The existence and growth of huge corporate sectors around the globe are increasing the demand for field service management (FSM). From surveillance of workers to scheduling and managing customers’ requests, robust field service management software has become a necessity for companies. Given the vast scope, FSM software is applicable in a wide range of industries including healthcare, engineering and telecom. However, selection of appropriate software with features which correspond to the needs of customers is a challenging problem.
Vendors offer a range of features in FSM software but independent analysts consider some features more effective than others.
Determining best features of field service management software for small business should follow evaluation criteria listed below.
- Software should be as usable for non-technical users as for the technical ones. Regardless of the efficiency and appearance of system, user experience should be one of the primary objectives of FSM developers. Thus, any software system offers little or no assistance if it requires too much training and extraordinary human vigilance.
- Guaranteeing data security, availability, confidentiality, and integrity is a crucial challenge for every organization. With increasing cases of data breaches, software system should offer multiple layers of security.
- The FSM should be flexible enough to add more features overtime. It should allow owners to scale-up with expanding business by increasing the storage capacity and processing power.
- One of the major benefits of field service management software is the shared environment. In such a setting, people working in various regions of the world can access remotely located data in real-time. For instance, changes made by one team member in Pacific time-zone should reflect to another location in Eastern zone.
Significant Features of Field Service Management Software
Following features in a FSM ensure correspondence to the afore-mentioned criteria. Please note that the first four features belong to customer panel of software whereas the other four to business agents.
Instantaneous Agent Tracking
Instead of relying on phone calls or emails, field service management software vendors should provide real-time tracking facility. Such a facility enables customers to find the current location of their service agent.
With GPS, vendors incorporate trackers which share live location of each employee. To ensure quick communication, system should also offer instant messaging and phone calls. This call varies from traditional model because customer talks to field service agent instead of an attendant in company’s office.
Cloud-based software is the single most important component which plays a role in fulfilling each of the criterion points. Instead of placing the requisite components of software on customer’s premises, cloud-based software remains at vendor’s location. For instance, engineers working on leakages and construction sites do not have to install entire assisting software in their laptops or mobiles. Instead they access software originally located at a remote location through their devices.
Cloud services ensure shared environment in field service management software. Thus, when an engineer records the measurement, monitoring individual back in the office can observe the measured values too.
Push Notifications and Updates
Customers expect regular notifications from service providers. Telecom companies can serve as an appropriate example. When a customer requests for troubleshooting or repairing a breakage, the company should notify about the status of request. Similarly, providers should also get notifications when customers request a service or leave a feedback.
It is highly unwise to pay for subscription or service charges via hard cash despite the availability of efficient technologies. Customers should have a seamless payment facility which allows selection from multiple methods. Thus, field service call management software should enable customers to pay via credit card, PayPal equivalent or in-app wallet.
As criterion reiterates, investing in data security is indispensable. Any compromise may lead to penalties of varying range. Using cloud-based approach, the responsibility of security is delegated to service provider. Thus, the users confidently employ software without caring for security vulnerabilities.
Besides, cloud-based software ensures multiple backups of each piece of data. This approach significantly minimizes the fear of data loss. To seal confidentiality, cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services offer multiple layers of encryption.
Intelligent Route Optimization
Once a customer requests a service, an agent needs to ensure that one reaches the destination in the shortest time. Route optimization enables them to find an optimized route. Such a route considers multiple parameters including distance, traffic congestion, and roads leading to the destination.
There are many software systems for navigation but Google and Waze are the most popular ones. They share the route and lead agent to the destination in real-time. The most impressive factor of these route navigation systems is their ability to find an appropriate route without human intervention.
Parallel Task Processing
Service managers have to monitor multiple requests almost all the time. At times, the number of requests is extraordinarily high. An efficient field management service software should ensure that surge in request volume does not affect performance.
Although many aspects enable parallel task processing, yet dashboard with vivid visualization remains above all. A dashboard shares statistics regarding various completed and pending jobs and notifications from customers. Moreover, it also highlights business values generated from different sections of a company. Besides, visualization should reveal meaningful insights so that managers may identify the loopholes.
Record Retrieval and Maintenance
Managers and concerned staff can retrieve records of all previous, ongoing, upcoming jobs. Besides, the software should provide the capability to process data from any device from anywhere in the world. Customers should not have to care about maintenance of records. Instead, the associated database of software should be automated to place a value in the appropriate field. Cloud- based FSM software is the most suitable choice to maintain databases remotely.
Deliv Agent FSM
Suitable field service management software enables companies to reduce costs and augment profits. It significantly improves customer satisfaction and safety of employees. Besides, it gives a clearer picture of employee productivity and shortcomings in business architecture.