How to Eliminate Field Service Paperwork

Making transitions in life or business can be challenging to envision. Yet, these transitions stand to offer access and resources that can dramatically enrich the way we operate.

Take, for example, how some of us hold onto a nostalgia for the days of gathering around a radio for our favorite sports events or entertainment broadcast. But few of us would give up the opportunity we now have to see our favorite players and actors in real life on the screen. We like our television in vibrant colors and high-definition detail.

Much of the same can be said for eliminating our dependence on paperwork when it comes to workflow and processes.

Reducing or eliminating paperwork from operations stands to save us precious time, money, and risk to growing our business, improving service and operations, and increasing the satisfaction of our employees and customers.

In this article, we examine some of the ways traditional paperwork presents challenges and setbacks to efficiency and profit, while also offering tips on modernizing efficiency, reducing risk, and increasing productivity.

Why eliminating paperwork is critical

In reality, the challenges listed below only begin to scratch the service. There are plenty of ways paperwork has historically rendered workflows less efficient and contributed to unnecessary difficulties and setbacks for field service businesses. But the below items help present a picture of why reducing or eliminating paperwork stands to dramatically improve the way our company operates and grows.

Lost Job Forms

More moving parts in a business workflow equates to more room for error and mistakes. Field technicians have a multitude of forms necessary to complete their job, but the field is not an ideal environment for organizations. Having an array of different paper forms and various other resources relying on paperwork, the chance of loss dramatically increases. By switching to a process that eliminates these moving parts, the field technician is less burdened with tasks unrelated to the service they provide, and the risk of losing essential information is reduced or eliminated.

Accessibility of service history

Our service history must always be readily accessible. Customers commonly request old service reports or work order history, along with a variety of other records. Organizing a large volume of paperwork can be a nightmare for any service organization. Stacks of work orders and service history and mandatory forms require a great deal of physical space and expert organizing that requires time and skill to manage.

Analysis of work trends

In addition to the need for expertise in organizing to ensure accessibility of service history and work orders, traditional paperwork is far more challenging to analyze than digital alternatives. Understanding how past work trends may impact efficiency standards is critical to improving on weaknesses and refining strengths. The historical use of paperwork is a hindrance to this process. It requires larger teams and a high volume of time and labor to sort through and assess paper-based data for analysis and research.

Back-office efficiency

A great deal of effort goes into the processing, inspecting, and filing of paperwork by any back-office staff in a field service organization. All information must be turned into useful data and organized promptly. Errors in filing, lost forms, and incorrectly interpreted information contribute to a multitude of challenges and setbacks for the organization.

Billing processes

Processing paper requires material resources, but it also involves more labor. This has a critical impact on the billing processes of any organization. By eliminating the need to print and process paper-related resources, the billing department can refine the way their labor is distributed and save the organization money.

Less travel for technicians

Paperwork requires a transfer from the technician to the necessary staff and management. This results in a technician using valuable time on transporting the paperwork after service has been rendered. If a technician could transmit the same information without travel from the field to the office, a great deal of time and money would be saved and spent in more viable ways.

How to reduce paperwork and increase efficiency

Reducing paperwork and transitioning to digital solutions can be made manageable and straightforward. And the benefits are well worth the effort and attention. Traditional paper resources can be replaced at so many levels when a company decides to seek strategies rooted in modern digital technology.

Below, we explore some of the critical ways digital solutions are replacing paperwork and refining the way we execute business.

Mobile Devices

At this point, we all have a digital device in our hands or pocket. And it is a requisite tool for many businesses to supply their field technicians with work phones, tablets, and/or computers. Using these devices is not only cutting down on the number of costs associated with purchasing paper, but also contributing to an increase in time, money, and labor spent on commodifiable tasks over administrative work.

Field service organizations inherently involve a mobile workforce, which means mobility of communication and transfer is essential to operations. Utilizing mobile applications on phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices cut down on time spent filling out paperwork and transporting paper to the office. It also reduces the amount of paper a technician must carry with them and organize out in the field. Since digital solutions can be immediately relayed to the office, the risk of improperly filling out forms can be monitored, and the potential for loss of a form is eliminated.

Digital Forms

Technological advancements are revolutionizing our dependence on the paperwork we have relied on to create, access, and tailor the many necessary forms in the field technician industry. As any field service organization knows, there are myriad types of forms required for completing various tasks. Numerous factors also influence form types. A field technician is likely to have multiple types of work order forms depending on the service provided. Even more, forms associated with safety, compliance, or inspection can vary based on the city, state, or country of the service.

Being able to customize forms and establish flexible templates is essential to any organization. Digital templates for a multitude of needs can be created or quickly customized depending on the variety of influences that impact the requisite nature of a form.

Possibly the most critical function of digitizing forms is their contribution to organizing and accessing archives. Paperwork has required significant amounts of physical space for filing and organizing, including cumbersome and labor-intensive efforts at retrieving archived information. Digital solutions dramatically reduce the amount of physical space needed for this large-scale organization. They also make retrieving stored information significantly more efficient and reliable.

Customer portal

A reduction in our reliance on paperwork is associated commonly with offering digital alternatives to our field technicians and office managers. But the resources we use for our customers have also depended a great deal on paperwork.

By digitizing invoices and work history, an organization can offer customers any-time access to the resources they require. They can easily pull up a full history of service or other informational resources relative to their service needs. This dramatically reduces the amount of paper technicians must provide the customer, and it has a considerable impact on the customer’s ease and efficiency of access to vital resources.

Management Software

A well-designed and robust field service management software is at the core of any effort we make to reduce paperwork and empower our digital solutions. And the ideal software will produce considerably more.

