Outstanding sales support sets apart exceptional organizations from average ones. However, handling and coordinating sales service data and operations can be a challenge. Many consumers have experienced the frustration of waiting for a technician, only to find out they are running late. This common situation highlights the ongoing challenge of efficiently managing service technicians for many organizations.
There are numerous variables involved, many of which are influenced by human factors. Issues like miscommunications, delays, incomplete time logs, and the lack of real-time visibility have persisted. Even with the advent of digital databases, these challenges have not been fully resolved.
However, there has been a growing need for systems that can simplify and enhance field service operations. With advancements in cloud computing and mobile technology, we now have technological solutions capable of meeting this demand.
These solutions enable the automation of field service processes through mobile systems and are collectively known as Field Service Management (FSM) technology.
What Is Field Service Management?
The main objective of FSM is to facilitate interactions among clients, dispatchers, and service providers through a unified digital platform. FSM software empowers businesses to integrate their service management interface seamlessly with databases and CRM systems, facilitating seamless communication and immediate retrieval of customer information.
FSM software has existed for a while now, however, more than 50% of businesses that offer field services continue to use manual administration. To stay side-by-side of evolving consumer expectations and maintain competitiveness in the market, an increasing number of businesses find it essential to adopt innovative digital solutions.
Conducting operations involving complex field service management presents numerous challenges, prompting the immediate requirement for a platform that not only addresses these challenges but also offers a lasting solution.
Why Field Service Management is Important?
Here is a list of some of the challenges that Field Service Lightning has met:
Processes such as installations and repairs were traditionally handled through manual means, involving spreadsheets and phone communications, posing challenges to efficiency, and limiting scalability potential.
Tracking the real-time activities of field technicians has been particularly challenging, with restricted visibility and control over productivity, making the process more intricate. The dispersion of data across multiple systems results in a notable efficiency setback, particularly for service managers tasked with overseeing work orders, inventory management, technician schedules, and escalations.
The lack of organization in data management and the reliance on cumbersome paperwork disrupt the extraction of actionable insights from field service operations. Technicians completing documents and forms after each field visit to generate service reports are susceptible to errors, often missing essential information.
Benefits of Field Service Lightning
The benefits that Salesforce Field Service can provide are almost countless. Some of the most prominent are listed below:
- Enhanced Team Productivity:
The information collected by the system empowers field agents to anticipate the necessary equipment and supplies, along with understanding the nature of the work before their arrival.
This streamlined process also facilitates dispatchers in efficiently choosing personnel with the appropriate skills, equipping them with everything necessary to promptly fulfill customer demands.
Moreover, the ability to retrieve historical service records empowers them to foresee specific recurring issues. By managing areas, route schedules, abilities, and availability as efficiently as possible, all the aforementioned factors help to improve team productivity.
- Time-Saving Automation:
Field Service offers the automation of various operations, encompassing appointment scheduling, preventive maintenance, product requests, inventory management, and the generation of service reports.
It enables businesses to significantly reduce time invested in manual tasks while minimizing the occurrence of human errors. The on-field specialists maintain continuous communication with dispatchers through the chat feature embedded in the mobile application.
- Real-Time Activity Monitoring:
Efficiently manage service appointments, finalize work orders, monitor material usage, and generate service reports using any device linked to the software.
Real-time monitoring is crucial for promptly identifying issues, such as when a technician is assigned an appointment they cannot reach on time.
Dispatchers can quickly locate the nearest technicians on a single screen and assign the appointment to the one available at that specific moment.
- Enhanced Reporting & Analytics:
Utilize images, graphics, and visual dashboards to process Field Service activity data effortlessly for all stakeholders.
The system also helps in gathering customer information, service history, and work orders. This data serves as a foundation for examining current processes and devising new ones to enhance overall efficiency.
- Optimized Inventory Management:
Field Service ensures superior resource management, facilitating the seamless movement of items across locations. Additionally, it regulates inventory returns and repairs, providing a comprehensive record to monitor stock levels and equip technicians with the necessary tools for their tasks, regardless of location.
- Preparing for Salesforce Field Service Implementation:
Successful implementation requires careful preparation. Begin by creating a detailed implementation plan that includes deadlines, checkpoints, and tasks to accomplish, preventing transition struggles and disruptions.
Clearly define the business needs and objectives, whether it is improving customer communication or streamlining field operations. Inspect existing field service procedures to identify areas for improvement, such as scheduling efficiency, technician productivity, and customer interactions.
- Prepare Your Data:
Ensure that all key data, including customer information, service history, and product information, is correct, up-to-date, and well-categorized. Furthermore, remove any unused or outdated information that might lead to confusion post-implementation.
- Educate Your Team:
To guarantee that all users, including technicians, dispatchers, and customer support representatives, can comfortably use Salesforce Field after the implementation, you must have a series of tutorial meetings and workshops.
Field Service Lightning Implementation Process
To enable Field Service, complete the following steps: Navigate to Setup and enter “Field Service Settings” in the Quick Find box, then select Field Service Settings.
Next, install the Field Service Managed Package. This package provides access to the dispatcher console, scheduling tools, various custom objects, and Guided Setup.
- Access the installation link at https://fsl.secure.force.com/ginstall.
- Choose “Install for Admins Only” and proceed with the installation.
- After installation, the app launcher will display two apps.
- The Field Service Admin app allows administrators to customize the managed package, handle scheduling and optimization, and utilize the dispatcher console.
- The Field Service app empowers dispatchers to easily view and manage a seamless service schedule.
The app includes these objects:
Work Order: This is the main object in a field service application and has all the information linked to a service request, such as client information, service location, service type, assigned technician, and other relevant information.
