Nothing slows down field agents like lagging communications, poor technology, and missing information. Without a mobile platform, agents must wait until they return to the office to connect to peers and resources, so there is much wasted time on travel and return appointments. Problems that could have been solved in a few moments take longer to fix. Without mobile connectivity, field agents simply don't operate at peak efficiency.
Real-time communication has the power to dramatically and immediately reduce costs and drive productivity. Here’s how.
1. Improve the First-Time-Fix Rate
Fixing problems on the first call is one of the most effective ways to keep costs down. Real-time communication makes it easier. Here are 5 benefits of field agents having real-time info while out on jobs:
Access to real-time inventory data reduces how frequently an agent doesn’t have the necessary parts on hand to complete a job on the first visit.
Agents connected to internal social networks, knowledge bases, and analytics-driven customer insights can suggest relevant upsells, solve previously invisible problems, and deliver better customer service.
Using mobile devices to solve on-the-job problems via social networks and video conferencing magnifies impact.
The same technology can automate and document service calls. Field agents can use tablets and smart phones to capture signatures and photos, refer to bar codes to track parts and keep inventory updated, or access the knowledge base.
While on site, if the technician sees that next week, the customer is scheduled for maintenance on another machine that's going to take an hour and a half—why not optimize time and complete both jobs while they're there? The technician can create an additional work order while on site and complete the two jobs at once without additional scheduling or travel time.
The effect? Improved ability to complete jobs the first time, in less time, and at a lower cost.
2. Create Efficiencies with Real-Time, Automated Adaptability
Adaptability from mobile communication can create efficiencies that drive down costs. Automated routing provides adaptability in real-time by enabling routing changes to be immediately sent to field agents. That reduces costs caused by canceled work orders or delays resulting from missed opportunities. With automation integrated into CRM, through help desk to dispatchers – and even to accounting and ERP – the process of adapting through automation can be managed, controlled, and renewed to maximize efficiency.
Not to mention saving a ton of travel time for field agents. They no longer must drive to the office first thing in the morning to pick up their work orders or return at the end of the day to drop them off. With mobility, it’s instantaneous for them. They will have time to complete an additional three or more work orders in a day based on time saved to and from the office.
3. Improve Customer Communications without Additional Service Load
Through web portals and mobile apps, customers have real-time access to field service agents, customer service staff, and sales people, and this enables delivery of better customer experiences at reduced costs.
Automation can also drive costs down. With a well-developed self-service portal and native web app, customers can reach out, set up multi-channel alerts, and receive the notifications they want and need. So, there are fewer missed appointments because customers are more in the loop. The improvement in service can result in more engaged, satisfied customers and lowered costs through increased efficiencies.
Learn How Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service can Help with Mobility
For more information about field service automation, click here to check out our recent webcast which covers Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service capabilities. Don’t miss Parts 2 and 3 in our Top 3 Times 3 Field Service blog series. Next up: Automated Scheduling.