Proper field management software will assist in optimizing your dispatch efforts and maximizing your capacity for creating quick and informed quotes. It will also ensure that your project management is informed with real-time, accurate data on technicians, service calls, and customer needs.

Any valid field management software should be guided by a combination of advanced solutions and real experience in field service. FieldConnect combines these unique qualities, utilizing technology that is informed by years of expert training in the field.

With nearly two decades of expertise in the industry, FieldConnect has grown to be the leader in software solutions for Mobile Field Service providers. From family-owned and operates services businesses to multi-billion-dollar corporations, FieldConnect has the solutions that make your field technicians more efficient, reduce or eliminate paper from your workflows, and accelerate your invoicing cycles.

You can request a demo of their diverse suite of services today.

The field service industry faces unique and rare challenges when it comes to quotes. It is an extraordinarily dynamic challenge that relies on accurate and timely information, refined collaboration, and advanced tools.

All industries are posed with the complex task of determining quotes for their product or service. This is an equation that requires a great deal of research, information, and ingenuity. Quoting must remain competitive while generating a profit margin that can sustain a business and contribute to growth.

Many industries must put in an upfront effort to determine a viable value for services in their market, and they commonly continue efforts to ensure their value remains up to date. Even when upsells or add-ons are featured in these industries’ value structures, they are mainly determined in advance of individual sales and purchases. Retail providers and restaurants serve as examples of a fixed menu for a value that covers all their products or services. This permits a relatively fixed value structure and reduces the associated complexities of ongoing sales opportunities.

The field service industry is presented with a far more vigorous quoting process—a process that occurs daily and requires high-powered resources to sustain a competitive edge while satisfying customer demand

Providers of field service work and mobile job quoting must remain adaptive, intuitive, and informed to execute useful quotes. This requires real-time access to customer history, service agreements, rate tables, and inventory. Field technicians, managers, and dispatchers must be able to communicate effectively and timely. Each player contributes to providing a client with clearly defined and precise quotes—often occurring on the fly while in the field. Executing on such collaborative and complex tasks requires powerful resources.


The importance of effective quoting in the field

There is a significant opportunity in the business of field service and mobile job quoting. But this fortune is reserved for organizations that can set the correct value for their service and maintain the flexibility to seize new opportunities. Setting a value too high places the business at risk of deterring the customer or minimizing their loyalty. A value set too low can have implications for service quality or fail to sustain the necessary revenue to remain profitable.

Effective quotes in field service work are full of nuances and potential profitability. Despite these challenges and opportunities, many of the resources available for field service providers fall short of offering the necessary tools to generate a competitive quote.

We examine a few best practices for generating quotes while also offering resources to optimize these critical methods for any field service provider and their mobile job quoting efforts.

Best practices for field quotes

Finalizing a quotation relies on precise clarity. The requirements and parameters for the proposed work must be clearly defined. This involves details on the time, labor, and materials associated with the service provided. It is essential to keep in mind that a final quote is commonly a legal commitment. These commitments can have expensive costs resulting from unclear definitions, avoidable mistakes, or poorly communicated guidelines. But they also secure ample opportunity. An effective quoting process can consistently and reliably increase to potential revenue generated by each user.

Producing a quote should answer the following questions. Is the correct business contact information provided? How long will the contract be valid? What are the details of the schedule for the project or service? How are the expenses listed and detailed? What are the specific terms for payment?

A digital or printed version of the quote must be provided to each customer. This documentation will be sufficient for protecting the client and the provider in legal proceedings. Obtaining a signature on-site for mobile job quoting is an ideal way to ensure a quote is confirmed and validated.

Further Resources

It is clear that providing quotes in the field service industry is a complicated and critical function. Installing the most innovative technology to assist in accurate, timely, and fluid quoting can significantly influence the competitive position of a field service provider. Being able to execute mobile job quoting will further advance the quality of your service and increase revenue per user.

Field service management software will assist in optimizing the processes and accuracy of your field quote efforts. This will ensure speed, efficiency, and the capacity to freeze out your competitors from making a competitive bid.

Embolden your field technicians with the specially designed and powerful FieldQuotes software solution from FieldConnect.

Quote add-on services and business while on the job site, face-to-face with your clients. You can ensure that all quotes comply with the pricing established in your ERP. And your organization will dramatically minimize the labor and time put in by the back office.

Any optimal field management software should be guided by a combination of advanced solutions and real experience in field service. FieldConnect combines these unique qualities, utilizing technology informed by years of expert training in the field.

With nearly two decades of expertise in the industry, FieldConnect has grown to be the leader in software solutions for Mobile Field Service providers.

Explore the FieldQuotes software and FieldConnect’s full suite of services while requesting a demo today.

Jobs, parts, change requests and work orders can quickly take their toll on the unprepared field service business. The sheer amount of data one business has to track, especially at scale, can quickly become a nightmare without a good management plan. And surprisingly, some companies might still be using a paper system! Yeah, those thin sheets that come from trees. Businesses that still rely on a paper record system are missing out on some serious productivity benefits with a computer-based record-keeping system.

Beyond that, there are also the benefits of SaaS, or software as a service, like FieldConnect. Paper records, especially when combined over many years, are a large and cumbersome pile of heavy material to manage. Physical space is also of concern since most people keep customer records for an average of 7 years. Besides from a matter of convenience, whichever form you choose, there needs to be an easy system of record collection and migration. You’ll need to collect those records and then migrate them to their eventual home.

The true importance of maintaining great customer records is often overlooked. The records we keep today will help us complete jobs, collect payments, and better serve our clients tomorrow.


How Better Records Makes Happier Customers

If it’s not already obvious, we love talking about data collection. It’s one of the few things that can truly cripple a business if left unchecked or unmanaged. For this guide, we ditched our hardhats for thinking caps to see if we can finally set the records straight.

