Read this insightful post to know what Salesforce Field Service is and how it empowers mobile service teams of manufacturing firms. The write-up will list the key benefits of using the field service solution. It will also explain how it allows manufacturers to automate their field service process with high efficacy. Furthermore, it allows them to harness the immense power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to resolve customer challenges in a very effective manner.
Jack is the manager of the field service team in Los Angeles of a reputed multinational consumer appliances company. Every day, the manufacturer receives several dozen requests from its customers to fix problems with its products.
He is often overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of customer requests; he needs to schedule appointments manually and make sure service technicians with the right knowledge and skills to resolve specific problems are dispatched. This takes a lot of time resulting in considerable delays in fixing issues with the company’s products, leaving the customers frustrated.
Does this story sound familiar? Many managers of field service teams of manufacturing firms face a similar challenge. What does it take to resolve this problem? How can manufacturers ensure optimal utilization of their mobile service resources and provide delightful customer service? They need to use a robust field service management solution.
One of the most popular field service solutions used in the manufacturing industry is Salesforce Field Service. Today, we’ll see what this Salesforce product is all about and how it helps maximize field service efficiencies of manufacturers, in a hassle-free, cost-effective manner.
What Is Salesforce Field Service?
Salesforce Field Service is a feature-rich application that empowers manufacturers to provide field service of top quality to their customers. It allows them to ensure highly efficient management of their field service operations.
The Salesforce product enables your manufacturing business to execute a wide range of field service activities with high efficacy. You can schedule customer appointments and dispatch technical personnel having the right abilities to the work site. The Salesforce tool also helps you monitor resolution of customer problems closely and generate insightful reports on service performance.
What Are the Benefits of Using Salesforce Field Service for Manufacturers?
Salesforce Field Service provides various key advantages to manufacturing companies. These include the following.
Seamless Management of Field Service Resources
Salesforce Field Service facilitates hassle-free tracking and management of field service resources in real time, with little effort. The Salesforce product comes with an innovative tool called Resource Manager that helps you manage all aspects of a service resource. A service resource could be either a technician or a piece of equipment. You can check its availability and determine its suitability for resolving a customer issue.
You can integrate Salesforce Field Service with various applications used by your manufacturing firm to streamline its service resource management process. The integration enables you to get useful information about each service rep. This includes his qualifications, skills, availability, current location and so on. It also ensures complete visibility into the performance of the technician and facilitates effective monitoring of his progress in executing various tasks.
Effective Handling of Service Contracts
You can manage service contracts very effectively, using Salesforce Field Service. The novel tool helps you:
- Create, monitor, renew and close contracts
- Schedule recurring billing activities
- Store all relevant contractual information in a secure location
Thus, you can provide good service to your clients and meet all your contractual obligations.
Efficient Appointment Scheduling and Dispatching of Technicians
Salesforce Field Service enables you to schedule appointments and dispatch service personnel in a highly efficient manner; you can avail various options for organizing, prioritizing and assigning work tasks. Salesforce Field Service allows you to group appointments by technician, job type, location or any other parameter that suits your manufacturing company’s needs. This feature allows you to rapidly identify the right service rep to be assigned to each service appointment.
You can also view upcoming appointments and effortlessly monitor the progress of each work. This helps you make sure the work is completed well, on time.
Real-time Monitoring of the Work Performed by Service Technicians
You can closely monitor the work performed by your service technicians to ensure high levels of operational efficiency and excellent customer satisfaction, using Salesforce Field Service; the Salesforce tool allows you to track the execution of service tasks such as repairs, installations, inspections and so on.
Members of your mobile service team can easily send real-time reports on the progress of work activities, using the Salesforce Field Service mobile app. They can also forward photographs and notes to keep customers fully informed.
Salesforce Field Service allows service technicians of your manufacturing business to:
- Track the execution of all service activities
- Get full information pertaining to the history of a work item
- Generate reports containing ratings provided by clients
- Create notifications that’ll inform you if there is a delay in the completion of a service task
Insightful Reports on Performance of the Field Service Team
One of the key elements of a good field service workflow is effective, real-time performance reporting. Salesforce Field Service allows you to evaluate the performance of your field service team. This includes how quickly they resolve customer issues and what areas need improvement.
You can leverage customized reports and dashboards to analyze data pertaining to parameters such as customer satisfaction scores, client-wait times, problem-resolution times and so on. You can also get real-time information on the status of each work, productivity of technical personnel, cost efficacy and other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This goes a long way in enabling you to make informed decisions about your field service operations and ensure high levels of efficiency.
So far, we’ve seen what Salesforce Field Service is and how manufacturing companies can benefit from using it. We’ll now move on to examine automation capabilities of the Salesforce solution and how they help enhance your field service efficiency in a big way.
