A recent Forrester research study pointed out that organizations leading in customer experience outshined laggards by a significant margin in terms of compound average revenue growth. Geofencing can play a vital role here, creating opportunities for organizations to expand relationships with customers and create a more valuable service experience.
Geofences are virtual geographical fences set up around a location which allow service organizations to set business rules or create automatic notifications as and when these geographical fences are crossed by field service technicians.
Ultimately, the goal is to improve field service in two key areas—driving efficiency through smarter use of automated tools and enhancing the customer experience through more effective communication.
Automated visibility—outstanding operations
Scheduling depends on a technician’s location, so if notifications are triggered by a field technician entering or leaving specific boundaries, service organizations can make necessary schedule adjustments and act quickly.
When a technician crosses the geofence of a forward stocking location for example, agents on site can ensure parts are available and ready for pickup once notification is received. When parts are picked up, this can serve as a trigger to create a notification that the related field service event is on schedule. As a field service technician crosses a designated fence around a customer site, the customer can then receive notification of the technician’s time of arrival and service event updates.
This allows the customer to put the necessary things in place to prepare the site or piece of equipment for technician inspection, reducing the time the customer waits and, in turn, shortening the period the technician must wait to receive access to equipment.
Adapting to changes in service events
Let’s look at the other scenario. If a technician hasn’t yet crossed into a specific service area for a scheduled visit, an alert can immediately be raised in the dispatch organization to further assess the situation and act proactively.
The impact of this alert can be quite significant, especially if the service technician is required to be on a customer site as per SLA or contract commitments. If the status of a field service event changes because the technician is delayed, customers can be notified of the event status and of alternative arrangements made by the servicing organization.
Automated alerts and notifications such as these do not require the technician or dispatcher to take additional actions and agents don’t have to be responsible for manually updating a system regarding a change in status. This improved visibility into a service event means less confusion, less disruption, and greater preparation and execution of the field service event.
Driving new opportunities for customer engagement
Alerts to customers confirming the actions of technicians and reducing the timeframe in which a service appointment could be scheduled are fundamental in building a positive experience for the customer. Improved customer satisfaction drives customer loyalty and advocacy, which can have a direct impact on business revenue – witness the Forrester research I highlighted at the beginning of this blog.
Innovating the way to field service excellence
As the field service market grows, so does the need for innovative service software. The increased visibility and control that geofences bring to service events makes for a happy experience, both for the service organization and the customer.
For field service leaders this is a major coup. The implementation of geofences aids the smooth running of operations and processes, while alerts generated to inform customers earn service organizations credibility, strengthening relations.
For a more in-depth insight into geofencing, how it can improve technician productivity and the customer experience, download this whitepaper.
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