Customer History

It’s been said that a great salesman knows their client, their kids, and the name of the family pet. In the days of door-to-door sales, keeping great customer records helped to know who was buying what and which houses physically allowed you to get a foot in the door. Having correct information like customer name and address is surely important, but it’s the historic value of good record-keeping that really shines. Some obvious benefits are knowing previous services performed, current jobs pending, and future service interval frequency. Important pieces of information such as preferred service hours, extra key locations, or whether the customer has a dog could surely be forgotten if not for prior record collecting efforts.

Additionally, it’s a lot easier to predict future service needs when you’ve got detailed location history.

“Doesn’t Mr. Fresno need to have a plumbing cleanup installed before it frosts this year?”

Record keeping is also extremely beneficial for field service technician transitions. The second tech on a job will have a much easier time if clear and concise notes were taken during the previous visit. This includes jotting down specific makes, models, or parts identifiers like serial numbers or SKUs.

Also, when hiring new employees, it’s easier to explain the ‘how and whys’ of service workflows when you’ve got viable data sets to train from.

Looking Forward

Marketing is another major reason to ensure customer records are kept fresh. Blanket marketing tactics like door hangers or EDDM benefit greatly by either retargeting existing or out-of-service customers while avoiding your saturated service areas to gain new clients.

Speaking of marketing, having up-to-date records can allow your sales team to quickly locate upcoming warranty or service contract expirations. For businesses that offer extended warranties or service contracts, knowing this small bit of information can help you increase renewals and continue to add incremental revenue while simultaneously boosting customer retention.

If making more money from marketing and sales calls wasn’t enough, don’t worry. As historical data is gathered, your field service technicians will be able to complete jobs faster with more efficiency. Having that vital customer information eliminates time-consuming inquiries and second-guessing.


Record Keeping For the Rest of Us

You’ve got a lot of things on your plate — we get it. That’s why FieldConnect makes field service software your employees actually want to use. When it comes to field service work, regardless of industry, having the right information at your fingertips when you need it most is paramount.

There are also safeguards in place for those businesses that work in more rural or secluded locations. As your technician is performing their usual duties, they can continue to use FieldConnect like they normally would even without a reliable data connection. Once they’re back within range of a stable connection, all of their collected data will automatically begin syncing to your centralized database.

Plus, our software is both easy to use and intuitive. You can get your whole team up and running faster than you might think.

If you’re ready to maintain better client relationships through better record-keeping, we’d love to show you why FieldConnect just might be the best business investment you’ve ever made.

Your customers rely on you for lots of things — building new homes, inspecting gas lines, or even installing that new outlet behind their wall-mounted TV. Some industries need their customers to be dependent on them in order to prosper while others empower them to handle certain tasks on their own. Amazon went as far as building a store that allows customers to shop and check themselves out sans any employee interaction at all. While not every business needs to let the reigns go completely, there are many advantages to empowering your customers with the ability to self-serve, from content consumption like how-tos and tips & tricks to job-specific tasks like online billing and scheduling.

Many of your customers will still want the full course experience of your services, and that’s great! It shows that they truly appreciate the expert-level service you provide them time after time, from your accounting team to schedule. For others, the satisfaction and convenience of self-service will give them one more reason to stick with you for as long as they’re able.


Empowering Customers the Easy Way

To start, we should probably define what it means to empower your customers. When we think of the term ’empowerment’, we probably think of strength, resilience, or perseverance. Those are all aspects of empowerment but in the wrong context.

Customer empowerment means giving the customer better options to handle quality-of-life tasks without company interaction.

For example, you can empower your customers by allowing them to schedule their own service needs on your website. Since no one knows their schedule better than they do, it’s a huge win for convenience. Having this option allows your customers to choose the best time and place for a service or job to be completed. This is, of course, only one example of customer empowerment.

There’s something you should think about before working towards customer solutions; what will make your customer’s life easier?

Does it simply mean to give them more options for the sake of having options? “If it doesn’t bring you joy, throw it out.” Marie Kondo, famous for her Tidying Up With Marie Kondo series on Netflix, teaches us about the importance of selecting things with purpose and intent. This is especially important when providing customers with self-service options. Too few options and you’re behind competitors — too many options and may cause your site to become difficult to properly use. For field service businesses, the key takeaway is that sometimes less is more.


Educational Resources

Educational Resources for Field Service TechniciansIt’s the weekend before Christmas and one of your customers is getting an early start on cooking. In the kitchen, they’re running the stove, the oven, and one of those fancy new air fryers the in-laws mailed from out-of-state. Suddenly, the customer hears a ‘pop’ followed by complete darkness — they’ve tripped a breaker and aren’t sure what to do.

The savvy electrician business would’ve prepared them for this by creating some general knowledge videos or blog posts about common electrical issues and ways to remedy them. This could include guides on how to properly change and dispose of light bulbs, a blog post on using electric heaters in the winter, or how to navigate an electrical panel box.

This also helps your business — while we’d all love that service call due to the relatively easy fix, your customer would likely rather have the ability to fix it themselves to get back to cooking.

While photo and video resources are great, even a simple frequently asked questions section could help shed light on common issues that could be easily handled by the customer. This definitely empowers your customer, to be sure. But most importantly, it helps your company demonstrate the immense value you’ll provide to them, even when you’re not directly profiting from it.

Scheduling, Online Payments, and Billing History

This one is pretty simple — give your customers the ability to handle payments and scheduling at their leisure. This helps to free up your back office staff to help troubleshoot service calls or follow-up on sales leads while giving your customer the flexibility to choose their service date and make payments when it’s best for them. It may also be important for them to see past invoices for their own accounting purposes, so access to that information is extremely beneficial.

