Three Ways to Light Up Service Through Workforce Enablement
I like to think of today’s workforce enablement within field service as an ongoing cycle of improvement to optimize the interaction between a company and its customers through mutually beneficial gains in efficiency and effectiveness.
First of all, equipment will continue to become smarter, and capable of providing actionable insights and data to drive process and maintenance gains. Customers are increasingly looking to service providers to leverage the power of this smarter equipment and turn it into lower costs and better performance and uptime. At the same time, Field service organizations are reevaluating their capabilities to optimize their own performance in this changing world of technology.
And it’s not just technology that’s changing – the field service workforce is evolving as well. Organizations are being challenged through a demographic shift, as a growing number of industry experts are retiring or leaving the field, taking decades of experience and tribal knowledge and experience out of the field. The positions they vacate are being filled by a new generation of tech savvy workers who have greater expectations for modern technology tools and experiences. Advanced technology for some is just plain ‘table stakes’ to the new generation. As advanced as they are with technology, they are still early career industry novices with gaps in their own knowledge. In prior generations, organizations were able to combine training programs with hands-on OJT experiences. It was not uncommon for an industry expert and new service tech to work side-by-side for knowledge transfer. But with smarter equipment, the training cycle is longer; and many of the most experienced service techs are no longer willing to spend that time in the field. Although keeping them together may support customer needs, it is costly and inefficient – like sending a master gardener to pull a weed. That model is neither a scalable nor profitable solution.
Finding a balance of experience and technology for the ultimate good of the customer experience is what workforce enablement is all about. I am going to discuss three ways that field service platforms empower companies to leverage both experience and technology for their workforce enablement strategy:
With open-source API’s and a full-function platform, like the Microsoft Dynamics platform, integration has never been easier. Companies can now have one source of truth for customer engagement, which includes making the information available to the field through mobile. Integrated data should be equipment IoT data, asset history, pricing, inventory, and a knowledge base for equipment troubleshooting. Providing these insights to your field service workforce gives them confidence to properly support your customer and their assets.
The power of instant communication can be easily overlooked, but so much productivity is lost in dispatcher callbacks and voicemails. With Microsoft Teams, you can easily connect your support, service, and sales teams inside the platform through an always-available collaboration channel. It lets multiple people get direct access to the asset details and the conversation history, file sharing, video calls, and text chats. Not only does this type of collaborative work get to the root of an equipment problem faster, but it also provides a better training experience for a younger field service team, while providing a consistent customer experience.
With Remote Assist, you can visually bridge younger field service technicians to industry experts back in the office. They can quickly diagnose a complicated problem or required repair with real-time video conversations. By embracing Remote Assist, you are quite literally taking your most experienced technicians to each and every customer visit. With remote assist, experts can mark-up a screen to point a field service technician to the proper steps to get a customer’s equipment back online. In Conclusion
With increased customer expectations and equipment evolution, this is the time to modernize your business and enable your field service team with the right technology to elevate your customers’ experiences. Click here to learn more about how we enable workforces with equipment360TM, a modern field service solution built on the industry-leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service platform.