Technician: This object represents the field service technician or engineer assigned to perform the service work. It includes the technician’s contact details, availability, and skills.
Asset: Describing equipment or items necessitating repair, maintenance, or service, this entity encompasses details like the asset’s serial number, warranty particulars, and maintenance history.
Inventory: This entity denotes the stock of spare components essential for completing service tasks. Information within includes the inventory item’s description, quantity, and location.
Service Agreement: Representing the deal or agreement between a customer and the service-providing business, this entity incorporates the service level agreement (SLA), contract stipulations, and billing specifics.
Schedule: Capturing the timeline for service activities, this entity outlines the service date and time, the assigned technician, and other appropriate details.
These objects work together to help field service organizations efficiently and successfully manage and execute service requests.
Salesforce Field Service Lightning Implementation: Best Practices
It is important to do things but doing them right and fast in fewer attempts is more important. Before implementing Salesforce Field Service Lightning, adhere to these recommended practices to ensure the success of your implementation:
1. Define the customer journey:
Utilize Salesforce FSL software to craft customer journey maps, identify pain points, and optimize the field service process.
Design a straightforward, efficient model that respects customer time, utilizing process flow diagrams for clarity and alignment across stakeholders.
Implement relevant FSL features based on the customer journey map to create an ideal business model.
2. Chart the entire field service agent journey:
Like the customer journey, aligning the field service team is crucial. A misaligned team can compromise outcomes, emphasizing the importance of keeping field service agents satisfied.
Research indicates that companies with aligned employees outperform rivals by 147% per share.
3. Develop a mobile-first strategy:
Recognize the mobile-centric future of field service. The Salesforce field service mobile app enables agents to work on the go, leveraging phone features like cameras and maps.
This app ensures agents stay informed with alerts, insights, articles, and meaningful metrics, enabling them to quickly address service issues, collaborate with teams, and initiate remediation actions.
4. Establish Key Performance Metrics (KPIs):
Select KPIs aligned with your goals and utilize FSL product features to support their achievement. Leverage FSL performance analytics to facilitate better and faster decision-making for stakeholders, experts, field agents, owners, and executives.
Ensure your key metrics adhere to the SMART criteria (specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, and time-based) to guide architectural decisions effectively from the project’s inception.
Additional considerations exist, and seeking guidance from an experienced professional who has implemented Salesforce Field Service Lightning across various business types is advisable for comprehensive insights into the remaining requirements.
Common Challenges During Salesforce Field Service Implementation
Field Service implementation can be costly and time-consuming before delivering a return on investment. To avoid unexpected expenses and delays, consider seeking guidance from Salesforce experts to navigate the implementation process seamlessly.
Implementing Salesforce Field Service may temporarily disrupt your existing workflow. To mitigate this, map out your current processes, identify areas that need improvement, and plan the necessary changes. Remember, not all processes require an overhaul, so focus on fixing what is necessary.
While Field Service is a powerful tool, its complexity can pose challenges for dispatchers and field specialists. To overcome this, ensure thorough preparation for your team through workshops, tutorials, and Q&A sessions. This will address any uncertainties and ensure a smoother transition.
Salesforce Field Service Pricing
Salesforce Field Service Pricing is categorized into multiple packages, depending on the functionality provided and the employment type of field specialists.
For full-time employees:
Mobile Employee: This entails a mobile application for on-field specialists to view jobs, receive instructions, and stay connected with managers.
- Enterprise Package (Basic): USD 150/user/month.
- Unlimited Package (Premium): USD 300/user/month.
Dispatcher: This desktop application is designed for dispatchers/managers to oversee on-field employee activity, allowing schedule monitoring, resource management, and job assignment.
- Enterprise Package (Basic): USD 150/user/month.
- Unlimited Package (Premium): USD 300/user/month.
Salesforce also offers Field Service Plus, a bundled solution combining Mobile Employee and Dispatcher.
- Enterprise Package (Basic): USD 200/user/month.
- Unlimited Package (Premium): USD 350/user/month.
For independent contractors:
An additional solution is available for external users to access their orders, scheduling, and contracts. The Premium package includes functionality for cross-selling and upselling.
- Contractor Package (Basic): USD 50/user/month
- Contractor Plus Package (Premium): USD 75/user/month.
In conclusion, Field Service Lightning has the potential to improve your service operations, providing real-time updates and efficient solutions to delight customers. This all-in-one solution seamlessly integrates with Salesforce, eliminating the need for third-party software. Whether it is managing work orders, scheduling, inventory, or communication related to field service, Field Service Lightning offers comprehensive capabilities.
Connect with us now to discover how we are enhancing the power of Field Service Lightning, which can accelerate your customer field services and deliver remarkable outcomes. Seize this opportunity to elevate your business and enhance customer satisfaction by harnessing the capabilities of Field Service Lightning. Join hands with Cynoteck to unlock the full potential of this transformative solution and achieve unparalleled success in your field service operations.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Field Service Lightning (FSL) is a Salesforce platform that helps organizations manage their field service operations efficiently. It provides tools for workforce scheduling, dispatching, and mobile access to enhance customer service in the field.
FSL streamlines field operations, improving resource scheduling and response times, leading to quicker issue resolutions. It also empowers field teams with real-time data and enables better customer communication.
Implementing FSL results in improved customer satisfaction, reduced service costs, enhanced workforce productivity, and better resource allocation, ultimately boosting operational efficiency.
Common challenges include data integration issues, workforce training, and managing change. These problems can be overcome with thorough planning, training programs, and support from Salesforce experts.
Success can be measured through key performance indicators (KPIs) like service response time, customer feedback, and cost savings. Calculating the return on investment (ROI) is also crucial to evaluate the impact of FSL on customer service.