How Collaboration Tools Improve Field Service Efficiency

Successful field services companies are made up of expert jugglers. Their business involves a lot of moving parts, including scheduled and emergency customer calls, tracking technician status and availability and being able to resolve a customer’s problem on the first visit. When it comes to running a smooth and efficient field services operation, a unified communications solution with built-in collaboration tools is the ringmaster.

Almost half of field services leaders (49 percent) say cross-organization collaboration is a major initiative, according to a Service Council survey. The reason: Collaboration tools and technology are the only ways to keep a mobile and inherently disparate team connected, informed and prepared. The right tools are the path to an efficient operation that benefits both the customer and your bottom line.

Improve efficiency with collaboration tools

The field services industry faces plenty of unique challenges. Customers expect technicians to complete necessary service on their first visit. They want to know precisely when a tech will arrive; providing a five-hour window is no longer acceptable. Technicians must have the right parts on hand and the knowledge to fix problems quickly. Finally, delays in closing out service calls holds up invoicing and hampers your cash flow. 

A UC solution with innovative and powerful collaboration tools solves these problems and more:

CRM integration provides technicians with access to contextual customer information, including the last service date, equipment on site, the current problem and even possible solutions. A qualified technician arrives at the customer with the right parts on the truck.
A mobile app for truck fleets and turn-by-turn directions keep technicians connected, on schedule and productive. It provides access to everything they need to complete a call without having to navigate between systems. Service calls are shorter, reducing the overall cost per call. 
Video conferencing enables real-time communications between technicians and subject matter experts. Techs receive assistance in the field if questions arise around how to resolve a difficult issue. 
SMS notifications keep the customer up to date on the technician’s estimated arrival time, along with their name and job number.
Automatic rescheduling empowers customers and gives your customer service reps more time to spend on complicated issues.
All data for a service call is stored within the system, including video communications and the customer’s signature, so the job can be closed out at the time of service.

Speed is everything in field services. Learn how to optimize your organization's speed and efficiency with this infographic. >

Field services companies that implement these collaboration tools see the following efficiencies:

First visit resolution: The right technician armed with the right parts, contextual customer information and real-time access to expert assistance increases the number of resolutions reached on the first call. 
Reduced time on truck rolls: The right technician armed with the right parts makes service calls shorter. 
Shorter billing cycles: When work is completed, customers can sign-off immediately. Bills are generated and paid faster.
Improved cash flow: Faster service calls and increased first visit resolution mean your techs have time to complete more calls each day. That generates more revenue and improves your bottom line. 
Better workflow: Integration with CRMs, APIs and omnichannel support create a continuous workflow.

Seeing is believing: A case study proves success

Sonnen, a global energy solutions provider, needed to unite multiple office locations, remote workers and field agents. The company opted for a cloud-based unified communications system with an impressive collaboration solution featuring chat, content sharing and real-time interactions via video and voice on mobile devices.

Calls are intelligently routed to the employee best able to answer a customer’s questions, increasing customer service while decreasing the time spent transferring calls. Click-to-dial capabilities and application integration expand customer reach and improve service levels. A business analytics tool evaluates how technicians spend their time with customers and identifies opportunities for training. All of this has enabled Sonnen to reduce service time calls. 

UC provides field services organizations with collaboration tools that increase productivity, keep field techs engaged, improve first call resolutions and create a more efficient (and revenue-generating) workflow. 

Connect your field services and back-end teams seamlessly with a future-proof communications system that saves your business time and money, and makes it possible to keep track of constantly moving people and parts.

See how other field services businesses leveraged the right communications technology to improve their bottom line. Check out our case studies now. >

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