Technical and Product News and Insights from Rackspace
Seven ways Field Service Lightning helps field and service workers
The risk of your customers falling through the cracks is much higher if you do not have a centralized workforce. A dispatcher might be unable to reach a technician on the road, or a service van might lack the proper parts to complete a task. A technician might even get lost searching for the wrong address. All of these situations can leave your customers unhappy and your workers frustrated—nobody wins.
If these scenarios sound familiar, it is time to increase your company’s efficiency. This is where Salesforce® Field Service Lightning (FSL) comes in. This revolutionary service management software helps make work easier for people in the field. FSL provides incredible transparency into the schedules and status of field workers’ tasks. The mobile nature of the platform also makes it a perfect fit for employees who spend their days in the field. FSL features work both online and offline. Your workers in the field can still take advantage of their visual itinerary even if they’re in a remote area or lose cellular service.
Here are seven ways that FSL can help your service team.
1. Map view makes time management easier
Having a single view of their workday helps your field workers plan their tasks more efficiently. Within FSL, your field technicians can access a simplified map view of all their appointments for the day. This map makes it easier to calculate the distance between each job and estimate traffic when necessary. Workers can also use the mobile app to access directions to their next appointment quickly.
2. Mobile updates offer immediate transparency
Sometimes things change in the field. A simple job can suddenly become complicated. A customer might report something different on arrival than what they discussed over the phone. A first-time evaluation might require additional time to diagnose. How prepared is your field worker to report these changes to the office?
FSL lets field workers give real-time job status updates or change job descriptions. Your office staff is aware of what is happening because the updates occur immediately. If the technician is at their current job longer than expected, the manager or dispatcher can make scheduling adjustments as necessary.
For instance, imagine a field representative gets delayed during an appointment with a customer and realizes that they are unable to make their next appointment on time. The field representative can communicate this to dispatch, and dispatch can identify and send out a different, available technician.
3. Einstein Vision erases confusion
Imagine a plumber in the field evaluating the needs for a dishwasher repair. With so many similar-looking small parts (and hard-to-read serial numbers), it is easy for a well-meaning technician to make a mistake. With Einstein Vision for FSL, your field workers can say goodbye to uncertainty.
This incredible technology lets your workers identify a part by scanning a photo of it into the app. It then provides all relevant information to the field representative. Using Einstein Vision helps ensure that the correct part is used for the job, and also helps eliminate delays caused by common ordering mistakes.
4. Knowledge articles reduce delays
Experienced field and service workers still need help from time to time. Imagine being in the field, faced with a complicated repair, and not having anyone nearby to ask for help. Delays resulting from complicated or unexpected issues can cost the company money and leave customers unsatisfied.
Salesforce FSL has an extensive library of articles in the Knowledge section that are accessible both online and offline. Your workers can make smarter and faster decisions when they have access to your entire organization’s knowledge base in their pockets.
5. Chatter makes communication simpler
When a knowledge base is not enough, the chatter feature in FSL provides a quick and easy way to get in touch with company experts and co-workers. Perhaps your field worker is on a job site that a previous technician has visited. Instead of trying to track down old paperwork for a work order history, they might be able to contact the previous technician directly by using the mobile app’s chatter feature.
@suzy “Did you also hear a weird sound when disconnecting the unit from the water?”
@mike “Yes, that’s likely because the ice maker is turned on. The sound should go away if you turn off the ice maker before disconnecting from the water.”
@suzy “Okay, that worked. Thanks”
Some questions require collaboration between two field workers, or between a field worker and an in-house resource. By making it easier to stay in touch, your field technician’s job becomes less isolated and stressful and gives them the support they need to serve your customers best.
6. Interactive maps cover your bases
Dispatchers responsible for sending sales personnel or other agents into the field have a lot of power. But great power can come with great confusion unless you have access to a modern map.
FSL has a feature called polygon mapping. This feature lets the dispatcher draw shapes on a map and assign each portion to a representative or technician. Color-coded assignments tell field representatives where to focus their efforts. Doing this can eliminate the chance of two field representatives overlapping in the same neighborhood and help prevent a potentially lucrative area from being neglected. Polygon mapping gives your field representatives clear parameters for where they should operate.
7. Modern scheduling helps everyone
Assigning a field agent to the wrong job is annoying and can lead to lost productivity and business. If a field worker shows up to a job for which they are not qualified, their day just got harder.
With smart scheduling, you can assign jobs based on time, skills, location, and other business rules that have been designed to increase employee productivity. This type of scheduling makes life easier for managers and dispatchers, and it makes field workers more confident when they show up to a job. You can also use FSL to schedule crews together. Jobs run smoother when the right technicians and resources are properly scheduled.
Ready to take your field service to the next level?
The right optimization scheduling software can change the way you do business. If you are struggling to find ways to keep customers happy without overwhelming your field technicians and representatives, FSL might be just the solution you need.
Investing in FSL can streamline your scheduling, inventory, communication, and more. To learn more about FSL, reach out to our expert implementation and consulting team at Rackspace. We are certified FSL specialists who have been involved with FSL since the product first launched and continue to serve on the FSL Advisory Board. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you use FSL to streamline your service business.
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