One of the key factors to ensuring a satisfied customer is a seamless customer experience. By that, we mean issues resolved before they even become a problem, accurate invoicing and service technicians who are both proactive and well-prepared. This is the kind of experience you can create with a connected field service.
Here are some benefits of a connected field service:
- Scheduling is optimised
- Technicians have all the information needed
- Problems are diagnosed and resolved before customers are aware
- Maximum use of the cloud
1. Scheduling is optimised
If an on-site visit doesn’t go as planned, it often results in a disappointed customer as well as a waste of time and money. Some reasons why a service can’t be completed include:
- The technician doesn’t have everything they need (such as the part, tools, skillset or information)
- The object isn’t ready for service
- The predetermined object diagnosis is incorrect (and that’s only revealed once the technician is on-site)
The right field service software will have resource scheduling optimisation capabilities. For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Field Service automatically generates an optimised schedule for field service technicians, based on their location, availability, skillset/expertise and customer preferences.
This helps your managers and dispatchers assign the right technician for the job. Your technicians can also check their schedule while on-the-go via a tablet or mobile.
If there’s a change to their schedule (e.g. if an unexpected job takes priority because it requires someone with a specific skillset and no-one else is available), the technician will be notified and a new route drawn up. And once your technicians have finished one job, the next will automatically be set up to come straight after.
This ensures the right person is always assigned and maximises your field service team’s productivity, ensuring minimal time is lost between jobs.
If there’s a larger project, such as 100 boilers needing to be replaced, D365’s schedule board provides an overview of all the available technicians. This makes it easier for managers to plan and organise schedules based on:
- The team’s availability
- The team’s skillset
- The team’s location
- The task’s urgency
Ultimately, it’s an approach that takes into account the needs of the customer, technician and your company.
2. Technicians have all the information needed
We mentioned this briefly in the previous section. If technicians don’t have access to the information needed, they may struggle to get the job completed. With the connected field service Dynamics 365 provides, your team benefits from:
- All the insight required to finish the job e.g. customer data, case history, on-the-job guidance via built-in resources/knowledge hub, ability to contact other team members for remote assistance
- Ability to add photos and other media of the finished job and add it to the case
- Ability to acquire customer signatures and even payment to facilitate work order completion
- Ability to order new parts while on-site. The purchase record can be automatically entered into your ERP system (if integrated) and approved so the order can be placed immediately. This eliminates unnecessary waiting periods
3. Problems are diagnosed and resolved before customers are aware
If a piece of equipment breaks down, it would save a lot of time if it could tell you exactly what caused it. This is what machine learning and IoT are for. D365 Field Service uses IoT sensors to monitor and send data on asset performance in real-time.
- Issues can be addressed faster and before they become a problem - you’ll only need to send a technician if it’s necessary, which saves resources and boosts customer satisfaction
- Machines that have the most issues can be closely monitored
- Data from the machines that have the most issues can be stored
The last point is particularly beneficial. If you know the exact nature of these problems, the solutions suggested and the solutions that worked, you can be prepared for future incidents.
You might even be able to set up the system in a way that any future problems are fixed in advance, whether it’s by a preventative/predictive maintenance schedule or the customer being provided with clear step-by-step instructions/guidance.
4. Maximum use of the cloud
One of the benefits of using a cloud-based solution is you can access more information, more quickly and easily - even remotely. This is perfect for your field service team who are often on-the-go and can’t afford to waste time searching for information they need to complete jobs.
With D365 Field Service, you can benefit from Azure IoT Suite, which features multiple technologies that can be easily accessed via a single tool in the cloud. These technologies include:
- Data analytics
- Data storage
- Predictive analytics
- Workflow automation
- Intuitive, dynamic dashboards
This is everything your field service team will need to provide fast, efficient and positive customer service and experience.
D365’s connected field service keeps you at the top of your customer service game
Speaking of customer service, did you know that customers are four times more likely to stop purchasing from a brand after just one bad experience? That’s one of the reasons why your customer service matters.
The connected field service provided by the D365 platform facilitates that by (and this is a recap of this blog post):
- Giving you the insight needed to optimise your customer journey, across all touchpoints
- With the additional insight comes the ability to tailor experiences to each customer. A personalised service leads to a better experience and enhanced customer satisfaction overall
- Empowering you to act proactively rather than reactively, thanks to improved visibility, automated workflows and IoT-based suggestions
- Giving your teams access to the information and tools they need to complete scheduled jobs
Our factsheet on D365 Field Service explains the concept of a connected field service and the solution’s capabilities in more depth. Check it out below.