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Field Service Management - Have you explored the ocean?


Field Service Management (FSM) has evolved over the years from being a back-office operation to one of the key customer relationship management processes. Likewise, the field service technician persona has moved on ways. Today, the field technician who meets and greets the customer is supposed to be the brand ambassador for the organization, making or breaking the standing.

While most service organizations have embraced basic, shiny or sizzling variants of field service solutions depending on their appetite for budget, needs and change management, has the FSM ocean been devoured for finding the Next Best Feature?

With automated and advanced field service solutions walking the ramp, here is a list of few advanced field service features that if added, can bring in the flavors of NexGen Field Service Management -

  1. Get Smart with IoT - These days, we have been living and breathing IoT then why leave the field service space? While much has been spoken of IoT and field service amalgamation, to start with, IoT could be leveraged for automating some of the field service tasks, starting with easy ones like predictive maintenance, emergency breakdowns, remote monitoring of assets/ equipment, tracking the safety of technicians or enjoying an analysis of the equipment's (projections, failure analysis etc.)  with the tons of data generated by IoT sensors.

  2. Get a virtual tour with Augmented Reality - This feature is fast catching up with the field service fraternity wherein knowing the details of the asset during the first time visit or training the technicians/ new joiners in the organization is no more a tedious task at hand. This feature can be extended further to provide the right knowledge to the technician on- the- go or on-field.

  3. Learning with Machine Learning - Gone are the days when one would have to rely on manual reconciliation of numbers, failures or progress reports. Machine Learning lets you learn everything on the field - Understanding the technician work pattern to technician utilization and ramp up, inventory forecasts for upcoming jobs etc. Either utilize the in- built machine learning algorithms within the FSM solutions or write one of yours and integrate with the data generated of the FSM solution to get the forecasts.

  4. On field collaboration - While contact center collaboration or ask an expert is a popular service feature, the usage of the same for improving the field service experience is also being widely deliberated. On- field collaboration or chat windows are being explored for peer collaboration, technician to dispatcher interaction, supervisor to technician expert inputs sharing etc. Again, this is also a feature being in- built into the FSM solutions, if not can be built outside of the solution and integrated using API based mechanisms.

  5. Intelligent Insights and Analytics - Every organization collects data or generates analytical snap shot of the on- field performance, so what's new? The in thing is to automate the data analysis either using ML algorithms or in- built intelligence of the FSM solutions to draw out meaningful data patterns for productivity improvements, performance views and forecasts for future planning.

  6. Empower Technicians to generate leads - This feature, quite eminent in manufacturing sector, is catching up pace with other verticals wherein on- field technicians are being empowered to be able to cross/ up sell products and/ or services while meeting their planned activities.

  7. Connected Field Service - 'Connected Sales and Service' were the successful mantras from yesteryear. While the same still holds good, the new thing is 'Connected Field Service'. What does it mean for an organization is to amalgamate the Contact Center and Field Service operations for a seamless experience not only for the customer but also for the technician. Having a 360 degree of the customer entailing assets to service request to work order history will not only help the contact center agent strike a better conversation but also for a technician to provide meaningful services and who knows a cross sell opportunity!

The list of advancements in Field Service is overwhelming. A prudent strategy for embracing them in a calculated manner can reap benefits like productivity improvements, better ROI, enhanced CX and UX. So, are you exploring the ocean of features?  

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