According to a report from Field Service USA, out of 10 critical business functions, field service companies identify automation as the leading driver in revenue growth.Field service companies identify automation as the leading driver in revenue growth. https://fieldserviceusa.wbresearch.com/future-trends-in-field-services-benchmark-report-ty-u Click To Tweet
That result shouldn’t surprise anyone, as automation has become a prime source of increased revenues in every major industry.
For Field Service companies, automation increases worker productivity, opens new sources of revenue, reduces errors and improves the customer experience.
Let’s take a look at six common ways mobile technology automates field service tasks, and improves revenue and profits.
1. Automatically Digitize Information
Mobile applications on your field technicians’ phone or tablet enables certain information to be collected digitally, and often automatically. Such as:
- Where they are on the job site or within their territory
- Time stamps as they add or update information
- What time they arrived/left
- Customer signatures
- Site photos
This not only saves the technician from having to compile different types of information in one report, it also eliminates the need to carry multiple separate devices. The recouping of previously wasted time allows a company to assign more work to its existing field service workforce, thereby increasing revenue without having to increase headcount.
2. Automatically Upload Data to the Cloud
Making sure information is saved as soon as possible is a necessity in field service operations.
In cases where there is no internet access on the work site, the app detects when the technician has reached a point where service is available and updates the information immediately.
This is a dramatic improvement over paper forms and handwritten notes that burden your field team with returning to the office to drop them off. Not to mention the time and resources needed to scan or manually enter those paper forms into your on-premise systems.
It may mean that the field tech doesn’t need to come to the office at all. These time savings can result in increased revenue by enabling your field team to complete more work in the same amount of time. Time-savings can also increase profits by reducing the number of people needed to do the work.
3. Service Appointment Scheduling and Reminders
Service appointments can be set up a number of ways.
- A CSR schedules an appointment.
- The customer schedules an appointment through a company’s website or app.
- Recurring appointments can be scheduled automatically by entering their frequency.
No matter how the appointment is scheduled, the appointment itself is completely transparent to the field service back office (including CSRs), to the customer and to the assigned field team.
Plus, automated reminders inform customers when an appointment is coming up and give them an opportunity to reschedule or cancel. This reduces no-shows and time wasted traveling to sites for those appointments.
Your field technicians no longer need to call the office to find their next appointment. It’s visible on their device within your mobile app.
Improving customer experience by giving them easy scheduling options increases brand loyalty and reduces churn. Keeping recurring customers longer than they might otherwise have remained is a significant revenue booster.
4. Billing Automation
Mobile applications help automate billing in a number of ways, including:
- Completed tasks automatically generate billing information for finance.
- For customers billed on a per-service basis, the app automatically triggers an invoice to be sent to the customer, and to the field service company’s accounting team.
- If desired, the field technician can accept payment on site.
As a result of these tasks being automated, profits can increase by eliminating unnecessary accounting time and positions.
5. App-Enabled Products
If your products are app-enabled, field service technicians no longer need to write down the readings they collect on site. Instead, they can download the data directly from the machines they are reading via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If the machine is already connected directly to the Internet (Internet of Things) you won’t even need to send a technician on site to collect the information.
Remote data collection increases profits by eliminating travel time and expenses. The time savings generated by faster on-site data collection and remote data collection create opportunities for workers to take on more work and bring in more revenue.
6. Real-Time Progress Shown to Customers on Map
Consumers love this feature of their ride-share and food delivery apps. They can check the app’s map and see the driver’s progress in real time. The same technology, built into your company’s mobile app, shows a customer where the technician is on their drive to the site.
This gives the customer even greater confidence that the technician will arrive on time, and eliminates the need for them to call for status updates. Customer experience is improved and customer loyalty along with it, increasing the likelihood that your customer will want to continue to do business with you.
Mobile Applications Doing Their Share
Clearly, custom mobile apps help field service companies drive revenue and profits with automation. As the Internet of Things, machine learning and other technologies expand their footprint, your own custom mobile apps will evolve to provide even greater productivity gains.
If your field service company wants to explore ways a custom iOS or Android application can automate numerous tasks and improve both your top and bottom line, request a consultation with Big Fish today.