If you have even the slightest experience in field service, you know it isn’t easy. Customers expect your team to show up and fix their problem on the spot, but ensuring you send someone with the right expertise and guaranteeing they have the right equipment to fix the problem is challenging to say the least.
And that assumes you have a “traditional” field service workforce that handles things like device repairs, construction and installations. Today, companies across all different industries have mobile workforces, such as nurses and social workers that travel to clients, that encounter many similar challenges.
Regardless of what your field service team looks like, in today’s digital world, your customers expect mobile operations to be seamless. Unfortunately, many organizations are still working to introduce the right technology to power effective, efficient and mobile-friendly field service operations.
Enter Field Service Lightning (FSL).
What is Salesforce Field Service Lightning?
FSL is an extension of Salesforce Service Cloud that provides a comprehensive solution for managing key field service processes, such as work order generation, service appointment scheduling, asset and inventory management, vehicle tracking, integrated analytics and mobile enablement.
Since it’s part of the Salesforce ecosystem, FSL also natively integrates with other Salesforce clouds, allowing companies to share key information like customer profiles and install base data across departments.
How Field Service Lightning Helps Modernize Operations and Improve Customer Satisfaction to Grow Revenue
FSL modernizes how companies provide customer service and do business in the field by using the power of the Salesforce platform to create a technology-enabled mobile workforce.
Specifically, FSL makes service teams and field technicians more effective by providing them with accurate information about customers and service requests at any given point in time — even when they’re remote in the field.
This access to information goes a long way to improve service team productivity and increase overall customer satisfaction. Diving deeper, FSL can deliver numerous benefits when the program is implemented and structured appropriately for your business.
These benefits include:
- Growing service revenue while reducing service costs
- Integrating sales, support and field service operations
- Improving response times, first-time fix rates and CSAT scores
- Decreasing service job completion time
- Optimizing complex scheduling activities
- Automating manual and time-consuming processes
- Extending field service technology to hired contractors
How You Approach a Field Service Lightning Implementation Matters: Key Considerations for Your Organization
For all the benefits that FSL can deliver, realizing these benefits requires taking the right approach for your organization. As with everything else Salesforce-related, one of the biggest keys to success is customizing the solution correctly to fit the unique needs of your business.
With that in mind, before you implement FSL, it’s important to take a moment to think about a few considerations that will impact your approach.
To start, ask the following questions:
1) Where do your work orders and service appointments get initiated?
Do you have a sales process that requires configuration in Salesforce? Do you have an existing call center or do you need to set up a new one that shares data with Salesforce? Understanding where this information will come from is critical to mapping out integrations and key points of communication.
2) Do you primarily perform scheduled maintenance for customers or do you receive ad-hoc inbound support requests?
Clearly identifying the timing of support requests and appointment scheduling is essential for determining the speed at which different pieces of data need to move between solutions and the types of alerts different people need to receive.
3) Are your service jobs high in volume with a short duration (e.g. cable tv installation) or low in volume and span multiple days or weeks (e.g. construction projects)?
The length in time and volume of service jobs is important when it comes to scheduling best practices to ensure (a) the right field service technicians are available based on their expertise and (b) appointments are spaced out correctly to meet time commitments to customers.
4) Do you have multiple resources that require complex job assignments based on attributes such as available capacity, specialized skill sets or location?
Similar to the previous question, being clear about resource assignments based on characteristics like work time, expertise and location is essential to servicing customers correctly the first time around and meeting time commitments to customers.
5) Are you planning to track employee time and material quantities and costs?
Whether or not you plan to track this information will impact both the fields you need built in your instance and the level of input required from field service employees (time spent) and additional systems (material quantities and costs).
6) Do you utilize a few service repair SKUs or do you have hundreds of parts that are used during field visits?
The amount of SKUs required for any potential repair makes a big difference in how you stock field service technicians and which technician you can send to any given job based on the parts they have with them. As a result, you need to determine how critical this information will be to track for appointment scheduling and for restocking vehicles.
7) Do you require integration with back-end systems, including billing platforms and ERP?
Understanding the information you need available in FSL will help determine the types of integrations you need. In turn, identifying these integrations upfront is essential for an efficient implementation that takes into account how you will ultimately use the system.
8) Are your field technicians employed by your company or do you also use contractors?
Finally, whether or not your field technicians are employees (vs contractors) will impact permissioning for giving them access to the system while out in the field.
Ready to Modernize Your Field Service Operations with Salesforce?
Salesforce FSL has a lot to offer when it comes to modernizing field service operations for companies that:
- Operate in the Service & Repair or Construction industries or have a mobile workforce that needs to have certain knowledge and/or equipment for client visits
- Employ individuals or crews that service physical locations
- Utilize dispatching centers to schedule appointments or jobs
- Require automated job scheduling and routing optimization
- Deploy service resources across multiple geographic territories
- Use teams that whiteboard multiple job assignments for the day or week
- Perform certain jobs that require technicians with specialized skill sets
- Track customer assets, onsite work performed and job materials consumed
- Generate real-time customer service reports
- Need mobile or offline functionality for field service teams
- Require more effective reporting capabilities that measure field service KPIs
- Are looking for a 360-degree customer view from lead to sale to service, including installation and repair
Achieving these goals requires a thoughtful implementation based on your unique business goals as described above. But with the right consideration and guidance through that process, your company can be well on its way toward modernizing field service operations and reaping the benefits around reduced service times, improved customer satisfaction and increased revenue.
Ready to learn more on how AllCloud can assist you in implementing FSL? Contact us today.
Co-written by: Luis Arriola, AllCloud Senior Consultant