Automating Field Services for Manufacturers

Improve Customer Experience, Increase Profits with Salesforce

As competition continues to tighten within the manufacturing sector, senior leaders are looking across the enterprise for opportunities to help their companies stand apart in buyers’ eyes.

According to the Customers 2020 report, customer experience has overtaken price and product as key brand differentiators, particularly for manufacturing companies. Customers expect personalized, connected service everywhere, and have very high service expectations. You can’t compete anymore with generic field service solutions dispensed by undertrained call center workers. These are just a few trends driving manufacturers to adopt technology that’ll radically improve how they deliver field service:

  • Most customers want an Uber-like technician tracking service.
  • Manufacturing leaders want clear visibility across all customer touchpoints.
  • Leaders want access to comprehensive data that helps inform staffing decisions and provides insights into customer service experiences and performance.

What’s more, for many manufacturing firms, service has become a significant revenue generator—in some cases—even surpassing product sales. In fact, 90% of manufacturing leaders agree that improving their field service department is a top priority. Manufacturers that build, deliver and install complex equipment, for instance, must offer robust and efficient field service capabilities. To be sure, 83% of executives agree service departments at most companies are strategic to overall business growth.

Advanced Technology — The Key Driver of Superior Customer Service

In our experience, the major impediment for nearly every company looking to improve field service operations is the lack of technology that supports a vision of superior field service. A field service solution must:

  • Seamlessly link mission critical functions of a field service organization including ticket management, scheduling, dispatch, routing, service, billing and more.
  • Create a superior customer experience where customers can engage with the with the field service team.
  • Be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of a fast-evolving business and customer base.

 77% of Companies Still Use Standalone Field Service Solutions

Demand Chain client Total Comfort, a regional HVAC service and installation company, operated a web of legacy systems that didn’t communicate with one another across the company—a common problem. In fact, according to Field Service News, 77% of companies are still using a standalone field service solution. As a result, managers didn’t have visibility into every department that’s part of the field service chain—such as sales, warranty, scheduling, and service and installation techs. To deliver exceptional field service experiences, companies need technology solutions that answer questions like who does what, how, when, where, and for whom.

Businesses have discovered that field service management software, such as Salesforce’s Field Service (formerly known as Field Service Lightning or FSL), are the best tools for addressing these questions and radically improving field service delivery.

The Rise of Field Service Management Platforms

More companies are purchasing and installing field service management software to deliver customer services efficiently. And for companies already running Salesforce’s CRM, the leap to add its Field Service offering—isn’t a leap at all. It’s a low risk yet powerful add-on to your Salesforce platform.

In 2020, Gartner named Salesforce a “leader” in its Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, primarily on the strength of its Field Service offering.

Manufacturing companies are using Salesforce Field Service to connect service teams geographically dispersed across multiple company locations. Companies can use Field Service to quickly resolve service and installation challenges through features like optimized job scheduling, which improves technician productivity.

Additionally, Salesforce Field Service can help you:

  • Access client, service ticket, and inventory data anytime via any mobile device
  • Connect customers, agents, dispatchers, and field technicians on one, unified platform
  • Maximize field service operations productivity
  • Easily manage complex assets and parts easily
  • Connect service to actionable analytics
  • Resolve field service calls faster; quickly create work orders
  • Get real-time visibility into all operations
  • Update customers at every step

Salesforce Field Service in Action

Many of the above benefits were realized by Total Comfort after Demand Chain showed how Field Service could replace several systems and custom spreadsheets. The new solution managed scheduling and dispatch of sales, installation and service resources. For companies already using Salesforce, the benefits of adding Field Service are numerous:

  • Single source of truth: With several departments accessing the same information, decisions are made more quickly, which improved customer service and overall efficiency.
  • Efficient scheduling: Automated scheduling and dispatching of installation and service technicians significantly increase appointment volumes and revenue.
  • Mobile access: All field personnel can enter and view real-time updates to the system via smartphones or tablets, a major convenience and time saver.
  • Improved management information: Reports and dashboards deliver real-time information around service performance, which provides managers with critical data to make faster decisions.
  • Fewer systems: Because automated platforms like Field Service eliminate the need for multiple systems, companies simplify training, streamline processes and save money and time.

Yes, field service management platforms like Salesforce’s Field Service have the power to help transform manufacturing company field service organizations into significant profit “machines.” And that’s all the reason company leaders need to blaze a trail toward more automation and integrating digital platforms across the business. No wonder Field Service is Salesforce’s fastest-growing product ever.

Learn how Total Comfort transformed its field service organization into a more efficient profit center for the business.

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