Additionally, having an autopay function can keep your receivables in the black while providing peace of mind to your customer.

Job Status

The ability to check a job’s current status on the customer’s end is another huge win for empowerment.  It eliminates the need for them to call in for a status update and potentially wait on hold for an answer. This is especially important if the customer won’t be on-site during the work or is awaiting parts fulfillment. Additionally, the increased productivity you’ll receive by not having to field those calls could be used to handle other pressing issues — or even better — land more new clients.


Customer-centric Solutions

FieldDirect, part of the FieldConnect software suite, allows field service businesses to offer massive quality-of-life improvements directly to their customers with a powerful customer portal. Companies can offer fantastic features like online bill pay and job status tracking while freeing up back-office staff to handle other functions. By empowering your customers today, they’ll remain your customers tomorrow.

No matter how good your business is or how much experience you bring to the table, one thing is certain — your business will live and die by the experiences of your customers. One of the most important aspects of maintaining excellent customer experiences is to have a tight handle on your scheduled appointments. We know that feeling of when a job starts to get away from you; suddenly, hours have passed on a job that was only supposed to take 45 minutes and your other customers who’ve been patiently waiting are starting to wonder where your team is at. While good team dynamics and excellent communication are vital when you or one of your technicians is tied up, you also need an easier way to handle your dispatching.


3 Ways to Improve Your Response Times

Completing jobs is obviously important, but we’d argue that actually getting to the job on time and prepared is even more important. Arriving on time isn’t just important for customer satisfaction and retention — it’s important for the productivity and happiness of your service team!

Your service technicians are the lifeblood of your company — without them, the jobs can’t be completed. Their expertise and dedication to your business are unrivaled — your ability to keep them happy and productive should be unrivaled, too. And with all assets, their ultimate value is in how they’re utilized. When you’re deciding on your appointment workflow, meaning the way your workers will interact with their assigned jobs, a great system of practical steps (plus awesome software) can make the difference between a breezy day and non-stop mishaps. This will keep them crushing their service goals while rewarding their efforts with a better work-life balance.

The Right Person for the Right Job

field service dispatching and schedulingIn the HVAC field, for example, it’s not uncommon to have technicians who only handle service while others handle installs. Without a good system in place, scheduling mistakes could happen, leading to both job and skill mismatching. Beyond the problems caused by sending the wrong person to the wrong job, technician trucks and vans are usually set up for their specific responsibilities. An installer who takes on a service call may have delays completing jobs due to not having all of the right components on hand.

Thus, the ability to dispatch the right technician to the right job seamlessly is incredibly valuable.

Schedule Jobs In Blocks

While you’re confident in your team’s ability to handle jobs with poise and precision, sometimes things just happen beyond your control. Your technician’s truck could get a flat tire, that quick 15-minute toilet unclogging could turn into a need for sewer maintenance, or your employee could get lost on the way to a job in a rural area. Whatever comes your way, it’s always best to schedule your jobs in blocks. Some companies utilize half-hour or hour-long arrival windows while others may block out larger amounts of time depending on industry and the average job completion time. This also helps to raise your percentage of first visit resolutions since it’ll allow your technician ample time to provide the customer with a sound solution.

However, there’s a balancing act here. You don’t want to allow so much time that your employees are stagnant during peak business hours. If your trucks aren’t moving, your money probably isn’t, either.

Job Preparation

A good, productive day can quickly turn sour if your workers aren’t properly prepared for a job. While scheduling an installer for an installation makes sense, you never want to have your team show up to a job without the tools, materials, or the previous site history. Keeping track of vehicle inventory and the replenishment status of materials and components can help prevent costly delays and unhappy customer experiences.

When handling new client onboarding, it’s doubly important to gather as much information about their service as possible prior to deployment since, as with all clients, we’re aiming for satisfactory job completion as well as future business.

In the case of a follow-up from a previous issue, like an inspection or warranty repair, you’ll also need a great set of records and notes in case a different technician needs to handle that follow-up.


The Best Dispatch Software for Field Service Workers

Meet FieldDispatch, a revolutionary member of the FieldConnect software suite that’s changing the way field service workers handle their scheduling. Beyond a normal calendar app or run-of-the-mill scheduling system, FieldDispatch was designed from the ground up to provide an unparalleled view into your business’s field deployment system.

Since it’s web-enabled, your field service team is able to be routed to new jobs from your back office no matter what kind of device you’re using. This is crucial for rapid deployment needs in the case of a maintenance emergency or natural disaster.  When your team is out in the world where data connections are spotty or completely unavailable, they can continue focusing on the task at hand and FieldDispatch will sync their data entries once they’re back in a better service area. And with advanced, real-time location features you’ll always have clear oversight of both technician and customer mapping.

Productivity Tips for Field Service Technicians

Analyzing and measuring productivity has been of interest to all types of operations for centuries. Scientists have formally studied the realm of productivity since the 17th century. But many things have changed in that time. The laws governing labor have progressed, and our tools for assessing productivity have become considerably more exhaustive and nuanced.

But one thing has not changed for the field service industry: Our work is unpredictable. Field service organizations are posed with a particularly unique challenge in this regard.

How do we reliably analyze, measure, and respond to productivity when the forces impacting it can be uncertain?

There are endless ways field service technicians cannot control the influences on their productivity. From customers canceling or rescheduling at the last minute to emergency calls or the failure of necessary equipment, field service technicians are faced with a constant barrage of random and fickle influences to their professional responsibilities.

But field service technicians and organizations are resilient and resourceful. We have found plenty of means for responding to the novel challenges of our field and their relationship to remain productive.

Tips for Field Service Technician Productivity

In this article, we examine some considerations and resources that will empower field service organizations to support their technicians in maintaining and growing productivity.

