Field service organizations are awash in devices, apps, services and other technologies that promise to make communication simple. Technicians today can FaceTime with a colleague in the office directly from the field to help solve a problem or access a customer dossier in the CRM system before showing up on-site. But what if the information that truly matters gets lost in the chatter, or if the technologies that promise to keep people constantly connected and informed overwhelms them instead?

Paul Pluschkell, chief strategy officer at networking technology provider Genband, offers a solution: contextual communications. Essentially, it’s communication that’s real-time, immediate and integrated directly into the tools that techs or customers already use.

“Successful companies will create processes that match what we know about our customers online with the information we know about them offline,” Pluschkell writes in Wired. “Extracting information from CRM, services data, data warehouses, third party data and most importantly real time data. In this scenario data and communications services are not simply combined, they are seamlessly integrated into the user’s workflow.”

(via Wired)

This Week’s Must-Reads from the Field

What the field service industry can learn from the MLB: Sure, professional baseball players and field service techs have dissimilar jobs. But one common thread is the importance of mobility to the future of both industries, says Aly Pinder Jr., a senior research analyst at Aberdeen. (via Aberdeen’s Service Management blog)

The data and analytics boon to fleet management: Data and smart analysis are increasingly critical assets to field service organizations. These Canadian companies cut costs with asset tracking software that optimizes driving routes, monitors vehicle performance and boosts productivity. (via Financial Post)

Can terrible customer service be good for business? Airlines, banks and cable companies might get away with making record profit despite underwhelming (or, at times, enraging) their customers with dismal service. But field service organizations? Not so much. (via Forbes)