Essentially, field service revolves around managing people on field to perform their field jobs in a way that increases efficiency, maximizes customer satisfaction while minimising operational costs. With multiple levels of coordination involved, achieving this consistency of field operations on a daily basis can prove to be a real challenge for companies.
Let’s dive deeper into some of the top challenges faced by FSM companies and how technology can make the difference in solving them, especially when digital connectivity is on fire:
1) Getting it first-time right
First time fix rates aren’t an easy goal to achieve. Reportedly, 24% of field service dispatches require a second visit. Every visit on field is a cost to the company so it only makes sense to ensure the task is completed right by the technician or the delivery guy in the first attempt itself. Studies point out that an average field time fix rate for an organization is 77%, which means field technicians have to do follow up visits for at least 23% of the service calls. This could be lack of information on the technician’s part or his failure to carry the right parts for the job or simply a miscommunication in the system. Whatever be the reason, for organizations this could have a serious impact on the bottom line in the long run. To ensure service quality without pressuring performance costs, companies are increasingly adopting technology automation to plan and perform better in the field.
2) Customer Relationship Management
On-demand delivery has made customer expectations touch the roof. In today’s technologically powered landscape, customer loyalty is strongly attached to the quality of service he receives from the company. Taking the routine case of Amazon and how it’s prime delivery service swung a huge user base in its stride. Who would have imagined a concept of same-day delivery but Amazon made it possible and this has had a remarkable impact on customer expectations.
This is just one example. But given the general trend, today’s customer is conveniently getting used to shorter wait times and consistent deliveries. The customer expects to be in loop throughout the journey of the order completion. And hence it has become imperative for field service in any sector to step up to the mark for the business to succeed. Many companies are meeting this by introducing chatbots for virtual connect to ensure the loop continues. How to match up with these constantly changing customer demands and making the customer involved and attended to, is a huge challenge for companies today.
3) Adherence to precise scheduling
Tracking your field workforce on a daily basis and making sure they adhere to their assigned schedules is central to the overall performance of your field operations. And often a challenge for companies, especially if they are still using manual methods to schedule the field jobs. Automated scheduling with the help of a FSM tool can help in tracking real time coordinates of your field force and allocate them tasks on the go. This leads to better task distribution as well as limits possible deviations.
4) Measuring KPIs of field efficacy
What are the metrics to conclude the efficiency of your field operations? Cost and quality are the most important KPIs to evaluate the performance of field service in any sector. It is often a challenge for companies to ensure that the cost overheads come down in time while quality of field service keeps improving. Manual processes, paper-based collections, poor customer coordination, shortage of skilled workforce, are just some of the common problems in the field service sector. A good FSM tool can help in solving many of these challenges and build more field efficacy by tracking analytics of your field service operations as well as providing greater visibility. Studies point out that leading companies who implement field service analytics see an 18 percent increase in profits and a 44 percent increase in SLA compliance.
5) Managing third party players
Reportedly, almost 20-25% of service calls are addressed by third party technicians. The reasons companies are engaging with third party players could be many – better skilled workforce, wider geographical reach or higher staffing flexibility. Third party players provide the flexibility to scale up if the task at hand needs more manpower. For companies to recruit and train new employees is a time-consuming affair and a large number of companies approach third party players to stay agile. With the increasing use of third party players to deliver superior field outcomes and enhanced customer experience (CX), managing them is equally a challenge for companies. The most important hurdle is getting visibility into the activity of your third party field force. This makes monitoring them a difficult task and companies are left with limited control to track the performance of third party players. There is a huge gap in information exchange unless you integrate the two ends with the help of a technological solution.
Resolve your field service challenges with Dista. To know more about our solution, contact us.