Dynamics 365 Field Service: Blog

According to Industry analysts, the three biggest challenges field service organisations are facing today are continued rising customer expectations, a shrinking talent pool, and increased competition for both talent and customer share. In this quarter, our Field Service series will focus on fundamentals, optimisation and competitive edge. 

Of the top 5 challenges field services organisation face this year, increasing customer demands is at the forefront. Gone are the days where a low price-point will guarantee customer loyalty.  In the current economic climate where new business often has unpredictable buying patterns, your focus has already shifted to customer retention as a line of business. Whether you’re a services organisation, manufacturer or distributor, one of the biggest driving factors for meeting customer demands is that of service excellence.

Thanks to leaps in technology in mainstream consumerism, the bar for customer service is not only set high, it continues to rise. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: What is the experience like when I need service? From first contact to job closure and making payment, do I want to continue giving them my business? Once you’ve completed this exercise, you might identify with some or all of the following statements:

  • We could have prevented the problem from arising.
  • Once the problem arose, we should have known about it before the customer was aware of it.
  • It should have been easier for our staff to acknowledge the problem and address it.
  • We should have optimised the scheduling of the right resources for the job.
  • We could have automated and streamlined communications internally and with the client.
  • We could have increased our first-time fix rate.
  • We should have closed the gap between rendering service and receiving payment.
  • We would have retained the client and our best staff if we addressed the above inefficiencies.

Once we analyse the journey of the customer, we often realise that many of the bumps in the road are closely linked to inefficiencies which is hampering our service staff (even if they are the best-of-the-best) from doing their jobs satisfactory. How do we know this? We walk the same journey from an employee’s perspective. Services staff might say:

  • I want to service my customer with planned downtime instead of catastrophic downtime.
  • I want to ensure my skills are aligned to the job requirements for our customers.
  • I need a thorough understanding of the work order and what is expected from me.
  • I need the right information or tools at my disposal to resolve the challenge as soon as possible.
  • I need the ability to confidently share my predictions for resolution (inventory availability etc).
  • I need everyone to be updated (without effort) on progress and completion.

Empowering our employees with the solutions they need to deliver, roots out inefficiencies and drives talent retention.  By providing the fundamentals to address ‘How I engage’, ‘How I work’ and ‘How I service’, we’re already fuelling optimal service delivery to ‘surprise and delight’ our customers.

Customer Excellence is achieved when we strategically align solutions to optimise our resources, make them more effective, continuously engage our customers, start focusing on operational efficiency and modernising our approach with intelligent layers including IoT and mixed reality. It goes without saying that an adaptable platform is key to rolling out innovation. This allows us to move from a reactive break-fix model toward a proactive one. It also means changing ‘Services’ from cost centre to profit centre.

Speak to the industry leaders around strategy and solution fit to increase customer retention and maintain customer excellence – guide your field service efforts into the next league with AccTech.