Better Field Service Tools Reduce Frustration

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NICE’s robot can also do grunt-work data entry into the other systems that aren’t integrated in order to keep data consistent. This is especially beneficial to Millennial workers, who, Karev points out, “hate this back-office, mundane work.”

“By using robotic automation, we eliminate it and add value to the work that employees do,” he adds. “They feel that what they’re doing is important.”

Happier employees are one thing, but, in the end, it will be hard for customers not to notice the change.

“Companies constantly need to demonstrate the value that they bring to their customers,” Bloom states. “With smarter and more agile technology tools and systems, field service technicians can demonstrate this value by making their service calls as easy and as successful as possible.“


In other words, when service reps arrive at customer sites, they should already know what the issue is, what equipment will be needed, and how to correct the problem. Field service technicians should also be able to notify customers in advance when they will arrive and then keep these schedules.

“What you don’t want to see is a field service technician who arrives at a site and has the wrong set of tools or an understanding of a different problem than what has to be solved,” Bloom says.

“In one case, we had a healthcare company that was experiencing real disconnects between themselves and the various mobile medical devices they had deployed to customers in the field,” he says. “The positive news was that these mobile devices were directly in the hands of customers, enabling them to monitor their own health. But integration also had to be achieved between the healthcare provider’s headquarters and these distributed devices so that medical alerts could be received in real time with immediate help being dispatched. A fully integrated system that all business functions could access enabled them to do that.”

In another case, Safe Home, an ADT security systems reseller, wanted to grow its account base, improve operational productivity, and keep customers happy.

“We have 60 techs, and we serve 13 different markets,” says Eddie Prignano, vice president of corporate counsel at Safe Home. “Our major field activity is systems installation, but occasionally we get issues with sensors and batteries. We have small field offices, and the technology that we use out in the field is entirely mobile. Over these mobile devices, our field service system lists out job schedules for technicians and also work orders. Our goal is to complete all of the day’s orders same day so that customers see excellent service and a swift turnaround. This is difficult to do, but the workflow automation that our field service system enables us to do facilitates it. At the end of each service call, the technician simply takes his iPad and checks off the work order as complete.”

For Safe Home, it wasn’t always that easy.

“At one time, the tools and systems that our sales force and our field force were using were different,” Prignano recalls. “Because these systems were siloed, there wasn’t a seamless flow of information across our different company functions. Our order and field dispatchers were also using their own systems. In this situation, we found it difficult to achieve our desired [key performance indicator]: We wanted to deliver same-day service and problem resolution to our customers.”

Safe Home also had a second problem in its service call center. “When customers called in, the call center agents would have to manually review every screen of system information for the customer,” Prignano says. “While the agent did this, she placed the customer on hold. This was an average hold time of five and a half minutes. Today, we have automated systems that detect when a specific customer call comes in and immediately start pulling up customer records while the agent gets on the phone with the customer. The agent is now getting back to the customer in 30 seconds.”

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