Field service organizations making the digital transformation realize mobile apps can help improve efficiencies, retain customers, drive revenue, and improve employee morale and retention. 62 percent of field service managers are leveraging bring-your-own devices (including mobile) strategies to enhance communication and efficiency, according to a Fortune Business Insights report.
For many field service organizations, deploying mobile apps is no longer a secondary option but a critical technology component to help the business evolve and adapt to changing customer and workforce needs.
While many field service organizations want to bring mobile strategies to the forefront, several questions arise when selecting a field service mobile app for their workforce. What should I look for in a field service mobile app? What key benefits do these mobile apps provide? Are there any other considerations to note when looking for the best field service mobile app?
In this post, we’ll cover key evaluation criteria, share insights on benefits the mobile apps should deliver, and other considerations.
What are field service mobile apps for technicians?
Field service mobile apps are defined as apps for field technicians in the field. It’s important not to confuse these mobile apps with solely customer-facing portals; these mobile apps are specifically designed for the needs of field service technicians.
At its core, the field service tech mobile app is designed to improve efficiency and productivity with field techs via a mobile platform. While this definition may sound rudimentary, it is necessary to also stress that these apps are specifically designed for field service technicians and field service organizations. This definition excludes field techs who are using mobile apps that were not originally developed for the field service industry.
Many field service organizations are dealing with an increasing blended workforce of full-time and part-time technicians. These field techs, by nature of their roles, are out in the field and on the go. How you efficiently communicate with these field techs can help drive a myriad of benefits.
Top 6 Benefits of the best field service mobile apps
- Improved technician productivity and agility – Mobile apps empower your field techs, including a blended workforce, to carry out field service functions from anywhere, on any mobile device. The plethora of mobile devices – from smartphones, tablets, and laptops – can augment efficiency and agility while in the field. This means that a field tech can spend more time completing jobs and going to the next appointment.
- Real-time job information – Field techs can access real-time critical information on part inventory, pricing data, customer data, scheduling, work orders, and more. Real-time job information, such as customer data, makes it easy for technicians to prepare for a job and complete the job on the first try. Likewise, this helps to improve an organization’s first-time fix rate.
- Access to digital forms and workflows – Field service mobile forms can be used to track field tech work, collect data on appointments, record or initiate work orders, customer interactions, etc.
- Removal of paper-based processes – The traditional paper-based approach is inefficient, time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error-prone. Going digital eliminates the need for field techs to deal with printing, filling, scanning, and filing different printed paper forms.
- Tracking with analytics – Field service mobile apps (and mobile forms), depending on the software deployed, help field service organizations track field performance. Analytics provides analysis and insights into on-field productivity, quality, and compliance, all while enabling data-driven decision-making.
- Field technician adoption – The crux of field service mobile app technology is to drive efficiency for the field service organization and the field technician. If the deployed mobile app makes things easy for field technicians to do their job, it can also help attract and retain field service techs.
Key considerations when evaluating field service mobile apps for techs
While there are various marketplace solutions, some due diligence on evaluating mobile technology solution providers can help to better position your organization with successful deployment and adoption.
Here are the key evaluation criteria when considering field service mobile apps:
- A solution specifically designed for field service organizations – As covered, you need a field service tech mobile app designed for field service techs. Don’t try to use a mobile app that was designed for another function/audience; doing so will only create more complexity and challenges.
- Work order scheduling and management – Field technicians need to quickly and easily access schedules and work orders via their mobile devices. Consider an app that allows for invoice creation and estimates across the full work order lifecycle.
- Built-in estimates, easy mobile payments – Consider a mobile app that features built-in estimates, pricing, invoicing, and payments with signature processing so the field technician has all these features – and the related forms and documents – at their fingertips. This improves the efficiency as well as customer engagement.
- Parts and inventory management – Select an app that empowers field techs with access to a real-time inventory database. Make sure the app is easily searchable and ties in with other relevant information, such as previous work orders, repair notes, customer contact information, etc.
- Mapping and location-enabled features – Field technicians are constantly on the go, so look for an app that can provide route optimization and location capabilities. This allows customers to track their field service technician’s location, estimated time of arrival and can help drive customer satisfaction.
- Data collection capabilities – Modern field service organizations are data-driven. The mobile app deployed should have data collection capabilities to provide insights on field service jobs, customers, parts and inventory, location, invoices, and all the other vital data-based components. Armed with data and data analytics, field service organizations can strategically apply these data insights to move the business forward.
- Customizable – Look for a field service mobile app that offers a modicum of customization to support your business’ unique requirements. This flexible configuration can help tailor the mobile app to fit your specific needs.
- Customer surveys & adaptive mobile forms – These mobile surveys and forms are ideal for providing immediate customer feedback on the work provided. In doing so, field service organizations gain insights into how well their field technicians are interacting with their customer base.
- Easy deployment, intuitive interface – Look for innovative technology delivered with an intuitive interface and easy deployment. Ask the vendor how quickly the software can be installed, how much training is involved for the end-users, and if there is also offline support. Select technology is easy to deploy, adopt and manage.
- Security – Data, which includes your business data as well as your customer’s data, needs to be protected and confidential. Select a mobile app with cloud security so you can keep your sensitive information confidential and secure.
- Part of an integrated solution – Mobile apps for field service organizations works well when they are part of an integrated field service management software solution. Deploying an integrated solution ensures that the features, functionalities, and experience is seamless between the various platforms.
Partner with a leader in field service mobile technology
Selecting the best field service mobile app for technicians doesn’t have to be so challenging. Partner with an innovative field service management software provider that helps your technicians and organization succeed.
ServicePower meets all the key evaluation considerations and has the experience of working with modern field service organizations like yours.