A beginner’s guide to field service management

Are you using an excel sheet to monitor your field team shifts? Have customers gotten angry at you for your field technicians missing appointments? Do you find it difficult to balance communications with customers on the one hand and coordinate help with field technicians on the other hand? If you’ve been searching for an answer to all these problems, you’re sure to have come across the term “Field Service Management” and are probably wondering what it means.

If you want to know how a “Field Service Management Software” can help you communicate better and improve your relationships with your customers, you are in the right place. This page is going to answer the following questions

What is field service management?

Let’s say you are an internet service provider offering broadband, wifi, and satellite connectivity services with customers spread out across a large geographical area. Some customer problems such as spotty connectivity, and modem issues can be solved only in person. You’ll need an easy way to schedule visits with customers so your field technicians can go out and solve problems. You’ll need to manage their schedule so they don’t have too many or overlapping appointments. You’ll also need to ensure that your field teams have easy access to all relevant customer information.

That’s where a field service software can help you.

So, what does a field service software do?

A field service management software (or FSM) helps you record issues and tasks which require field technician visits, schedule appointments with customers, solve problems in person, manage shifts for your field teams, share information from customers and more.

A helpdesk software helps you communicate with customers, get information about their problems and manage multiple channels easily.

A field service management software helps you communicate with your field teams, distribute customer information as necessary and manage visits and appointments easily.

So let’s say some customers email you saying their internet is down. Some others call your helpline to report broken modems. As a service provider, you can use a helpdesk to ticket all of these problems and find out which ones need a field technician visit and which ones can be solved remotely. With a field service management software, you can create service tasks for problems which need a visit, and assign it to a field technician from your team. Good field service management software also allows you to schedule appointments at a time that is convenient for both the customer and the field technician. After one problem is solved, a good FSM software can route your field technician to the next customer’s location automatically.

By combining a helpdesk software and a field service management software into a single unit, you can simplify your workflows between helpdesk and field teams to deliver a better, more seamless field service experience to your customers.

Who can use a field service management software?

FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Small and medium sized businesses providing field support have very similar requirements. Their helpdesk and field teams are often one and the same with helpdesk agents assigning tasks to themselves, prioritizing problems as necessary and also venturing out into the field to solve problems directly. Helpdesk automations help such teams to focus purely on answering the tickets and attending appointments while taking care of all the routine helpdesk tasks. Mid-sized businesses need a solution that scales rapidly with their team, without overcomplicating their workflow as the teams grow larger.

One simple solution which combines the ticketing and omnichannel capabilities of a helpdesk with the scheduling and service task handling capabilities of a field service software can be incredibly beneficial to these teams by keeping the workflows simple and the costs low.

FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT FOR ENTERPRISES

Enterprises require their teams to coordinate closely and work together without impacting efficiency. Their goals tend to simplifying workflows, streamlining the flow of information across teams and try to improve communication between teams as well. A good helpdesk software with stellar field service management capabilities can help enterprise teams with these goals

 

How can Field Service Software help my business?

Solve problems more easily

Good field service software will help your field technicians access all the information they need on the go to solve a customer’s problem easily as well as communicate with helpdesk agents back at HQ.

Increase team efficiency

With an intelligent field service software, you can automate most support tasks such as assigning and monitoring tickets, allowing your teams to focus better on solving customer problems.

Improve internal communication

By bringing your helpdesk and field service software together, you can simplify workflows between the helpdesk and field teams, improve coordination and solve customer issues more quickly.

Provide better service

Provide better context to your field technicians so they know how to fix problems on site. Share relevant information from past issues, maintain customer history and prevent repeated visits.

Make customers more loyal

Deliver stellar experience across channels. Share information between teams so customers don’t repeat themselves. Ensure an excellent experience to make your customers return to your business.

Analyze and Improve Faster

Are your field teams punctual? Are they missing appointments due to traffic? How is their workload? A good FSM software will help you monitor these metrics easily to improve your team’s performance.

How do you choose the right field service software?

Style of Support

How do customers try to reach you? Do they get in touch with you via email, phone helplines or social media? Do they prefer to chat with agents directly on your website? Make sure the field service software you choose allows you to communicate with your customers, matches their expectations as well as your style of support.

