In its “The State of Field Services: 2021” paper, The Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA) has defined three strategic imperatives driving every field service organization they surveyed. The imperatives TSIA identified are to accelerate connectivity, align the organization, and move beyond break/fix.
From these three core needs, TSIA asserts numerous business challenges emerge. Everything from properly leveraging one’s technology stack, ensuring customer satisfaction, and helping customers get the most from increasingly complex products falls under the umbrella of these three imperatives.
In short, field service success relies on numerous factors and anything that lightens the load on the organization and in particular, its field service technicians is of major benefit.
Reducing field service challenges
There’s always room for optimization and field service is primed to gain from improvements. Processes can always be refined and there’s good to be had by rethinking the old ways of performing work. Adding innovation and digital transformation to the mix can deliver positive results such as:
- Increased technician speed, productivity, and efficiency. Empowering techs with information will improve first time-fix rates and ensure work is done according to specifications. Frontline workers are well informed and set to handle even the most complex of tasks, regardless of knowledge level.
- Elimination of time-consuming manual processes. Installation, maintenance, and inspection processes are often limited by paper-based forms and the constraints of outdated or confusing static checklists.
- Boosted customer satisfaction. A well-prepared and informed technician who can complete their work in a timely manner puts your company in the customer’s good books.
In addition to the benefits to a company’s operations, optimization reduces the challenges faced by field services technicians. Each year, The Service Council speaks with frontline workers and generates the Voice of the Field Service Engineer (VoFSE) survey. The feedback provided by over 725 field technicians points to dissatisfaction with the employee experience. Technicians are unhappy with:
- Performing administrative tasks and paperwork. Techs are happiest when they’re doing what they love and are good at, and it isn’t working on paperwork during their lunch hour.
- Missing out on training and support materials. Not being supported with information to perform their jobs efficiently, often on complex equipment, impacts a tech’s efficiency and productivity.
- Providing the absolute best customer experience. Using their mobile device to complete the job perfectly, supported by real-time information even in remote locations takes the weight off a tech’s shoulders. All that’s left is for them to do is to get the invoice signed and have the customer complete a satisfaction survey raving about the experience.
Citizen developers make an impact
We’ve identified several key challenges within field service and how innovation can reduce these issues. What follows is the million dollar question.
How can organizations enact change?
First coined by industry analyst firm Gartner, the term citizen developer has greatly expanded in what it covers. It was once used to define an outlier on the fringes. Now the title speaks to someone who is an essential and esteemed part of many companies’ standard operating procedure.
Citizen developers know the business intimately. They’re adept at learning new ways to solve old problems and they’re speedy in delivering solutions. Using ProntoForms’ low-code application platform, citizen developers quickly deployed robust apps to empower field technicians to handle field processes reliably. All this is done without placing an additional burden on their already overextended IT teams.
Citizen developers use ProntoForms to create mobile apps to support their organizations in bringing field service processes from the clipboard to the cloud. The more people available to develop mobile apps, the faster a business can move. ROI and profitability are maximized, and there’s an increase in customer and technician satisfaction. A bonus is to have data flow more freely by maximizing your existing tech stack, extending your existing platforms beyond current capabilities.
We’ve seen an accelerated change within field service. Keeping pace is accomplished by relying heavily on citizen developers to rapidly deploy and pivot on a dime when needed. If we could create a national holiday to celebrate the hard work citizen developers put in towards streamlining operations and supporting field techs, we would.
The next best thing we’ve done is to create the ProntoForms Community, a space where problem-solving superheroes can go to level up their product knowledge, meet up with peers, and learn how to deliver new business-changing solutions. Sign up today.