For years modern service businesses retreated from using technology because they were set in their traditional (yet manual) ways of doing things. Sticking to pen and paper made sense; however, as time went on, they realized that spreadsheets and basic online tools were not as bad as they thought, so they moved on to these seemingly beneficial prospects. However, as time went on, these too became outdated and demanded up-gradation. Today, without modern tools and softwares to help ease their operations, service businesses are at a real disadvantage. With the contemporary world relying more and more on technology, service businesses need to adapt fast and hop onto the next generation of operations tools and processes to sustain and strengthen their competitive edge, which is highly reliant on their service experience.
Let’s explore how technology can help modern service businesses come out of the dark and into the 21st century.
Reimagining the Role of Technology
Traditionally when figuring out their dispatch and scheduling needs, service businesses often restricted themselves to spreadsheets, post-it notes, online docs, etc. These methods just added to their pain on the day of service when the whole plan came crashing down in a pile of post-it notes and confusing spreadsheets over an instance of one delay or cancellation. In retrospect, these tools were never meant to handle complex operations, but they are still being used to this day by a few nonetheless.
Thanks to advancements in technology, powerful platforms are available on the market that are intended for this very use. So why should anybody shy away from using them? The answer is simple, adopting technology can be scary because these service businesses are comfortable with how they do things. However, just because of one small hiccup, the entire carefully orchestrated system is prone to crashing, which does not make sense in the long run for businesses aspiring to scale. It is imperative for service businesses to reimagine the way they think and adapt technology to remain competitive in the experience economy. To thrive and survive!
Everyone Becomes a True Stakeholder
In an ideal scenario, all stakeholders benefit and feel empowered when the enterprise takes over a mechanism that helps them all thrive. This creates a collective sense of inclusivity as the team members involved buy into the importance of building sustainable competitive strategies.
By using visual scheduling softwares, dispatchers and schedulers can make quick and accurate decisions with having access to information ranging from team availability to skillset compatibility at the click of a button. The entire planning is streamlined from call-taking to quoting, creating work orders, and dispatching. Field technicians, on the other hand, are equipped with the resources they need to be productive. From GPS-enabled tracking, to having access to an all encompassing service history, to the ability of marking their job progress everything is available at the click of a button. Field technicians feel empowered as they are not tied to outdated methods of running through a service or are stuck with administrative work that slows their productivity. The customers are empowered by having access to a best-in-class service from all stakeholders involved. Field techs provide better and faster service, while the back office has the information they need to follow up with the customer, offering proactive means of getting through the day of service.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
The historical saying that “Nothing Endures But Change” was not meant for field service at the time, but it’s uncanny how relatable it seems now. The service industry is riddled with remarkable tales of evolution in the last decade. By leveraging technology, these businesses can improve their customer experience, which in turn impacts their competitive edge.
A hallmark of a truly successful company lies in its ability to accept and embrace change as a constant in business and not fight against it. Instead of fearing the future, they meet it head-on and go with the flow. As customer expectations become more complex, businesses must find new ways to improve their customer service. By identifying the universal truths about their customers, service businesses can adapt to their changing demands and remain competitive. And the role that technology plays in this entire process is non-negotiable!