One of the starkest contradictions in the field service industry is that it often conducts face-to-face interactions with customers, yet it doesn’t have access to customer accounts enough to make workers effective at their jobs. Most companies don’t even have a scheduling and dispatching software to have a more efficient deployment system.
Although having a smart and talented human dispatcher who knows who to send to every kind of job would be awesome, there are still a lot of gaps that can be filled. It’s not easy to find such a person. Some gaps in a company’s scheduling and dispatching system can only be optimally filled by getting a field service scheduling software.
Here are a few ways a seamless technician scheduling system can add value to your business:
1. Scheduling Software Can Bridge Isolation ‘Silos’
One of the essential things you should consider if you want to have a seamless technician scheduling is to get a scheduling and dispatching software application. Using this can add great value to your business. For one, it can be used to integrate the scheduling and dispatching tasks with other aspects of business operations, such as workflow management, asset management, and customer service.
Unifying the scheduling and dispatching functionalities with other aspects of business operations can create value in real-time coordination between your field service team and customer service team. Customer service agents are often tongue-tied when asked by customers for a definite date and time when the technician would arrive. But, if the CS teams can link up with field service and ask for an urgent ticket, they can set up an urgent visit and give a definite answer to the customer. This results in positive customer feedback, as well as less need for callbacks.
For the scheduling and dispatching team, having a dispatching software will help them streamline the deployment of field teams. They’ll always know who’s working on which ticket, at any given time. They’d be able to minimize the gaps and idle times between job orders. The dispatching team would also know which teams to send to various job orders. If a field team blows up a tire on the way to a job site, and another team is idle, they can reroute the idle team to the former’s job site instead of making the customer wait until the tire is replaced, and so on.
2. Scheduling Software Can Give Customers A Heads Up
A technician scheduling software may also include a feature or functionality that’d allow customers to track the status of their requests for repairs or other types of services. Even some taxi services now use dispatching software applications.
Much of customer anxiety is caused by the time they spend waiting for the technician to arrive. Before they hang up the phone, they try to ask the customer service agent for a definite date, but, maybe, they’re told they’d receive an email or an SMS message. When they receive the notification, the waiting shifts to the technician’s doorbell or knock on their door.
However, if your scheduling and dispatching software can somehow include a feature or functionality that’d enable your customers to track the status of their tickets, that would truly be awesome. A customer could just punch in the ticket number, and up the screen pops the schedule for the technician to visit them.
Once the technician sets ‘on the way,’ the customer would know the technician and the estimated time of their arrival. That way, the customer can also schedule their tasks and errands, taking into account the fact that they’d have to attend to the technician later. Ecommerce companies have made use of dispatching and tracking features, with great results.
This creates value by significantly improving customer impression and satisfaction about how the company handles their concerns and communicates with them. If it also includes a chat messaging system between customer and the technician, it’d lessen instances of field teams getting lost and save them precious time. If the customer suddenly needs to cancel or reschedule, they’d also be able to inform the technician right away, who can move on to the next ticket on the list.
3. Scheduling Software Can Improve Office-Field Coordination
Aside from dispatching collaboration and coordination, a scheduling software can also enhance coordination between the office dispatching center and the field teams while they’re out. Some businesses still schedule and dispatch their field service technicians and teams by giving them clip folders with their schedules for the day and files of the job orders. But, once the technician or team leaves the office, there’s little coordination between the office dispatching center and the field teams.
Having a scheduling and dispatching software will also help fill the lack of effective communication between the office center and the field teams. If a scheduled customer calls up to cancel or reschedule, the office would be able to tell the field team about it before they head off to the customer. If a field technician calls in sick or has an emergency, they can farm out the absent technician’s job orders to the other teams that have been deployed.
A scheduling and dispatching software can definitely take your field service operations to the next level. This higher level of coordination and collaboration creates value by enhancing the productivity and efficiency of all field teams. The dispatching software will enhance coordination and collaboration between the deployed field teams. If one team lacks tools or parts, it can crowdsource from teams nearest to them. If a certain technician has more expertise about a certain issue, it can crowdsource the issue resolution.