Leveraging the Automation Capabilities of Salesforce Field Service for Manufacturers
Salesforce Field Service comes with a host of features that help you make the best use of automation to increase the productivity of mobile service teams of your manufacturing firm by empowering you to:
Schedule Appointments and Dispatch the Right Technicians Very Fast
This is arguably the biggest benefit of using Salesforce Field Service’s automation capabilities; you can automate the creation of a service ticket and assign the right technician having the ability to resolve the customer issue, quickly, thereby enhancing the efficiency of your manufacturing organization’s field service process considerably. The automation capabilities allow you to:
- Minimize the chances of committing errors during assignment of a work item
- Resolve more customer issues faster and better
- Share information effectively in real time, enabling your team to be highly agile
- Ensure higher first-time resolution rates
Reach the Customer Site Quickly with the Right Equipment
You can use the route optimization feature of Salesforce Field Service to automatically determine the most efficient route to a work site, based on various aspects such as the following.
- Time of appointment
- Duration of the job
- Historical traffic patterns
- Distance to the work site
It helps your technicians make the best use of their time by scheduling their assignments keeping in view the location of work sites. Route optimization also enables you to decide when a technician should start for a work site to avoid getting stuck in heavy traffic. Furthermore, by integrating Salesforce Field Service with your inventory management system, you can make sure your technical personnel have easy access to the right equipment and need not travel long distances to get the same.
This capability reduces fuel expenses and the time spent in the truck very significantly. You can deliver services to your clients faster, improving customer satisfaction levels.
Improve First-time Resolution Rates by Simplifying Workflows
Field service personnel often perform repetitive, cumbersome works. These works require them to use complex technical equipment. Salesforce Field Service’s automation capabilities help you simplify the processes involved in execution of the works and provide high-quality on-the-job support to the personnel. You can use automated workflows to provide detailed instructions to complete a job task.
For instance, a technician is replacing the compressor of a refrigerator. He requires specific instructions to replace the compressor properly. He can open a mobile app that guides him through the different steps that must be performed to complete the job effectively. If he needs more support, he can view a short video on the mobile app. He can also seek remote assistance from a peer or a supervisor.
Let’s now proceed to examine the predictive analytical capabilities of Salesforce that help manufacturing companies deliver good, proactive service to their customers ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction.
Harnessing AI-enabled Predictive Maintenance Capabilities of Salesforce Field Service to Identify Problems Even Before They Crop Up
Salesforce Field Service provides rich predictive analytical capabilities for manufacturers that enable them to identify problems with customer assets long before they are encountered; the operations analytics features of Salesforce’s field service software application help manufacturing companies understand how their products are used in operational context, and thereby, enable their clients to ensure better asset performance management. Consider the following scenario.
A well-known manufacturer of washing machines uses the predictive analytical capabilities of Salesforce Field Service to identify problems with its products. The firm uses data about various aspects of usage such as the following to determine likely issues with its appliances.
- Wash settings (delicate wash, wool wash and so on)
- Spin cycles (measured in revolutions per minute)
- Load capacity (weight of clothes washed at a given time)
- Energy efficiency
- Material of the drum
- Type of load (front or top)
A thorough analysis of data pertaining to these factors enables the washing machine manufacturer to predict what problems are likely to occur and when. This’ll enable the company to advise its customers suitably and help them make sure the products are up and running.
We’ll now look at some of the other AI and Machine Learning (ML) powered features of Salesforce Field Service that go a long way in enhancing the efficiency of companies in the manufacturing sector.
Using Salesforce Field Service to Unleash the Power of AI and ML to Empower Your Mobile Service Teams
Salesforce’s field service management software is a powerhouse of AI-enabled capabilities that help manufacturing companies to maximize the efficiency of their service personnel on the field. Let’s see how.
Use Data to Identify the Root Cause of a Problem
You can use ML-based features of Salesforce Field Service to help your technicians diagnose problems with an asset, with high levels of accuracy. The Salesforce solution leverages historical and operational data to identify the reasons for a problem, and then, come up with the right solutions to fix it quickly with minimal effort and expenditure.
Prioritize Jobs to Ensure High Levels of Efficiency
Salesforce Field Service helps manufacturers utilize ML algorithms to streamline their work assignment process and prioritize jobs effectively. They can thoroughly analyze a plethora of factors such as seriousness of the problem, client requirements and preferences, KPIs, long-term business objectives and availability of technicians with the right skills to determine the order in which issues of customers need to be resolved.
As you can see, Salesforce Field Service empowers manufacturing companies to enable their technicians to deliver services of high quality to their customers and delight them. At Solunus, we work with manufacturers to unleash the immense power of this novel solution to maximize their field service efficiencies. Our rich experience gained serving manufacturing companies of all sizes coupled with a strong emphasis on comprehending your unique field service requirements helps us deliver the best ROI on Salesforce Field Service implementations.
Solunus is a leading Salesforce consulting company, based in Dallas, TX, USA. Our proven ‘needs-first’ approach coupled with our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform enables us to provide the perfect solution to help you deliver delightful services to customers and achieve rapid growth.