1. Identify goals for productivity

This may seem like an obvious first step, but it is a valuable tip for pursuing more refined productivity strategies. Every strategy must begin with a plan and specific goals in mind.

There are a few things to keep in mind when goal setting. Ensure that any goal strategy involves a formal system of feedback about the progress being made toward each goal. Assign a timeline for regular updates and parameters for information to be provided about the progress. Secondly, assure the goals being set stretch and test your current capacities. You want goals to offer an attainable challenge.

Goal defining and tracking will be dramatically improved with the proper resources. Managers should have access to detailed reports throughout a workday, and this can rarely be accomplished without the appropriate technology and software (which we will offer tips on in our closing section).

2. Technician tracking

Speaking of the proper technology and software, we cannot underestimate the emphasis on tracking technicians. This is not merely a managerial concern. Technicians are remarkably more informed and productive when they can be dispatched or scheduled most efficiently. Empowering the dispatch or back-office teams with on the technician’s location will substantially cut down on extra driving distance and time while increasing efficiency and elevating productivity.

3. Prioritize scheduling strategy

This is a close cousin to the above tip, but it is distinct.

These two tips share the common goal of reducing travel time to improve productivity, but it all begins with a robust strategy for scheduling. Creating the most precise schedules is the first step towards the productivity that results from less travel time. But all experienced field service organizations know that schedules are a beginning infrastructure. Flexibility must be planned into any scheduling strategy. And the easier modifications can be made, especially on the fly, the more productive a scheduling strategy will become.

Finally, consider offering incentives to customers to schedule appointments during hours that are most efficient for your organization. Perhaps there are trending low-volume times in the day that you would like to fill, or periods in the year that are better suited to specific tasks over others. Offering customers discounts or coupons or other advantages to scheduling in these specially designed windows can significantly impact overall productivity.

By far, adopting field scheduling software is the most efficient, reliable, and refined way to go about implementing and executing any solid strategy for scheduling.

4. Easily accessible inventory

We highly recommend effort be invested in the development and organization of inventory. The time technicians or administrators spend searching through the commonly extensive

inventories of parts, tools, and other resources are valuable labor and revenue exhausted on productivity.

If you do not currently have a formal system for your inventory, our tip is to invest the effort into developing one. In the meantime, ensure that you are tracking the usage of parts, equipment, and vehicles. As you grow more extensive reporting on inventory, consider reaching out to your suppliers for a purchase history to assist in establishing a robust history and infrastructure moving forward.

5. Equip dispatchers with information and training

Much energy goes into equipping our technicians in the field with the proper resources and information. But we also recommend utilizing your dispatchers in more dynamic ways.

Resourcing your team more diversely increases productivity from your technicians. Take, for example, that your dispatcher could be provided the information and training to direct customers through diagnosis, discovery, and resolutions to issues before dispatching a technician. This helps reduce No Fault Found Dispatches (NFFD). Reducing NFFD through trained and informed dispatchers stands to eliminate unnecessary and avoidable mistakes. It will increase the productivity of technicians applying their skills and expertise where they are most needed.

6. Understand and Implement Field Service Management Solutions

Executing each of the previously mentioned tips is critically expedited, polished, and more productive with our final tip: Identify field service management solutions that fit your organization.

Below are some directions and resources to inform your search.

Your management solution should provide a mobile field service application with comprehensive features. Assess these features for location and navigation, service notes and reference, checklists, expense tracking, and time in the field and appointments. Keep in mind that this is only a partial list of the extensive features available for field services applications.

Automation is key. A well-designed solution should permit the automating of recurring and basic tasks—such as resolution management, service task assignments, ticket routing, and other items specific to your organization.

Transparent and flexible scheduling features are also a high priority for your solution. Empower your administrators and dispatchers to better utilize and organize your field service workers. As schedules inevitably fluctuate and new tasks arise, your organization should be equipped to respond quickly and easily. Using drag and drop scheduling features will allow your administrative agents to override tasks and produce assignments for the ideal technicians.

These are just a few of the functions to regard as you search for your field service management solution. Critical functions of your solution also need to be concerned with the customer experience and the ability to collect and analyze data.

Allow the most experienced and dedicated professionals at FieldConnect to assist in starting you on your journey toward finding the solution best suited to provide you with the highest potential for productivity and generating profit.

You can request a demo of their diverse suite of services today.

 About FieldConnect

With nearly two decades of expertise in the industry, FieldConnect has grown to be the leader in software solutions for Mobile Field Service providers. From family-owned and operates services businesses to multi-billion-dollar corporations, FieldConnect has the solutions that make your field technicians more efficient, reduce or eliminate paper from your workflows, and accelerate your invoicing cycles.

How To Avoid The Most Common Mistakes Made By Field Service Operations

Field service organizations require clear, consistent, and cohesive coordination to function properly, especially since most jobs are time-sensitive. Unfortunately, manual management systems leave plenty of room for human error and delays – leading to unsatisfied customers and reduced client loyalty.

According to a report, 52% of field service respondents consider customer satisfaction as the most important area for improvement. Providing excellent customer service guarantees long-lasting business relationships built on trust and loyalty.

To help you conquer the daily struggles of on-demand field service, this brief guide will cover the most common mistakes field service companies make, how you can overcome them, and the role that field management software solutions play in satisfying your customers.

Mismanaged Dispatch And Assignment Schedules

Knowing your technicians’ availabilities is essential for efficient operations. Without proper tools and organization, you could accidentally double-book field service operatives, duplicate assignments, and make it difficult for your technicians to do their job satisfactorily. In turn, this affects the overall performance of your company and its reputation among customers.

