Brilliant field service is all about connected customer experiences.

The kind where a service agent calls a customer proactively to disucss a service issue they may not event know they have, whilst already knowing all about them, their issue and their eligibilities, and can arrange an appointment that meets their schedule.

Where a field technician arrives at the agreed time, with the right skills and resources – and where the customer gets a notification the moment their job’s complete.

These kind of connected customer experiences depend on a connected workforce – service agents, dispatchers and field technicians all working with a single view of the customer, supported by intelligent, automated systems.

Sadly, such connected field services are far from the norm…

The sad state of field service today

52% of companies are still using manual methods to handle field service – the kind of pen and paper systems that slow and silo information, and lead to frustrating, disjointed customer experiences.

And it’s not just the customer that suffers. Executives say their service agents’ top two frustrations with the tools they use in the field are:

  1. Their tools aren’t fast enough
  2. They can’t access all of the information they need

If this all sounds a little too familiar, don’t worry. Help is at hand.

Meet Salesforce Field Service Lightning

We’ve taken the premise that a connected customer experience depends on a connected workforce, and run with it.

The result is Salesforce Field Service Lightning – a simple way to unite service technicians, dispatchers and field technicians on one platform, and deliver smarter, better connected on-site services.

What does connected field service look like in practice? It could look like this…

Connected field services in practice

Imagine there’s a concert happening tonight at your nearest arena. The venue’s getting ready, sound-checking the bands, testing the visuals – when one of its massive video screens breaks down.

That video screen is part of the Internet of Things. It reports its own failure to an imaginatively named audio and visual repair company, AV – a made up company, but one with real-world issues.

The service agent’s story

AV’s customer service rep receives a case in her agent console directly from the broken down video screen (the power of IoT!) and proactively calls the customer to arrange the repair. That’s right – proactive customer service in action. She’s armed with all the information she needs about the failure, from details of the location, to information regarding the customer and their eligibilities.

She creates a work order, attaching a useful video on fixing exactly this kind of problem, and adding a countdown timer. The timer shows how long the company’s got left to fix the issue, before it breaches its SLA with the customer.

Then it’s time to arrange an appointment. She can’t hope to know the availability and skillsets of all AV’s field technicians – but she doesn’t have to. Through Artificial Intelligence, her system knows, and automatically matches the customer’s availability, location and skills required to the availability, location and skills of AV’s team, presenting her with a number of slots to offer the customer.

The customer picks the best slot – the soonest (the concert’s tonight, after all!) – and she clicks to send the work order on to AV’s dispatcher.

The dispatcher’s story

The dispatcher is looking at a Gantt chart that shows him, at a glance, all current work orders, who they’re assigned to, and whether they’re pending, in progress or complete.

The arena’s job pops up next to the technician it’s already been assigned to. But the dispatcher knows something the system doesn’t – this technician’s just called in to say his van’s broken down on the other side of town.

The dispatcher flips to a map view, and the system’s in built intelligence platform suggests who else is near enough to take the job, and so he drags it into their schedule instead.

The field technician’s story

AV’s field technician sees the job appear in her day’s schedule on her mobile app. She taps into it to see all the same information as everyone else – the customer, the time, the asset, even the helpful video the service agent attached.

She heads to the arena and fixes the big screen – while back at HQ, the dispatcher watches her progress across the map. He sees the job’s status change from in-progress to complete as she takes a signature on her phone, and closes the job from the field.

The concert is back on, the technician is off to her next job, and the customer – who’s been automatically notified that the screen’s back up and running – is delighted. Not surprising, when you consider she didn’t have to proactively do anything to solve this issue, allowing her to focus 100% on her artists and concert-goers. 

Ready to become outstanding in the field?

Connect your field workforce, and you can really connect customer experiences – with faster, smarter service.

See how companies like “AV” are doing this stuff, for real. Register now to join our live webinar: Enhancing the End-to-End Customer Experience and Increasing Productivity with Field Service on Thursday 27th October 10:00AM - 11:00AM BST. 

Sign-up today to ensure you don’t miss it, and we’ll even send you the recording afterwards if you do.