Kiss Those Frustrations Goodbye

There are an array of field service challenges due to the unique employee experience of working as a field service technician. But what many people may not realize, is that many of these obstacles have a common thread: a lack of real-time communication.

Because field workers are inherently detached from the larger organization, the constant drum of communication that we feel in our office jobs simply doesn’t make its way out to the field. These communication barriers can make workers feel isolated and impede their access to the real-time knowledge they need to get the job done.

Communication Impacts Success

When field service technicians don’t have access to the resources they need while on the job, business objectives like reduced time to service, improved first-time fix rates, utilization, and even retention take a big hit.

While the development of new technology purpose-built for field service teams has lagged behind the dramatic innovation for office workers, there are new technologies popping up to streamline field service operations and improve employee performance.

To show how new technology can solve some common field service challenges, we’ve compiled seven on-the-job scenarios.

When You’re a Field Service Technician…

1. You can’t fit the whole depot in your truck, but you need to bring everything possible so you don’t have to make a repeat visit—or even worse — reschedule your next service job.

Wouldn’t it be nice if: you could just share your location with your service group to find someone with the part you need?

2. You have to bounce between various unreliable communication apps that weren’t designed for field service to get the job done.

Group chats provide an easy way to get answers fast. Any group chat can become a live phone, video or push to talk session.

Wouldn’t it be nice if: rather than having to first check email, then yammer or chatter, then finally break out the laptop and log into the company intranet to find an installation procedure, you could find what you need in one app on your phone?

3. Receiving company updates and alerts through email and intranet is slow and inconsistent.

Wouldn’t it be nice if: you could receive updates from management instantly, then adjust your day accordingly, rather than showing up at a site to find out you can’t complete the job

4. You know there’s a bunch of other techs at your company that could help you when you’re stumped on a job, but you’ve never met them.

Wouldn’t it be nice if: you could be connected to everyone at the company in an organized way, letting you find answers quickly?

5. There is so much information spread around different apps and programs that you waste a lot of time just locating what you need.

Wouldn’t it be nice if: resources and updates from the company were delivered straight to your phone and stored in one searchable place, always there for reference on your mobile device?

6. Getting help with an installation issue over text or a phone call is inefficient, and you never know who exactly will have the answer.

Wouldn’t it be nice if: you could seamlessly elevate the conversation from text to live video chat with whoever at the company knows how to solve the issue?

7. No one carries service manuals and if they do, do they really know how to use them?

Wouldn’t it be nice if: the people and teams that can help you could share service manuals, updated guides, training videos and more right to your mobile device?

Communication Technology Solves Common Field Service Challenges

The “wouldn’t it be nice if” scenarios aren’t just stuff of an imagined future, they are real changes forward-thinking field service companies like Blueline Rentals, Vivint Smart Homes, and GE have been able to make.

Zinc app content hub;

By giving field service technicians the resources they need — whether that be connections to other technicians, service manuals, or broadcast alerts — in real-time via mobile, these companies have improved the metrics that matter most for business success.

For example, after leveraging Zinc Real-Time Communication, Vivint was able to reduce time to service by 37 percent and returns of installs by 23 percent.

It can be tempting to put off the rollout of new technology, but giving your workforce access to real-time communication and company resources in one easy-to-use platform is necessary for driving these business results.

Luckily, leveraging an intuitive communication platform is just that — intuitive. It doesn’t require a long period of training nor fall victim to low adoption. A platform like Zinc means you can set your workers up for success right away.

Learn more about leveraging Zinc for your field service workforce here.

ABOUT Kristen Wells

Kristen is the senior manager of corporate communications at PTC and editor of Field Service Digital. She is passionate about elevating the stories of women in field service and improving communication between the field and the office. Prior to ServiceMax, Kristen held content marketing roles at startups such as Zinc and cielo24. Kristen holds a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis on Professional Writing from the University of California, Santa Barbara.