Usability

With an intuitive and approachable UI that combines helpdesk and field service capabilities, your agents and field technicians can start supporting customers without needing special training. Higher prices does not automatically mean a better field service tool and a complicated UI does not necessarily mean feature-rich.

Price

Compare features, look up reviews, get a few demos from software providers to understand how you’ll need to structure your workflow with each tool and then choose whichever software that suits your business better. Higher price is not always a guarantor of quality.

What type of field service software fits my business?

Omnichannel FSM

Omnichannel helpdesk capabilities in Freshdesk combined with field service management features ensure that you can communicate with customers via chatwebsitephone, email, and more to record their problems on one side. On the other side, you can also manage field teams and technicians to deliver field service wherever your customers are.

Intelligent FSM

Intelligent field service software can automatically assign incoming tickets to the right helpdesk agents and suggest the right field technicians for service tasks. They can help you schedule appointments better and keep track of task statuses, and monitor the right metrics to help you improve your team.   

Versatile FSM

As your business grows and your customer base expands, your teams will need to collaborate better and share information more easily between each other to ensure the customer has a consistently stellar experience. With a versatile field service management software, your teams can pull in data from other tools such as CRMs, Billing systems and time trackers so your field teams have more context about the problems.

Learn more

Essential features of a field service management software

Every FSM software is different. Some provide a basic scheduling platform but require you to setup a lot of calendar integrations and excel sheets on the side just to plot appointments and shift timings. Some require you to integrate with reporting tools to analyze your field team’s performance while others have AI crunching your numbers out of the box, to help you improve. Whatever the individual capabilities may be, you will need these five essential features in your field service management tool.

Omnichannel Ticketing System

A fully configured helpdesk can help you manage incoming calls and complaints from multiple channels while automatically categorizing and assigning tickets. Omnichannel capabilities ensure that your conversation with your customer is seamless, and all information is collated for you into one single place so your field technicians are fully informed when travelling to solve the problem.

With field service management capabilities embedded like in Freshdesk, you can also create service tasks for each ticket that needs in-person support and assign it to your field teams for speedy resolutions. 

Collaboration

Good field service needs your helpdesk and field teams to collaborate better. A good field service software will enable this by making communication between the teams easier. Your helpdesk and field teams can communicate easily about any ticket by using Freshconnect for contextual collaboration.

The helpdesk also enables your teams to perform better by automatically keeping field teams in the loop about details such as customer status updates, location and latest responses. Good field service management software can get your entire team on the same page rapidly so they can just focus on helping customers.

Automations

A powerful field service management software will help reduce effort for both helpdesk and field teams. With powerful automations, your daily tasks can be handled automatically using time-based or event-based triggers. Did a field technician miss an appointment? The FSM software will inform you automatically. Does your technician need directions to the next customer? The FSM software will direct them automatically. With the right configuration, you can simplify your workflows and ensure service tasks are assigned to those technicians who offer the fastest resolutions.

Mobile Field Service

If your field team has to deliver a good experience, no matter where your customers are, then your helpdesk and field teams needs to stay connected. Good field service software also have strong mobile offerings such as robust feature-rich apps, and push notifications for live updates so your field agent is never isolated.

A easy-to-use, informative mobile Field Service app will provide relevant details, such as customer problem summaries, and address or location details to field technicians. It will also enable field technicians to provide updates from the field - such as status of a customer's problem, any analyses that they conduct in the field as well as photo/video updates for the helpdesk agents to keep them in the loop. By providing the full helpdesk experience anywhere they go, you can enable your field teams to deliver a better quality of support.

Reporting and Analytics

To move forward, you must first know where you are. Every good field service software will have a reporting suite that will give you a breakdown of your team’s performance and how it can be improved. These in-built reporting features will help you spot patterns in your support, notice segments where your teams need help and decide whether you need to scale your teams up or down and how to motivate them.

Want to try a field service software?

Freshdesk is a cloud-based help desk software with field service management capabilities which helps small sized businesses build relationships with their customers easily. Freshdesk also helps enterprise businesses to collaborate better across the globe, and deliver better customer experiences in person. If you are looking for an intuitive, easy-to-use
field service software, we’re here.