What is Field Service Management?

Learn how to connect your teams, optimize operations, and amaze customers.

December 15, 2021 | 6 minutes

In its simplest form, field service is the part of an organization that deploys a worker to perform in-person service for a customer. Use cases span industries, from performing maintenance on a machine at a hospital to fixing your cable connection at home.

Field service is often the only direct interaction a customer has with a company. Because of this, interactions are critical to retention and loyalty. That’s why 80% of decision makers at organizations with field service say that it is a key part of their overall strategy today.


80% of decision makers at companies with field service say it’s a key part of their overall strategy.

State of Service” Salesforce Research, October 2020.

Let’s dig deeper into field service management and see what it takes to meet customer needs today.

What is field service management?

Field service management is how organizations coordinate resources to deliver in-person service. There are a spectrum of use cases. These use cases include equipment installation, maintenance, break/fix, and asset monitoring. Performing these jobs takes careful coordination between agents, dispatchers, workers, and others. It requires digital-first tools and technology that provides:

A complete view of data

Digital-first field service management leads to a connected experience. Connected field service management technology centralizes information. Everyone is on the same system and data is available in real time on any device.

With a complete view of data, field service organizations unlock cross-department productivity. It breaks down departmental silos as teams share expertise and centralize knowledge. They collaborate on the same platform in real time. As a result, the likelihood of a resolution improves because everyone has the information they need.

Optimized operations

Digital-first field service management uses automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline operations. For example, dispatchers can optimize schedules based on availability and expertise. It also considers business priorities and makes recommendations to meet service-level agreements (SLAs). At the same time, field service mobile workers have the information they need on their mobile device. They also follow automated workflows at the job site.

Contract visibility

Organizations gain insight into service contracts to ensure the right level of service. The system then assigns the tasks of updating the contract and billing information. This type of solution can even enable field service teams to generate new revenue. As a trusted expert, a field service mobile worker can also offer cross-sell opportunities.

From intelligently scheduling employees and contractors to assigning work and providing complete visibility into service operations, field service management helps companies to deliver better service to customers anywhere and from any device. This is why having the right solution matters to your business, workers, and customers.

Who benefits from field service management?

Digital-first field service management has a ripple effect across the organization. A better experience for your field service team leads to better customer experiences. Here’s how each member of your field service team will benefit:

Support agents

With a complete view of the customer, support agents personalize every interaction. That matters when 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. Agents can pick up where others left off.

Support agents access knowledge articles and use automated workflows. Meanwhile, AI works behind the scenes to improve their responses and recommendations. If agents can’t find what they need, they can collaborate to resolve complicated requests.

If a customer needs help with a simple task — such as how to reboot a piece of equipment — agents can troubleshoot with visual remote assistance. Agents launch a video session that becomes a two-way interactive experience. The agent sees the object in real time and guides the customer through directions. If the customer needs more support, the agent connects them to a skilled technician.


Gone are the days of using whiteboards to map schedules. Digital-first field service management automates the entire scheduling process for dispatchers. So, when dispatchers go to schedule an appointment, the system recommends the next available field service mobile worker with the right expertise for the job.

If schedules change unexpectedly, a connected field service management system sources a replacement. Or if the customer cancels, the system adjusts schedules with the help of automation. It reassigns the field service mobile worker to a new job that requires similar skills, tools, and equipment.

These capabilities free up dispatchers to focus on more complex work. They also remove any bias that would have otherwise come from manual scheduling. Workloads are better balanced and every field service mobile worker has a shot.

Field service mobile workers

With the right technology, field service mobile workers no longer feel disengaged from the office. They have mobile devices that provide a real-time view of data. From their mobile app, they can review schedules, recommended routes, and key customer information. They can also ensure they have the right tools and equipment on the truck before they head out for the day.

Online and offline mobile capabilities give them what they need, even in remote locations. They can access knowledge articles, workflows, and tasks lists. They can also add notes, which sync with the field service management system. If a problem is outside of their expertise, they can connect with an expert with visual remote assistance.

Time with the customer also provides a way to naturally cross-sell and upsell opportunities. The field service mobile worker can help customers upgrade equipment or service contracts from their mobile device. Or, they can hand the customer over to a sales rep for more complicated requests.

Contact center managers

A digital-first field service management solution helps contact center managers keep operations running smoothly. The system collects data around important key performance indicators (KPIs). These include first-time fix rates, average resolution times, customer satisfaction, and others. Managers create reports on these metrics and use them to improve processes. They are also able to track changes to equipment or service contracts made in the field. Since information is visible to other departments, managers ensure the customer always gets what they signed up for.


During busy periods, field service organizations hire extra help. A field service management system makes it possible for contractors to hit the ground running. They have the same capabilities as full-time staff, which accelerates onboarding. Plus, they get immediate access to training materials, knowledge articles, and experts to help them succeed. Even when they are out in the field, they can chat with colleagues and consult with experts in any channel, including video.


Two-thirds of consumers still want — and prefer — in-person service. But field service organizations are learning customers have higher expectations to meet. They expect field service to fit into their schedules, and clear communication and complete transparency matters from the start.

Digital-first field service management gives customers the control and convenience they crave. They can schedule their own appointments from a portal, website, or app. On the day of service, they get updates with capabilities like appointment assistance so that no one is waiting around. This includes reminders on their appointment times, details on who will be coming, and their estimated time of arrival. Customers get updates on the channel of their choice.

How to choose the right field service management solution

Ready to get started? As you evaluate field service management solutions, ask yourself these questions:

Is the implementation straightforward?

Look at your current technology. How well will the solution fit into your technology stack? Will it disrupt your current workflows? Find out what sort of investment is required to make an informed decision.

How easy is it to use?

It’s important to have an intuitive solution. How customizable is the solution? Can it focus on precisely what each user needs? Does each user see a version that’s perfect for their purposes?

Can it handle third-party support?

Find out which third-party mobile workforce applications can integrate with the solution. Spend the time upfront determining how easy or difficult integrations will be to ensure future success.

Is it mobile-first?

Make sure your field service workers have everything they need to be successful. Ensure your solution is compatible with their current mobile devices.

Does it provide real-time data?

It's critical that your back office knows what's happening in the field. Your solution should give everyone in the organization access to the same information in real time.

Is it scalable?

You need a solution that is built for change. Whether you have a small group of customers or a global base, the system needs to be able to handle your changing workload. As the operation grows, it should be easy to add new capabilities and adapt to new needs.
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