Benefits Of Field Service Management Software: Practical Solutions For Front-line Employees
Today’s post reviews key findings by International Journal of Service Industry Management research to highlight the practical value of field service management software as a way to improve franchise preparedness and diplomatic relations.
Read on to learn more about the empirical value of FranchiseSoft’s field service management software or call 888-302-3676 to book a free consultation straight away.
How Field Service Management Software Increases Organizational Preparedness
Service industry researchers gauge an organization’s preparedness by their access to “well trained and motivated customer service personnel” and effective service delivery systems, which are assessed based on the strength of three main drivers (Agnihothri et al., 2002, p. 57):
- Rewards and recognition
- Information and communication
- Adequate tools to serve customers
Our field service management software was developed with these three drivers in mind. These are just a few of the ways that FranchiseSoft can increase organizational preparedness for your franchise:
- Create cost-efficient soft reward/recognition structures. Rewards and recognition motivate workers, increasing productivity and organizational preparedness.Don’t make money the only motivation tool in your managerial arsenal. Bonuses and raises certainly incentivize teams, but this approach to team motivation is inefficient and unsustainable. Remember: not all rewards must be paid out of pocket. Soft rewards like workplace recognition work wonderfully, especially when they’re data-driven.
When using our field service management software’s powerful back-end analytics, managers have access to all kinds of service metrics they can cite to celebrate team members. Send employee-of-the-month memos and outstanding service reports, or give high-achievers access to other soft rewards such as greater scheduling flexibility. You can even automate your praise by setting up congratulatory messages when service times are met or support tickets are resolved.
- Improve communication and access to information. Organizations with high preparedness give field workers responsive support and “anytime, anywhere (on-demand) training” access (Agnihothri et al., 2002, p. 57). And that’s exactly what our field service management software gets you. With support ticketing processes, multi-channel dashboard communication capabilities, and anytime-access to cloud-based training materials, your team will have everything they need to deliver superior results out in the field.
- Giving service workers the tools for the job. In addition to the front-end problem-solving value offered by anytime access to training/troubleshooting materials, franchisors can easily manage inventory levels and supply chain from our intuitive dashboards—or even automate these processes—to make sure technicians always have the tools and parts they need to serve customers effectively.
Read more about how our field service management software improves organizational preparedness on the FranchiseSoft testimonial page.
How Field Service Management Software Improves “Diplomatic Relations”
Researchers at the International Journal of Service Industry Management define “diplomacy” as “the ability of an organization to strategically manage its relationship with its customers by creating and managing their expectations” (Agnihothri et al., 2001, p. 54).
Creating and managing expectations is partly about effectively communicating your value proposition and service offerings, which is made easy by our marketing module and general communication capabilities.
But what are some specific policies and actions that franchise’s can take to signal value propositions and create customer service quality expectations? More importantly, how does field service management software help?
1. Reduce Potential Service-productivity Trade-Offs
“Organizations that place considerable emphasis on diplomacy may enjoy higher levels of customer satisfaction but not necessarily service productivity,” writes Agnihothri et al. “This is due to their emphasis on ‘delighting’ their customer, which might require creating a sufficient buffer in the service system.”
In other words, everything comes at a cost. Franchises that focus on delighting existing customers tend to spend less time attracting new ones; likewise, putting too much energy into lead-generation takes away from the time you can invest in delighting current customers.
But field service management software reduces the impact of the service-productivity trade-off by providing automation opportunities and other efficiencies, including:
- Automated lead generation processes
- Sales cycle automation (e.g. automatic email updates with further instructions sent to new leads entering the system)
- Powerful real-time analytics and ticketing processes to make customer service more efficient
- Self-service options to reduce service impact on worker productivity
- GPS functionality to make service follow-ups more convenient for all involved
- Upload images of jobs-well-done for remote sign-offs
- Speedier payment processing and invoicing, both on-site or online
At the end of the day, field service management software simply makes it easier to “delight” your customers, which leaves more time to be productive and find new customers.
2. Improve “Critical Service Engagements” To Delight Clientele
According to researchers at the International Journal of Service Industry Management, any encounters between customers and employees—whether on the web, over the phone, or face-to-face—function as “critical moments of truth in which customers often develop indelible impressions of a firm.”
It is without question that poor service engagements have serious consequences for your franchise’s reputation. Research suggests that the average dissatisfied customer tells 10 to 20 people about their poor service, while those whose problems are resolved are likely to inform about five people (p. 58).
But even if you’ve had poor service encounters in the past, there’s hope. While the first impression tends to matter most, “each employee encounter with a customer… is an opportunity for the firm to reinforce or change customer perceptions of the firm’s offerings” (p. 58).
To improve service outcomes, researchers at the International Journal of Service Industry Management recommend the following features—all of which are included in our field service management software (Agnihothri et al., 2001, p. 58):
- “Decision support systems/expert systems” — Having access to expert support and official training/how-to materials help personnel resolve problematic diagnostics and deal with any unforeseen circumstances, so customers never see your workers without an answer.
- “Automatic ordering of parts as-required” — Inventory management solutions ensure your field service workers always have the right tools for the job, and customers aren’t kept waiting.
- “Dynamic scheduling of field service visits” — Our field service management solution automatically alerts you when new service requests are submitted, identifies the nearest technician, and gives you dynamic tools for communication and scheduling automation.
- “Advanced self-service websites” — Make self-service encounters with your brand smooth and memorable with virtual product manuals, frequently asked questions (FAQ) and other product literature. You can also create more advanced self-service resources with knowledge bases, Web-based training, guided diagnostics, automatic product update notices, user groups for tapping and sharing the knowledge among the user community, issuance of service tickets and product returns, and field service scheduling.
Field service management software greatly enhances the outcomes of service engagements in any setting. But don’t just take our word for it—see for yourself:
Free Demo — Learn More About Field Service Management Solutions For Your Business
Visit the FranchiseSoft website or call 888-302-3676 to book a free consultation and virtual demonstration.
Agnihothri, S., Sivasubramaniam, N., & Simmons, D. (2002). Leveraging technology to improve field service. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 13(1), 47-68. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Saligrama_Agnihothri/publication/242022589_Leveraging_Technology_to_Improve_Field_Service/links/0c96052963a0676715000000/Leveraging-Technology-to-Improve-Field-Service.pdBack