Better Field Service Tools Reduce Frustration

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Mobile technology’s other field service benefits include its relatively small form factor and its ability to be ruggedized for the rigors of field work.

The second key technology is artificial intelligence (AI). Although AI is still not widely available in most field service systems today, precursors to AI are starting to appear. Field service techs can, for example, access best practices or online troubleshooting guides on their smartphones or tablets.

Vendors, likewise, are beginning to embed artificial intelligence into their software, giving it the ability to learn from past service issues that it encountered to build up a database of solutions and troubleshooting recommendations that it can call up for the service tech.

One of the biggest purveyors of this technology is Salesforce.com, which recently launched Einstein, a software-based intelligence layer that feeds into all of its systems, including field service. “With the Einstein intelligence layer, the system is able to recommend solutions to technicians and service centers. This intelligence layer also continues to grow its knowledge base by collecting data and insights from service calls. All of this information is deeply integrated into our end-to-end system to facilitate broad-based use,” Bloom explains.

These end-to-end systems make up the third technology layer in the field service stack. Experts by and large recommend single systems that can address multiple pain points. There needs to be an easy and seamless way for back-office functions to dispatch, track, manage, and report on field operations. Then, the field service techs themselves need mobile technology that can push work orders and schedules out to them, with schedules organized in such a way that they optimize routes and travel times. These systems must also enable techs to input work orders and update service records in the field. Finally, techs should be able to accept payments when needed.

“The improvements in all of these processes are measurable, which facilitates the achievement of goals and outcomes,” Paltsev points out.

The final piece of the four-part technology stack is connections with other systems, including CRM. This includes built-in work process optimization, the ability to share information between departments within a single system, and the necessary interfaces, all of which can facilitate universal access to customer information by sales, service, and other customer-facing personnel. This also gives everyone within the company a full view of each customer and all of the actions that have already been taken with each customer.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t have these seamless and transparent systems, the lack of which leads to information disconnects between departments. Ultimately, it’s the customer who suffers the most.


While it is true that corporate IT could integrate all of these systems so they could talk to one another, these integrations are difficult and demanding. In most cases, IT simply doesn’t have the time to address them.

It is the need to facilitate system integration and data consistency that prompted companies like NICE to develop work-around robotics that can automatically update multiple systems in the back office so field service techs don’t have to.

Oded Karev, vice president of advanced process automation at NICE, mentioned a large European agency taxed with answering customer questions about tax credits.

“The agents needed to put customers on hold and review 24 different screens from seven different systems in order to answer customers’ questions,” Karev recalls. “Instead, by having the robot aggregate the data, the information was consolidated by the robot and a call that took three minutes to complete now takes 16 seconds.”

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