Do you know that your customers are much more likely to raise a complaint about poor service than they are to praise a delightful experience? This growing trend of modern users demanding flawless service has forced businesses to shift focus. Gone are the days when having a successful product was primary and the service component was a hasteful after-sale add-on. Now, there are dedicated service teams and service agents ready-on-the-go 24/7/365 to provide seamless service. Tracking these service delivery teams to turn up efficiency has also led to the advent and mass adoption of field service management software.
To streamline field service management and provide maximum value to customers while improving productivity and profitability, most service organizations rely on field service software to orchestrate their operations. Field service software optimizes service delivery, workflows, and data with automated processes and capabilities.
Contrary to popular opinion, field service automation will not break your bank. In fact, the right field service solution will help you cut down your operational costs substantially and make the life of your employees a little easier. However, diving headfirst into the field service software market to find your ideal field service software can get overwhelming quickly.
Naturally, there are several reasons service organizations spend a lot of time and effort to choose the right software solution. Selecting a new FSM software is a big decision for your organization, and choosing the best one for your company is critical. So, what are the things you should consider before investing in a software for field service?
Here in this blog, you will find everything you need to know about FSM software and learn how to pick the right software for your business so that your hard-earned money gets all its worth.
1. What is Field Service Management?
Field service management (FSM) is defined as the end-to-end approach used to fulfill service requests in a transparent, organized, and integrated way. The major purpose of this process is to identify the field service needs of the customer and fulfill them adequately in a hassle-free way that ensures customer satisfaction and inspires long-term loyalty. FSM is a system of managing off-site workers and the resources they require to do their jobs efficiently. Originally this was a manual process that involved phone calls and paperwork exchanged among field service technicians, customers and office personnel. Today, FSM software handles much of the information exchange and manages the field service process.
2. Disadvantages of Manual Field Service Management
Outdated tools like paper forms and spreadsheets are flexible and up to the task when you are just entering the field service arena and operate with a handful of technicians. As your business begins to grow, the process of managing multiple field service requests and evaluating them to schedule, dispatch, and optimize your field workforce gets out of hand. As a result, confusion and chaos start to thrive in your back-office operations, affecting both customer and employee morale. In short, a manual field service management process could be:
- Costly and error-ridden
- Neither transparent nor consistent
- Prone to potential scheduling conflicts
- Complex and labor-intensive
- Exhaustive and disengaging to everyone involved
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3. What is Field Service Management Software?
FSM software is a technological solution designed to help field service managers take control of all the moving parts by automating certain tasks, while providing remote access to the office, real-time updates, and customer insights, and many other tools. Essentially, it is a software solution that automates field service management. This lets field workers view and make changes to schedules, work orders, customer account records, inventory, invoices and other databases and records. The tools also give customers a way to schedule service, track service requests and technicians’ progress, engage field personnel and havenecessary input in the field service process.
4. How to Select the Right Field Service Management Sofware?
It is evident that to keep up with the growing market competition, you must empower your organization with field management software that offers the best features and services. However, the current market is overflowing with hundreds of software options, which makes it rather confusing to zero in on one. Some of them make lofty promises of astonishing features while some offers irresistible deals. But remember, nothing will work in your favor if they meet your requirements. So, ask yourself whether your choice fulfill the following criteria before you finalize.
1. Cloud-Based Software
While on-premise field service tools may seem like the secure option with the software installed in your own physical servers and computer systems or mobile devices on your local network, they will be pretty much useless for your field workforce and even back-office operators who work from a remote location. Whereas, cloud-based field service management software is built and maintained by the service provider on their own servers. What’s more, they come with state-of-the-art security features like single sign-on, face authorization, etc., in a mobile-compatible, browser-friendly version that can be used by both your customer and employees seamlessly irrespective of the location.
2. Ease of Use
In case the software that you choose demands additional infrastructure or comes with a long learning curve, then your employees will have a hard time adapting to it and start looking for ways to bypass the system, which will lead to more complications. If you make sure that your FSM software doesn’t require anything other than a mobile device and a decent internet connection, it will not only make the life of your employees easy but also improve the overall efficiency of your field workforce.
3. Smart Scheduling & Dispatching
Scheduling and dispatching is the backbone of any service delivery business. No matter what else you are offering your customers, nothing will work as per expectation unless the right technician reaches the job site on time and deliver the best of service to the customer. However, scheduling in field service can easily become a nightmare at times. Think about missed appointments, double bookings, an under-utilized workforce, and several other things that could go wrong in the process. But a smart scheduling feature will reduce the administrative burden of dispatchers and help them assign the right technician to the right job at the right time, every time.
Not all software is made equal. So, even when you choose a field service management system that is specific to your niches like maid service software or cleaning business software, you need to understand that it might not be made with your organization in mind. Picking a tool that needs constant maintenance and support from a dedicated IT professional will not suit a small, local service business. Hence, it is vital that you pick a field service software that can be customized without any complex process.
5. Mobile Access
The days where field service agent lugged around from one customer service location to another with a overflowing paper folder with all crucial information on the service job that needs to be done are gone for good. Now, most leading service providers rely on smartphones to disseminate information to their technicians. Therefore, an ideal field service software will offer its users a mobile-first experience replacing chunky file cabinet with a user-friendly mobile application. This mobile app must provide field agents all the information they need from customer location and contact to their any ad hoc requests or recent conversations they had with the back-office team.
6. Seamless Integration
Field service scheduling software can’t stand alone. It needs to connect seamlessly with the existing software stack software like CRM, ERP, accounting system, and everything else seamlessly to improve operational efficiency.
7. Team Management
If your business offer different services or your employees work at multiple job sites at a time, make sure the field service management software that you choose lets you create service groups and offer dynamic team management features.
8. GPS Technology
For field service businesses, monitoring field technicians in real-time could be a crucial element for seamless operations. This way, you can always keep track of your employees’ location, job status, routing issues, and most importantly, total billable hours. Most premium FSM software solutions these days come with GPS technology with features like geotagging and geofencing. Therefore, if you want to use your resources to their full potential, make sure it is GPS enabled.
9. Self-Service Portal
Gone are the days where customers made appointments through phone calls or emails. Now, they want everything to be done at the touch of a button, so if you want to keep up with customer expectations, choose a field service time app that offers a user-friendly self-service interface that enables your customers to take control.
10. Free Trial Period
Most of the field service management solutions available in the market offer a free trial period so that users can test the product on their own and ensure it is capable of meeting their existing business needs.
A free trial provides you with an ample amount of time to alleviate any doubts you may have about an FSM suite’s performance and make an informed decision about the value you can extract from it.
5. Before We Wrap Up
Now that you know what to look for in FSM software, it is time to check which software solutions offer all these at a competitive price. To reduce your burden, here is our recommendation– just go for Field Promax.
Field Promax is undoubtedly one of the best field service management software for you. It is perfect for businesses of all size, and one of the most convenient software solutions out there. It has every feature mentioned in this blog, and then some. This amazing field service management automation software offers:
- Smart scheduling & dispatching
- Work order management
- Estimate generation
- Mobile app for field workers
- Time cards
- Calendar views
- GPS tracking
- Customer management
- Reports and dashboards
- Equipment tracking
- Dynamic team management
- Cloud storage
- Mobile access
- Billing and invoicing
- Digital signature support
- On-field payment