Is your company looking for an increase in the quality of service your technicians can provide, while also streamlining data collection and job orders? If so, a field service mobile app could be the newest addition to your team.
Any field service company that wants to improve its interaction with customers should invest in making their field workers as mobile as possible. These apps are simple to use but are packed with features that can improve productivity and increase the efficiency of your technicians.
By utilizing a field service mobile app, you’ll notice quicker response times to field requests, greater client satisfaction, improved tracking of job orders and material usage. This all leads to more efficient and effective technicians in their day-to-day work.
Following the process of a technician shows how a service app is helpful at every stage. Here are the top 8 must-have features for a field service management application, through the day of a technician in the field.
1. GPS Tracking
One of the most basic yet most valuable features, GPS tracking benefits the dispatcher, the technician, and the waiting customer.
It’s imperative that the mobile service app allows the dispatcher to track a technician’s location via the app. Tracking all active field workers makes it easy to assign tasks to the closest available technician. In fact, this can be automatically done when the mobile service app is part of a bigger eco-system of a field service management system (check out #8 below).
GPS tracking also allows for easy estimation of how long a customer must wait before the technician gets to their location. Empowering dispatchers in such a manner has a positive bearing on the company’s image of transparency and professionalism.
Being able to capture images within the application allows for a convenient experience for the technician.
Field technicians often need to take pictures as evidence of completed work, to facilitate verification of damage claims, and to capture images of samples for sourcing of parts. Images captured can also be archived for training later.
Integrating barcode scanning into the app takes this even further. The ability to scan barcodes with a smartphone eliminates the need for manual input, saving the technician time and effort. For instance, if a new machine is installed in a customer’s location, a barcode scanner can attach that information to the customer’s profile. Similarly, technicians may scan a barcode or QR code to retrieve service histories of machines in the field or to verify their ownership, authenticity, date of manufacture, etc.
3. Inspection Forms and Surveys
Standardization of service inspections is important for companies of any size, for those with anywhere from tens or thousands of units. Similarly, apps with built-in inspection forms are useful for technicians at any size company. Following criteria and procedure is essential for the highest degree of service.
Through service apps, technicians can access a step-by-step guide on how to complete an inspection through the addition of forms. Deductive questionnaires can also be included, assisting technicians with possible problems and denoting courses of action. In addition, templates used for certain instances or situations can be conveniently located within the app for easy attachment to work orders.
4. Offline Capabilities
Not every job site is equipped with an accessible, strong internet connection for technicians’ mobile devices. This is a problem no longer with a field service app that has offline capabilities. Fill out forms, take pictures and video, and finish your job checklist all while offline. Once back in range, send data to the back office and get to the next job!
5. Push Notifications
Push notifications in leisure apps today are used to send offers to possible customers, nudge them to respond to emails and increase the amount of time spent on an app. However, in field service management, push notifications have a useful place for service providers in the field.
Enabling push notifications can help eliminate mistakes, reminding technicians of upcoming appointments, or set up reminders of the next item on their to-do list.
Push notifications can also notify field technicians of new work orders or tasks. For instance, a push notification can be sent each time the technician is finishing up on a job, conveniently reminding them to capture certain data or administer a new questionnaire to the client.
6. Digital Signature
Field service mobile apps today are integrated with a digital signature service provider. Clients are required to sign physical forms as proof of work done. A signature is admissible evidence in case issues arise around billing or a breach in the service agreement.
As opposed to a pile of physical, printed forms, being able to substitute a digital signature service provides increased informational security, along with saving paper. It also promotes accessibility, having customer’s service histories and past forms available through one device.
Syncing data from the field to the back office is an essential feature to any decent field service app.
While working out in the field, technicians rely on data from their mobile devices. This data can be transferred almost instantly to the back office through an internet connection while technicians are still on the go.
Ensure you have the option to auto-sync for real time updates or the ability to set a specific cadence for syncing is also key. This ensures you take into consideration the battery life of the technician’s device while they’re onsite.
Use this feature to increase technician efficiency, communication, and your overall bottom line.
8. Integration with ERP Systems
It is important that the mobile service app is fully integrated with other systems the organization uses to manage their workflow. When a service request comes in, a work order is created and assigned to a technician, which can then be monitored via the app.
Tasks within the app can be color coded to show their current status- scheduled, ongoing, or completed. When a technician marks a task as done and the customer signs off on it, an invoice should be raised and sent out to the customer immediately for maximum efficiency. This automation, combined with the digital signature feature, will also reduce errors in the billing process.
Conclusion: Invest Intelligently in a Mobile Field Service Management App
If your organization is considering investing in a mobile field service app, it is important to have an application that benefits your company as a whole, with a special focus on field technicians and customers. An app that possesses these features will best equip your field service technicians for efficient mobile operation, throughout each step of their itinerary.
Once launched, a mobile service app will help keep technicians informed on their schedule, eliminate paperwork, streamline billing, and keep dispatchers aware of technician’s location all the time.
All 7 of these features can be easily found within Service Pro by MSI Data. Optimize your field service workflow with the Service Pro mobile app for iOS, Android, and Windows that will keep your technicians on the go either online or offline. Schedule a demo here!