The data and telecoms industry is constantly being measured by customer service statistics and as such, many are seeking solutions that will help to transform, and continually improve, their service delivery.
Field Service Management (FSM) software is certainly a valid solution. By managing the entire service delivery, FSM software provides an end-to-end solution that brings collaboration, visibility and efficiencies – all of which lead to service excellence.
Before you embark on researching the various solutions available on the FSM market, there are a number of internal factors that you should consider to ensure that this is the right solution for transforming your service delivery.
It can be easy to jump straight into a software solution and assume it will revolutionise your organisation. In reality, for any system to be truly successful, it needs the internal foundations to be laid first. In the instance of service management software, before purchasing a new solution you must first ensure:
- There is no doubt over the internal drive to introduce a new system. Your organisation and its people must be ready for change, both technologically and culturally. Does everyone understand the motivations for change and if so, are they fully committed?
- There are no existing legacy systems present that will hamper progress. With the best will in the world, if a new software solution is procured, while existing legacy systems or processes remain in place, it will only be possible to make improvements in certain areas. Your entire operation must be ready to collaborate and deliver change.
- There is no ambiguity over what the system needs to achieve. Clear requirements are vital if you are going to source the right solution for you. From day-to-day necessities, to one year and five year goals. What does the software need to achieve, or at least contribute towards, in order to be classified as a success?
Once you have confidence in these internal foundations it is time to source the right solution for your organisation. Every Field Service Management system that you look at must provide a solution for each of your processes. After all, each process and touchpoint with your customers will influence how your company is perceived and its overall performance. Any failure – whether a major issue such as a data outage, or a minor issue such as a job taking an extra 15 minutes to complete than anticipated – will restrict service excellence.
Your essential features are likely to include job and resource scheduling, workflow management, data capture, resource management and reporting and analytics. But aside from the software features, there are other capabilities and benefits that you should look out for if you are to maximise your service delivery opportunities. These include:
- Adaptability and scalability. No solution should stay still. If your service management solution is to continually help you deliver service excellence, it will need to adapt and evolve with your business. Therefore make sure you source a system that you can configure and adjust yourself, without the need for your supplier’s input. The latter brings cost and delay and can often result in the solution becoming stagnant as it gradually falls behind the pace of your organisation. Instead, you need a system that you can self-manage; making amendments to workflows and introducing new survey questions as and when you need to.
- Communication and collaboration, both internally and externally. Firstly, when reliant upon a mobile workforce that is constantly out on the road it can be very difficult to maintain a collaborative approach between the frontline and those who manage operations in the office. Your solution must link these two teams effectively, providing both with the information and functionality they need to work together productively. This could be the ability to easily request a second appointment whilst on site, or a map view of the location of each operative – each small element will bring the teams together.
Secondly, you will need a system that enables you to effectively communicate with your customers. From easy access to data to quickly and accurately answer questions over the phone, to text alerts reminding customers of the appointment time. By automating processes like these through your job management software, you will be able to deliver a consistent, high quality service.
- Usability. With an end-to-end software solution you will have a number of users, each with different requirements – from the operatives who need to enter job details, to the administration team who need to schedule jobs, to the managers who need to monitor performance and access key data – everyone will use the system in a different way and have differing technological capabilities. The solution you adopt must therefore accommodate all of these levels of digital awareness by providing a highly intuitive interface. No matter who is using the system, each step must be fluid and easy to follow, simplifying processes and minimising the time your team need to spend on administrative tasks.
KCOM, a Hull-based network provider, recently succeeded in their bid to transform their service delivery. To find out more about what they did click here.