A field service management software can help you organize timelines, set appointments, dispatch teams, and assign tasks to the right technicians. It also provides you with a complete overview of your daily jobs, so you can easily complete and monitor bookings.

Lapses In Real-Time Communication

Communication is the key to every field service organization’s success. When communication channels are reliable and easy to use, technicians can report on-site problems easily, get in touch with other agents, and contact customers directly.

Using mobile-driven solutions, workers can quickly update customers and Inform them of unexpected delays. This helps in building trust and improving customer relationships. Another great feature is device tracking, which provides management with the locations of each technician based on device usage – allowing your dispatches to be monitored from start to finish.

Manual Billing and Invoices

Manual accounting makes it difficult to keep track of billing statements, leading to accounting or bookkeeping discrepancies. With automated invoicing, you can offer your customers convenient options when it matters most. You’ll even have a daily report of your income to track growth and predict sales trends.

Since everything is online and automated, technicians no longer need to handle manual paperwork. This minimizes face-to-face interactions and reduces exposure to contaminants – which is essential in a post-pandemic world.

No Built-In Device Tracking for Dispatched Technicians

Technicians spend lots of valuable time on the road for on-site visits and inspections, so it’s important to find the most cost-efficient way of getting to a customer. Device Tracking integration and virtual mapping give technicians the best routes to cut down on travel time. This helps in reducing expenditure on gas and vehicle maintenance which, for a field service organization, can lead to major cost savings. By transitioning to a digital system with Device tracking capabilities, you can cut down on expenses without compromising on the quality and speed of your services.

Disconnected and Scattered Workflow

Gathering information from different sources can be tedious and time-consuming. A digital workflow can streamline your workflow, help your technicians process job orders, and allow you to monitor their status every step of the way.

Integrating field management software centralizes customer and company data to give you visual insights into your team’s efficiency. By measuring how productive your workers are, you can implement strategies to develop their skills and give them the support they need to do their job well.

Lack of Customer Data Analytics

Manual systems make it difficult to streamline information, which means that it’s easy to miss strategic opportunities for growth and profitability. With an integrated end-to-end system, you can measure customer satisfaction and company performance to make intelligent, data-driven decisions.

Security and Privacy Threats

Protecting your customers’ sensitive information is paramount, but traditional printed documents and paperwork may compromise your customer’s right to privacy. If you upgrade to a secure cloud-based system, you can prevent data theft and fraud with end-to-end encryption.

Risks of Face-To-Face Contact

Running a successful field service company in the time of COVID-19 involves taking steps towards touchless transactions. Paperless processes, digital communications, and remote support minimize the risk of coronavirus exposure or transmission. Using cloud-based services also helps you comply with local safety guidelines, keeping workers and customers protected.

FieldConnect: An All-In-One Solution for Your Field Service Needs

The pandemic continues to test each field service organization’s ability to adapt. But with modern cloud-based solutions, you can manage your company with minimal effort.

FieldConnect eliminates the common challenges faced by many field service companies in their daily operations. Our integrated, cloud-based software gives you the power to handle all aspects of the business from any device or computer. Request a demo today, and experience the difference yourself!

Improve Client Satisfaction In the Digital Age

Over the last two decades, the shift in technology has permeated every aspect of daily life, from running a business to getting immediate answers to any question via Google. With shopping, ordering food, booking service appointments, and even dating available at one touch of your finger, modern buyers have plenty of options – and when they can’t get immediate satisfaction, they move on to the next.

In this environment, it’s little wonder that client satisfaction rates depend on how fast their needs are met. With so many ways to get in touch with people, from social media to websites, chat programs, and texting, there’s no reason that a savvy business owner can’t be available when their customers need them. On the flip side, when customers have difficulty getting ahold of someone to solve a problem or answer a question, the frustration and dissatisfaction will lead them to seek other options.


Make It Easy To Give Clients What They Need

Your clients want fast, accurate quotes, updates on their services on-demand, and an easy way to pay. If something goes wrong, or if they have a question or concern, they want to get ahold of someone and immediately resolve the problem. Using the right technology, you can create individualized profiles and a client portal that your customers can access day or night. This allows them to see the status of their projects, orders, and payments in real-time.


Be Available

Even when you automate most of your routine client interactions, there are still times when someone has an unusual request, needs to make a change, or has an emergency. Being available through multiple platforms can quickly reduce the stress for your clients.

Giving your clients multiple ways to get ahold of a real person at your business can improve the speed at which you resolve client concerns. This demonstrates that you are serious about being accessible for their needs.


Automate Client Interactions

Much of your client contact can be automated and personalized through good customer management software. You can set email reminders for upcoming services, when an invoice is due, when it’s time to schedule a maintenance appointment, or when you have a promotion that fits their needs.

You can also set up chatbot services that allow clients to get fast answers to their questions without having to search through your entire website. Customized chatbots work like a cross between google queries and a conversation with a live person. For example, your clients can ask about certain services, ask how to submit a quote request, or even have minor issues resolved straight from their computer or smartphone simply by chatting with a custom bot on your website.


Personalize the User Experience

An important part of creating customer loyalty to your business and brand is to personalize the user experience. When you incorporate good customer management software into your business, you can gather important information about each client. Profiles include individual preferences, demographic information, and the size of their business. You can build company profiles, too, including the size, names, and contact information of purchasing agents, and each client’s type of industry.

Creating a robust customer profile gives you more insight into client purchasing behavior, including how often they contract service from your company, their satisfaction with each experience, and what services they book. Understanding your client history allows you to personalize offers for other services that you offer that they haven’t tried yet. When marketing initiatives are customized, clients are more likely to act on them.

