Service operations are a core value addition to delivering great customer experiences, ranging across installations, repair, and regular maintenance. Often times, businesses search for ways to monitor the efficiency of field agents and even try to improve on the inefficiencies, if discovered.
This search for efficiency has led to the discovery of unique challenges like siloed teams in the organization and poor resource allocation, for instance, contributing to the difficulty in managing field service operations. Subsequently, they look for ways to equip those departments with the tools and data needed to enhance profitability, administrative efficiency, and above all, customer service. Despite technological advances, 60% of organizations still employ manual workflows to manage their field agents.
In 2016, Salesforce acquired ClickSoftware and launched its field service solution. It offered such high-value that Field Service Lightning (FSL) became the fastest-growing Salesforce product of all time, earning over $ 100 million within 3 years. FSL has, since, streamlined both customers as well as employee experiences and changed the way on-site teams operate.
Let’s understand all the hurdles that got resolved with the integration of FSL onto the CRM system:
Hurdle #1: Too much paperwork
For a small business, the use of spreadsheets and paper-based systems is still good enough, but considering the scalability and the need to deliver on customer promises, you might want to employ an effective, visionary solution.
Solution: Field Service Lightning offers a fully automated solution that seamlessly integrates with your ERP helping you manage the materials employed, expenses incurred, project completion rates, etc. in an efficient manner.
Hurdle #2: Lack of visibility
At any moment in a service call, the customer could demand the location of the field technicians or when to expect them, which could be frustrating, especially, when you don’t have that information yourself. Every second wasted to procure that knowledge could turn a profit into a loss.
Solution: FSL is an extension of Salesforce Service Cloud which comes with a Dispatcher View. This enables you to track the location of field teams at any given moment as well as monitor their work order progress in real-time.
Hurdle #3: Scheduling constraints
Sometimes, businesses come across geographical challenges like servicing the customers in remote parts of the region, leading to poor delivery scheduling and apparent inefficiency in the eyes of the customer which could affect your brand reputation.
Solution: FSL becomes super helpful when you come across this challenge. It optimizes resource allocation by creating schedules using business logic and CRM data, resulting in faster service response time. It also prioritizes the right technicians reaching the right jobs carrying optimal route information being updated on a real-time basis.
Hurdle #4: Keeping stock of your inventory
Staying on top of the fluctuating demands on your warehouse or inventory is a common challenge faced by growing businesses. You need a smart, capable system to constantly track and update the tools, costs, and materials in your inventory.
Solution: FinancialForce ERP built on the Salesforce platform, together with Field Service Lightning, allows you to gain real-time visibility of the products consumed, inventory levels, and the costs involved across requirements and logistics.
Hurdle #5: Complex installations
Complex jobs, particularly sequential work orders requiring multiple service resources can be a drain on any organization. It’s not easy to manage multiple stages of a large project that requires a multitude of skill sets and plenty of back and forth communication to get the job done right and on budget.
Solution: FSL’s Work Order Management can break down tasks into multiple steps, line items, and create relationships to each work order, which can then be automatically converted to an order or invoice directly in your ERP. The result is lower leakage and more thorough billing of all services and inventory items.
In short, leveraging a holistic view of the entire service operation, from engagement to the transaction, will enhance your ability to track progress in the field, boost productivity, reduce revenue leakage, and increase customer satisfaction.
A seasoned Salesforce integration consultant like Algoworks can help put your plans into motion to bridge the gap between your ERP system and your field force.