A Technician’s FSM Software Feature Wishlist
By Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Research
On-field technicians and crew are a major stakeholder of the services business. It is imperative that the company takes into consideration their requirements while designing or selecting any field service software which can help them perform their tasks with ease. Research suggests that most field technicians are not happy with the technology solutions at their disposal. As per a report, as many as 45% of field technicians report that current tools are not fast enough, and 38% say they can’t access all the needed information which is an impediment for technicians to effectively perform the duties which are assigned to them.
An ideal field service management application is so much more than a way to remove pen and paper from the equation. It’s about leveraging the technology to make your field techs as productive, efficient, and satisfied with their work as possible. In order to grow the business, the executive management has to take into consideration the various pain points which on-ground technicians encounter such that the technology solution can help them overcome.
The on-ground situation, however, is very different. Research suggests that field technicians often do have the necessary information or tools to complete the task in a timely and seamless manner. An industry report suggests that most of the resources needed by technicians are available less than half of the time.
Pre-visit review of service history (54%),
Access to service manuals (52%),
Access to knowledge base (48%),
Visibility of spare parts inventory (42%),
Training videos (30%)
Care must be taken to empower field service technicians with all the support they need so that they could provide your customers with the best experience possible. While there are a number of features which your field technicians would love to have, this article attempts to shed light on some of the key features that should definitely make it to your field service management application to help your technicians with their assigned tasks.
Access to customer data
The most important information a field service technician needs to prepare for his job is the access to customer data. Access to this customer case history or other relevant data will not just help them be prepared for the job at hand but also troubleshoot or get help when needed while performing the job. If technicians arrive on-site without the requisite tools or customer data to complete the work order, it won’t just cost your company time and money—it compromises your reputation. The application should allow technicians to see before arriving what needs to be done, as well as read any notes from previous jobs with the customer or account.
It is important for your field service software to link to core systems and third-party applications to make this data available at the tap on his mobile device. This would ensure that not only will you have happier customers for a job that’s completed seamlessly, but you would also have satisfied technicians who are more empowered to take your business to the next level.
The intent of the field service management application is to make lives easier for the technician and to empower him to perform his tasks effectively. One way that would be possible would be by providing the technicians access to an intuitive user interface which would be very simple for them to manage. If your field service workers have too much trouble with the app, they either won’t use it to its fullest capability or will waste time trying to navigate through the app. Understanding and best practices around mobile app design have advanced significantly in recent years. Make sure your field service app has the look and feel of a consumer app so it’s easy and fast to adopt.
Data collection features i.e. forms, e-signature
Technicians need to collect plenty of data when they’re on a job, from photos to signatures and generate invoices on the fly. The ideal technology application should make data collection easy and not require you to buy yet another technology to make things like forms work the way you need. The solution should allow easy capture of data and auto sending the information where it needs to go without added steps. Digitally collecting this data reduces costly errors, ensures information is appropriately secured and preserved, speeds up invoice to payment time, and eliminates the risk of losing records in transit. All of these could then be transmitted and stored securely connected to the customer ID for easy reference.
A technology solution goes a long way in improving the productivity and job satisfaction for the field technicians. A great service app could potentially benefit your technicians in a number of ways:
Real time availability of data for collaboration and allowing for real-time job information updates
Helpdesk support and simplifying communication with back-office
Real-time scheduling of appointments
Less paperwork, and a significant reduction in manual errors
Making it easier to take field notes or collect and enter data
Invoicing, collecting feedback and other tasks
At the very core, a fantastic field service app makes your technicians jobs easier, reduces stress, and creates happier employees who will stay with your company for years to come. A productive staff coupled with happy and satisfied customers is the recipe to business growth for your business.
Tutorials and troubleshooting help
Technicians might need to look up manuals when stuck while performing a job. A field service management solution can go a long way by not just getting timely support from helpdesk or other technicians but also giving access to the repository of materials when they are stuck while performing a job. Additionally, with the nature of the business, it might be difficult to perform in-person training sessions to upskill the field technicians. A technology application would help them with any training or re-skilling initiatives and could help them take up quizzes which would allow the organization to monitor and track the learnings of the field service technicians.
Other key features
There are a number of other desirable features which would be helpful for the field service technician to perform his tasks effectively. One of them would be the offline mode- which would ensure that even if the technicians do not have access to internet connections in remote locations, they would still have some of the basic features which would help them.
Other features include:
Travel route optimization, including the ability to take outside factors, such as traffic, road construction, or detours into account
Built-in intelligence that considers travel time to and from each appointment and how far the next appointment is from the current location
Real-time schedule notifications and SMS that keep your team moving quickly from job to job without have to check email and voice messages when an appointment has been cancelled or rescheduled. When you can get your tech where they need to be as quickly as possible, you reduce costs, increase efficiency, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, your bottom line
The intention of any of these features is to ensure that technicians arrive with the right equipment and knowledge to get the job done the first time, every time. Additionally, it would help making it simple for techs to access customer data and service history. Eventually this would create a higher level of efficiency, thus simplifying data entry, providing faster job completions, and reducing or eliminating reworks or repeat visits.
These are just some of the key features meant to provide you with a guiding light while exploring a technology application for your field services businesses. Needless to suggest, they would vary depending upon the unique business requirements of your organization. It is imperative that the technology in your organization keeps pace with the evolving business requirements. Having a field services management solution is solving a part of the problem. The organization should ensure that functions are digitally transformed and operate seamlessly to ensure flow of real-time data and information when you need it. Eventually, the field service software should integrate with the core and other third-party systems to form a connected business with empowering service technicians with all the support they could possibly need to solve customer problems. Steer Platform’s field management solution has been designed keeping all these and more in mind. Using a no-code approach to development, the license would enable the citizen developer in the organization to launch prototypes at a fraction of the cost and time, fostering innovation. Eventually, Steer would help you where it matters most – taking care of your field service business needs for today and preparing for an uncertain digital future where customer experience takes precedence over everything else the organization intends to prioritize.
Reach out to one of our Customer success team members here or get started with a free 14-day trial here to understand how Steer Field Service Management Solution would empower your technicians and crew.