Beyond being useful for you, having a customer profile and personalized experience is better for clients. They have ready access to their history with your company, making service bookings a breeze. Plus, many of these programs allow your sales team and customer service agents to make notes about past problems or ongoing concerns so that as you address these issues, you have access to previous conversations.


Adopt Self-Service Technology

Adopt Self Service TechnologyWith today’s current digital technology, it’s entirely possible for your customer to request a quote, book service, and pay their invoice without ever making contact with a member of your staff. Incorporating self-serve technology allows repeat clients to log into their client portal, book the services or order the supplies they need, and quickly pay.

Self-service technology can also include signing contracts online and amending or upgrading their service agreements. Many of your customers want to log in to their account, accomplish what they need to, and then be on about their business. Giving them flexible options to purchase from your business and making these self-service modules user-intuitive, secure, and with plenty of customization options increases their satisfaction with your business.



Putting all this together doesn’t have to be cumbersome. In fact, many business software platforms offer several modules that help you add chatbots or self-serve capabilities. These allow clients to book service, check their status, and receive a quote. Integrating automation of many routine tasks and having easy-to-find answers for common questions can improve customer service and client retention. At FieldConnect, we offer customized solutions for any sized business. Give us a call today or visit us online to see how we can help your business grow!


Flexibility, communication, and convenience: those are three reasons that field service technicians can benefit from the use of industry-leading technology from a service provider. Leading-edge technology can help business owners streamline their operations, but there are substantial benefits for customers and your business profitability, too.

Today, we’re looking at why technology helps improve field service engagement and the specific ways that a platform like FieldConnect can do this.


Accessible From Any Device

Cloud-based field service technology can be access from anywhere, anytime, on any supported device. Providing your field service technicians with a company tablet gives them ready access to pricing for additional parts and services and a scheduling module allowing them to book a client’s next service date.

Many software systems also have a fleet service management tool, which can help your techs quickly communicate if their company vehicle breaks down, or even with automatic accident alerts, in the event they’re unable to communicate.


Immediate Communication Between Field Techs and Management

Playing “telephone tag” with the home office is a source of endless frustration for many service technicians. Using field service technology, automating communications, or giving techs access to the information they need reduces employee frustration.

improve field engagementCommunicating with one another quickly can easily streamline overall efficiency in any type of service industry. Beyond routine questions, techs can also upload photos of unusual circumstances or situations for management, which can help newer employees be more effective in the field. All-on-one communication platforms can seamlessly go from a text to sharing a photo or video, followed up by a phone call to discuss the situation.

The easier it is for field service technicians and their managers or home office support staff to communicate, the more often and effectively they’ll do so. Managers should be checking in frequently with service techs, ensuring they have the tools they need to do their job, and following up with the more difficult jobs on their route. Giving your field management team a great way to communicate with the techs strengthens the relationships and results in higher employee retention and job satisfaction.

Group messaging is another way to provide updates for your team quickly. For example, giving a heads up about inclement weather that can affect their ability to complete outside work and what options techs have in these situations can help them proactively serve the client.

Not every technician will be an expert at every brand and model. Through group messaging apps, your techs can communicate quickly with one another, too, allowing more experienced techs to help the newer ones with questions that come up. Creating an environment of teamwork and mentorship, even when your team largely works independently, results in a more cohesive workplace.


On-Site Customer Service

Field service technology helps your techs provide more comprehensive service for clients. Using the platform, a technician can review the service history, including preferences such as knocking versus ringing the bell or whether there are pets or small children to be aware of. In fact, 54% of service techs would prefer a pre-visit review of a client’s service history. Techs can also review past service calls and notes about the equipment they will be working on. Your techs can give more personalized service with a more in-depth awareness of the client and the service environment.

Another way that field service technology can improve your customer service is through artificial-intelligence-based predictive technology. In fact, one of the top field service trends of 2021 is predictive and proactive maintenance. This tool gives your service technicians an idea of when your customer will need a particular part replaced or the right preventative maintenance schedule based on the unit’s use. By tracking the service parameters of each client through IoT, your field service techs can proactively inform your clients about upcoming needs and book the appointment right then.


Facilitate Emergency or Secondary Job Requests

dispatching field service techIf your business offers emergency services, a more flexible scheduling tool can help you accommodate these, whether after-hours or in the middle of a regular business day. Your dispatch team can look at which tech is closest to the emergency request or which one is readily available and immediately assign the individual to the call. Then, dispatch can rearrange other jobs and technicians to accommodate the emergency and quickly communicate with the techs and affected clients using the scheduling module.

Often, a technician may find your clients need additional work beyond the scope of the initial job, such as finding additional pieces of a unit that need to be repaired or that a client may need additional services for pest control. Using field service technology, techs can check the inventory for the right parts and generate a quote on the spot for the client. This reduces repeat visits and improves proactive customer service.


Choose the Right Field Service Technology

Did you know that about 75% of field service businesses that utilize mobility tools have observed increased employee productivity, while the rest have seen customer satisfaction rates rise? At FieldConnect, we’re leaders in the field technology industry, embracing cloud-based communications for businesses from single owner-operated to enterprise companies with branches across the country. Our scalable software and user-intuitive technology allow business owners to oversee all aspects of their service business, from scheduling jobs to accounting and invoicing and customer service and marketing to inventory management.


Technology in the Field Service Industry

Technology in field service plays an important role in completing jobs on time, tracking technicians in the field, and keeping customers updated on their orders. FieldConnect has a complete suite of services that includes tools for customer retention, customer self-service, employee retention, and order management from the warehouse to the front door. Make life easier for field technicians, customers, and back-office staff, and improve your enterprise’s bottom line by prioritizing technology and customer retention.

