How to win the war for talent with Field Service Management software
Over the past few years, the focus on customer experience in industry has increased. Manufacturing companies or companies that focus on supply chain or technical services are therefore paying more attention to developing their service departments. However, there is a problem: there is a huge shortage of knowledge and skilled manpower to deliver that good customer experience. Technological innovations, such as Field Service Management software, can be an important part of the solution.
We cannot underestimate the importance of trained service personnel. Products are becoming more and more complex and maintenance or repairs require greater knowledge. In addition, customers are becoming more demanding. They want a solution quickly, and preferably one that is delivered without errors right away. Field service personnel, not the sales team, are sometimes the only point of contact with a customer. They are present at the critical moments when the customer needs help, is looking for expertise, or even looking for a new product.
War for talent
The only problem today is that companies have the greatest difficulty building out those service teams. Older generations, who often have their knowledge only in their heads, are leaving. And in today's tight labor market, it's looking with a magnifying glass for new, skilled workers. Potential employers often fight a hard battle for available profiles.
Companies that have understood that margins on purely transactional business are coming under increasing pressure are finding answers in more service around their products. The subscription economy is on the rise. But that economy needs good employees. Often, the lack of skilled personnel is the factor holding back greater business growth.
The solution to this problem is complex. Yet companies realize that making the work environment attractive is already an important part of the solution. And this is about much more than ergonomics or company events. It is also about the tools and applications that employees need to use on a daily basis. We have to do more and more work per person.
For a service department supporting customers in the field, Field Service Management software (9A Field Service and D365 Field Service) has become key nowadays. With Field Service Management software, companies can efficiently digitize and control all activities of the maintenance staff. This type of software can have a huge impact on the operation and efficiency of the service team and at the same time it can significantly improve the job experience for the service employee.
Field Service Management software helps service planners deploy people more efficiently. You can assign the right experts with the right skills to a specific job, avoid double bookings, manage incoming intervention requests, monitor hours worked and intervention progress, increase speed of invoicing... With Field Service Management software, the daily distribution of tasks becomes much easier and more efficient, but you can also use it to reduce the stress and workload of your staff.
Among other things, Field Service Management software can help optimize scheduling or reduce travel time. And because employees have digital access to all the necessary information (planning, customer history, technical resources), they can communicate and collaborate better. All this contributes significantly to reducing workload and increasing job satisfaction.
With Field Service Management software, you can easily automate time-consuming routine tasks. In addition, this kind of software eliminates a lot of administration and paperwork, since everything is done digitally. This eases the work of both the field service professional and the back office employee. Thanks to automation and digitalization, employees have more time left over to do what they do best, which is helping customers.
Several studies show that autonomy is an important component of job happiness. Moreover, when an employee is given the space to work autonomously, they are much more productive. Field Service Management software gives employees more autonomy and control over their work. Technicians can access job data, customer history and inventory information on their mobile devices, allowing them to make informed decisions and take control of their tasks. And if there is a need for guidance, technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) or remote assistance offer many options.
Giving employees more autonomy builds confidence and is a form of respect for the expertise of the service employee. The ability to work autonomously can also make a company more attractive, especially to talented people looking for a sense of independence in their jobs.
A recent Gartner study states that in Europe, 72% of all employees consider digital technology essential to the success of their work. The same study says that employees who have had good experiences with enterprise apps are twice as likely to remain employed in those organizations. So technology is playing an increasingly important role in keeping employees on board. User-friendly and efficient Field Service Management software can have that same effect on both applicants and current employees.
More and more older, experienced employees are leaving the workplace to enjoy their well-earned retirement. Bringing in new experts is a huge challenge, as demand for profiles exceeds supply. Field Service Management software lowers the expertise threshold and ensures that even juniors or less skilled employees can do the necessary service work.
The software can support these employees through step-by-step guidelines, whether or not based on checklists or Augmented Reality (AR) videos. Combined with remote collaboration tools and AR, senior experts can remotely guide their junior colleagues on specific questions. Thus, the service job can still be successfully completed with minimal time investment by the senior field engineer. The senior employee's expertise becomes thus much more scalable.
Thanks to their unique relationship with the customer, field service employees fulfill more than ever a consulting role. Service employees who enjoy more commercial activities are therefore ideally placed to support cross- and upselling. Field Service Management software can support them in that ambition. The service employee becomes a key figure in the company. For ambitious professionals, this is a good reason to continue field service activities in the long term.
Field Service Management software also supports employees who want to keep growing their expertise. The software can serve as a central storage for training materials, technical documentation and best practices. It gives service employees quick access to the latest information and resources they need to perform their jobs effectively. Even the most complex service jobs can be recorded by the dedicated specialist and made available to colleagues. By investing in ongoing training and knowledge sharing, companies can attract the top talent that values ongoing development opportunities.
Winning the war for talent
The war for talent rages on. If you want to make the Field Service job more attractive to service professionals, you need to deploy the necessary tools and technology. Field Service Management software makes the service job much more efficient, it improves communication and collaboration between employees, provides more autonomy and better assistance when needed for essential service tasks, and supports the growth of ambitious professionals. Moreover, this is an investment that will pay you back well within a year.
Field Service Management software will become a way to attract better recruits, lower the threshold for less experienced professionals, increase job happiness, and keep employees.