comes to customer experiences, small businesses have always recognized it’s the personal touch that makes the difference. But as businesses and workforces grow, it becomes more difficult to maintain it — in large part because it gets harder to track all of the information about your customers. 

VIIZR helps tradespeople easily keep a consistent view of their customers, with all the details they need to be able to provide excellent service from anywhere. This is often harder than it seems when you have long-standing customers and years of old paperwork. 

Second, VIIZR helps streamline operations, helping busy contractors increase their bottom line. Less paperwork means more time to focus on their craft and customers rather than admin work.

How does VIIZR change how businesses are run? 

Digital transformation means nothing if it doesn’t help you serve your customers better. VIIZR gives small businesses a single view of their customers and a single view of operations so they have all the information needed to manage their business in the palm of their hand. 

And, importantly, this single view is shared with back office personnel and mobile workers — so the whole team is on the same page, no matter if they’re at the office, on the move, or with the customer. 

How can VIIZR help businesses hone their sustainability practices? 

Primarily, of course, digitizing business operations means less paper. But the efficiencies gained from the VIIZR technology, such as the ability to quickly schedule the most appropriate worker based on skills and location, can translate into less mileage and fewer repeat visits. 

All of this significantly cuts fuel costs and travel time, while improving customer satisfaction.

How has the pandemic reshaped field service for small businesses? 

Tradespeople in the home services sector have seen their business boom as people spend more time at home and want to invest in their household — everything from kitchen remodels to deck and pool additions, and more. On the other hand, if an appliance breaks, that is one more stressor on a customer who is probably already spread thin, and they want it fixed fast and efficiently, without putting their household at risk. 

At the same time, the labor market is tight, with ongoing skill shortages. In order to meet increased demand with a limited ability to hire, small businesses need to become more efficient and do more work with fewer resources. VIIZR enables them to do just that, with an increased focus on the end customer.

How will VIIZR help small businesses grow?

VIIZR brings companies and customers closer together, and when companies understand their customers better, they deliver better service. This in turn improves customer satisfaction and loyalty, which leads to referrals and repeat business.

Learn more about VIIZR and modern mobile workforces here.

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