According to The Service Council’s 2021 report, 70% of field service technicians have said that customer and employer demands have increased while 75% said their own products are requiring an increasing amount of technical knowledge.
Given that these professionals must be able to do their jobs efficiently and meticulously while working toward meeting their businesses’ goals, it’s clear that they need help. The answer, for many organizations, is field service automation.
What Is Field Service Automation?
Also called field service management, field service automation refers to the use of technology to handle tasks that were previously completed manually in industries that require routine field support. In other words, it indicates contexts in which technicians or professionals are routinely deployed to resolve problems, complete tasks, or otherwise serve clients or customers.
The umbrella term covers all processes, procedures, policies, and workflows involved. The technology allows organizations to streamline and organize activities such as:
- Assigning technicians tickets based on their qualifications
- Tracking open tickets and progress
- Managing schedules
- Prioritizing and triaging tickets
- Recording and generating status updates
- Delivering notifications to technicians and managers
- Collecting data
- Generating reports
- Managing inventory
- Offering complete histories of assignments and customer complaints or orders
No matter what tools you use, the goal of the automation of field service work is to simplify complex processes, reducing the number of steps involved and eliminating redundancies.
Field Service Automation Software
At the heart of field service network automation is the software that enables the processes and activities to take place.
A field service automation platform typically integrates a number of the procedures and tasks listed above into a single tool, allowing organizations to view and access all the information in one place and handle assignments quickly and efficiently.
You can automate your field services through the use of this software, which may be accessible via a number of devices, including mobile and desktop. Given that most field service automation solutions are cloud-based, they are usually accessible from practically anywhere with an internet connection. Many are equipped with user-friendly interfaces that enable easy use.
Benefits of Field Service Automation
When you automate field service workflows, you will reap plenty of rewards. They include:
Gaining Back Time
One of the chief benefits of automation is that it reduces the amount of time individuals and their entire organizations need to spend on tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex responsibilities that require human intervention. Scheduling, assigning, data collection and evaluation, and more can be done automatically and seamlessly, putting hours back into workers’ days.
Eliminating Unnecessary Manual Labor
Businesses that demand field service work are used to dealing with mountains of paperwork, manual entry, and other tedious tasks. Human workers no longer need to handle these time-consuming assignments and responsibilities. Instead, machines take over the rote, repetitive labor.
When your employees aren’t spending an enormous amount of time on tedious tasks, you will actually end up saving money. While field service automation software is an investment, it’s an extremely cost-effective one. In the long run, you will be able to reduce costs by having technology take care of responsibilities that humans previously had to undertake, meaning you won’t have to pay employees for time, say, entering and logging status updates.
Of course, you’ll also achieve better customer satisfaction, which can increase profits — it’s a win-win for everyone.
This software better equips you to store and assess customer information, allowing you to respond to consumer demands quickly and efficiently. You can also appeal to specific customer concerns and resolve individual queries.
With a customized approach, consumers will be happier with the level of service they receive and, it stands to reason, remain loyal to your company, as well as recommend your business to other people.
Receiving Real-Time Data
We live in the age of Big Data, when information is everywhere we look. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to use that data appropriately.
Having a field service automation platform will not only provide you with a wealth of actionable information in real time, but it will also give you insights through reports and thorough dashboards that will enable you to use that data to improve your services, assess the quality, see how individual team members are performing, and much more.
A technician with an inadequate skill set is deployed for a job they can’t complete. The directions on how to get to the site are unclear. The employee doesn’t have the appropriate tools to do the job correctly. The wrong price is quoted for the work at hand. A ticket isn’t properly recorded and an agent isn’t assigned.
These are just some of the many problems that can occur when you’re relying on a manual system for your field service work. Humans are prone to error, of course. And this can wreak havoc on even the most carefully-honed system. But an automated platform resolves many of these issues and more, helping a company maintain accuracy and allowing it to perform work carefully and consistently.
Field Service Technology Companies
There are many existing field service technology companies that deliver products that solve challenges for businesses across sectors. Just some of these products are:
- Azuga Fleet
- Field Nation
- Housecall Pro
- Salesforce Field Service
- Service Autopilot
- Service Fusion
Existing field service automation solutions are often sufficient for many businesses. But those looking for customized software can turn to outsourcing companies that specialize in delivering personalized tools that streamline business automation for field service.