To stay successful in Field Service Management (FSM), you need core capabilities like work order management, scheduling and dispatching. Whether it’s poor customer service, low productivity or safety concerns, many of your problems will track back to inefficiencies in these core capabilities.
When it comes to field services, there are just so many variables you need to keep track of. But a bespoke field service management app gives you total transparency across all your operations. This is why by 2020, more than 75% of field service organisations with over 50 users will deploy mobile apps that go beyond simplified data collection. Adding capabilities that help their employees to succeed and drive business efficiency across the board.
So, at the Field Services Management Expo 18, our managing director Paul explored the future of the app experience in FSM. If you’re interested in how you can leverage mobile in your FSM business, then we’d love to hear from you. Send us a message today or give us a call at +44(0) 1737 45 77 88.
Off-The-Shelf vs. Bespoke FSM Apps
It’s important to weigh up all of your options when it comes to mobile for FSM. However, the problem with many off-the-shelf field service management apps is that they try to deliver an all-in-one solution. What this ends up with is a system that suits no one! One of the biggest benefits, the relatively low cost, completely disappears as soon as you want to customise the app to suit your needs. On top of all this, off-the-shelf apps are targeted towards you as a company. That means they’ve been built to tick your business goals, not your users’ needs.
But a bespoke field service management app is built around your specific business and, more importantly, your specific users. Tailored user research and discovery phases help you to understand where mobile can make the biggest difference to your FSM operations.
Because when it comes to mobile, whether it’s your employees or clients, your users have to be at the heart of everything you do. This is why bespoke business app development is essential if you want to maximise the return on your mobile investment. But what about specific features? Next up, we break down how an FSM mobile app can completely change the way you do business.
Field Service Management App Features
The very first apps were built like websites, trying to capture users and pin them in. But over time, it became obvious people don’t use mobile apps like they do the web. Instead, users want your mobile app to be task-specific with a slippy UX. That’s when mobile works best, when it’s streamlining repetitive and time-intensive tasks.
For field services management, this means your paper-based tasks, your status/job updates and your client communications. 52 per cent of field service companies still rely on manual methods to handle field services, are you one of them?
With a bespoke mobile solution, your employees receive jobs instantly with proactive alerts that keep everyone informed at all times. An FSM system automates so many of your employees’ low-level jobs, automatically sending customer reminders, ETA alerts and job updates. Improving your customer experience and giving clients more of a reason to renew their contracts with you.
On the other hand, your employees can easily update jobs on the go. This enables your customer service team to respond to problems in real time while your employees are still on-site. Embracing mobile also means no more lost paperwork or receipts. So, your customer service representatives will no longer have to rely on inefficient, paper-based processes and word of mouth. Instead, they get instant insight into live jobs, all in real time.
Off the back of all this, your bespoke FSM system can then create timesheets and invoices automatically. Allowing you to invoice quicker and generate custom, up-to-date reports straight away. This helps you to monitor your employees’ job progress and your business performance much more accurately. So, mobile makes for more productive employees and happier clients. But looking into the future of field services, how will this change?
Future of Field Service Management Apps
In the post-app era, your users will expect a lot more from your app. Even if that means they end up spending less time in it. This means that you need to take advantage of emerging technologies like voice tech and artificial intelligence to provide more personalised, more proactive experiences.
For example, using your company’s handset’s built-in gyroscopes to prevent mobile usage while driving. Which ensures the safety of your workforce. Or using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to more effectively schedule your workforce, balancing worker capabilities with customer demands.
So, what does all this mean for field service management app development?
App Development for FSM
The key takeaway from Paul’s presentation at the Field Services Management Expo 2018 is ‘Don’t treat apps like a destination, but an interface to help your users achieve more.’ In today’s world, off-the-shelf apps just won’t cut it. So, when it comes to developing your bespoke field service management app, you need to take a user-centric approach. And this starts with an in-depth discovery phase. It’s here that you find out exactly what it is your users want and how you make the most of your mobile investment.
A discovery phase is the first step in what we call minimum desirable product (MDP) app development. Because in today’s world, user expectations are just so high. And ticking your business goals off with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) app won’t be enough. You need to delight your users from the very first time they open your app.
Are you looking to leverage mobile to enhance your Field Services Management? Do you need an in-depth discovery phase to pinpoint where mobile can make the biggest difference? We’ve helped many of our clients use mobile to streamline their operations and bring transparency to their business. We’d love to help you too! Send us a message or give us a call on +44(0) 1737 45 77 88.