Ways Technology Can Help Improve Customer Retention

A report by Forbes focuses on the importance of customer retention and provides insight into reducing churn. Many companies consider this their top priority, and you should consider doing so for your firm as well. If you think about it, churn is tightly linked to customer satisfaction. So, companies focusing on the customer experience should look up ways to prevent churn through the use of powerful field management and customer service tools.

  • Gain billing efficiency with integrated field service software that communicates directly with your accounting system.
  • Keep customers happy with self-service tools that allow them to answer their questions and trust your organization.
  • Retain your top employees by giving them the appropriate technology in the field to help them successfully report back job statuses and other vital information.

The right technology enables you to reduce customer churn by addressing each customer’s concerns in a minimally disruptive way. Training service technicians is obviously crucial to establishing customer satisfaction. However, it’s also important to remain proactive when it comes to customers considering other providers. Don’t just give your loyal customers away to the competition.

People and processes continue to play vital roles and customer satisfaction and customer retention. Advanced technologies such as big data, AI, voice analytics, and visualization allow your field technicians, back-office staff, and customers to make the human connections needed to deliver flawless products and services. As a bonus, adopting the right technology allows you to achieve higher customer retention without adding to your workforce.


Improving Client Satisfaction in the Digital Age

According to an HBR survey, 40% of participants named customer experience as their main focus when it comes to digital transformation. Every touchpoint with a customer impacts your brand image, customer relationship, and customer retention.

The same survey reveals that 72% of survey respondents put their faith in emerging digital capabilities to create a better customer experience. So, if you want to improve your customer satisfaction rate, invest time not only in training employees but in technology that can enhance the connection between technicians in the field, customer service representatives, and the customers themselves.

Do you have the right technology to give customers real-time updates when they call to check an order or service status? According to PWC, nearly half of all executives believe that they need better technology to adopt a digital transformation strategy fully.

Personalizing the user experience can help you treat your customers as individuals and get to know their personal preferences. When customers feel known and valued, they are more likely to remain with your company longer. As mentioned, there is a close link between technology and customer retention.

According to Accenture, three out of four customers say they are more likely to buy from or stay with a company that knows their name, personal history and can recommend products and services based on their history with the company. This means that customers are eager for organizations to use their data in order to improve the customer experience.


Streamlining Workflows

field service workflowsSo, the question is, are you ready to invest in solutions that help you achieve client satisfaction in the digital age? You can get an easy win by updating your communication tools between the field and back-office systems.

Field service challenges you may be facing include:

  • Technicians reluctant to learn a digital system
  • Legacy field service based on paper, email, and other manual updates
  • Poor productivity due to needing to return to the office for paperwork
  • Low morale

With FieldConnect Digital solutions you can make life easier for your technicians and give them more time to spend attending to customers in the field. Here are just some of the areas in which integrated software can transform your business with cloud-based technology:

  • Schedule & Dispatch: validate time on site using GPS and provide FieldConnect customer self-service portal for customers to check on arrival times.
  • Customer Portal: customers can place orders online, check the status of orders and eliminate paperwork with FieldConnect software.
  • Track Time: FieldConnect software tracks time seamlessly, eliminating the need for timecards. This allows you to track billable hours to the second on any device.
  • Device Agnostic Software: Our technology works on mobile phones, desktops, tablets, and other devices.
  • Get Paid Faster: send invoices that customers can pay electronically and automate the receipt process to improve collections.

you can also improve field service engagements through the use of technology.


How Technology Helps Improve Field Engagement

If your industry requires employees in the field servicing customers, it’s important to use every advantage to improve field service engagement. Deskless workers need technology that can travel with them easily and that is available on a range of devices.

One survey reports that 85% of field workers surveyed thought they needed better communication with management to prevent delays and customer frustration. Many field workers don’t have access to digital solutions at all or are forced to enter data more than once into cumbersome legacy systems.

Without the right scheduling tools, field service workers have to refer customers to customer service representatives for follow-up appointments, information, and other details. This can have a negative effect on employee morale and impact customer satisfaction in a big way.

Another study highlights the importance of flexibility, communication, and scheduling. Many employees felt that they didn’t have enough flexibility to schedule around important events in their own lives. They were forced to miss milestones due to an inflexible scheduling platform.

To retain experienced field technicians and the customers they serve, savvy companies are now discovering the importance of FieldConnect solutions that offer seamless integration among time tracking, scheduling, customer self-service, and technician tracking. Additionally, collecting more data allows customer service representatives to engage with customers at a high level using the latest available technology.


The Emergence of the Cloud & How It Benefits Field Service

Fortunately, organizations now realize the importance of cloud technology and completing their digital transformation goals. The cloud gives companies the capability to provide dynamic, flexible tools for employees at their desks, remote workers in the field, and customers looking for updates on product and service deliveries.

By connecting software as a service application to customer databases, mobile web apps allow technicians to record all touchpoints with customers. This creates a 360-degree view of the customer experience. Using customer data and service history can help your company understand when, why, and where customers choose to do business with you or defect to the competition.

One way to prevent customer churn is to provide personalized service whether your customer finds you online, chatting with a customer service technician, or in a self-service portal.

Today, in order to provide efficient field service, field technicians need mobile, cloud-based software specifically designed for their needs. Cloud-based applications are accessible from desktop and mobile devices and quickly transfer important information such as customer contact, billing, and scheduling needs. This also allows technicians to update scheduling information and job status in real-time.


As your business grows, so will your need to keep track of where your technicians are. So, allow them to flexibly schedule their availability and communicate with back-office teams, customer service representatives, and customers.

FieldConnect cloud-based solutions are constantly evolving to provide better technology in field service. However, if your business grows, you need flexible technology that keeps customer retention top of mind. Client satisfaction in the digital age revolves around a combination of robust technology, personalization, and efficient services. You can achieve all of these with FieldConnect solutions.