Why Digitalising Field Service Tasks Is Key to Elevating Customer Service


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If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught service providers it’s that the digitalisation of services and operations is now becoming a reality. This is exemplified by the fact nearly 85% of companies now have an online presence.

But it’s not just companies that have had to embrace this new trend, customers have too – with reports showing almost 90% of customers expecting brands to offer an online service.

The rise of digitalisation in the customer experience has been mainly due to the rise in smartphone usage. For example across all age groups in the UK, over 85% of adults have a smartphone. However, recently customers have not been able to visit or contact service providers in person. This has seen a rise in the digital customer experience.

What is Customer Service in Field Service Management?

Before we take a look into how field service companies can embrace digital servicing tools to elevate their customer experience, it’s worth first covering what is customer experience. The customer experience is how a customer feels before, during and after they’ve used a company and the overall impression they have of it. This could be anything from technicians turning up on time to reading about a company online.

Why a Good Customer Experience is Essential

Whether it’s an engineer installing a boiler or an electrician rewiring a plug, field service companies need to ensure they offer an excellent customer experience. Research shows that 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies they’ve had a good experience with.

Field service delivery isn’t just about physical and practical elements. It’s also about building a strong relationship with the customer. It has never been more important to ensure a tailored experience is provided, which can give a competitive advantage. Providing a good customer experience can help benefit service providers in various ways, including:

Reputation Management

The reputation of a company is one of the most important elements a customer will consider. If a company provides a bad customer experience, it can be damaging and nearly impossible to recover. Ruby Newell-Legner’s “Understanding Customers” states that if providers have one negative customer experience, it takes 12 positive experiences to repair the damage. If a customer has a bad experience, they’re not going to use the company again.

The rise of review and comparison sites means dissatisfied customers can now publicise their customer service. If they’ve had a bad experience, it’ll show in their review. Which ultimately could harm the reputation of a company. Likewise, a five-star rating and positive feedback will give a company a higher average score.

Customer Loyalty

Providing a good customer experience can help create a long-term relationship with customers. This is crucial, as customers will go out of their way to ensure that the next time they require services, they go with the company they’ve previously been satisfied with.

Generating Revenue

A high-quality customer experience can create a good custom loyalty base, which has a significant impact on generating revenue. Delivering services to an excellent standard will see customers keep coming back and spending money. Alternatively, if customers are discouraged after a poor customer experience, revenue will suffer.

What Digital Service Tools Can Help Improve Customer Service?

Most service providers use Field Service Management Software as a result of the increase in SaaS packages and affordable pricing models. Digital servicing tools help businesses to deliver an excellent customer service experience. Common tools that are maximising customer service include:

Real-Time GPS Trackers

To provide details on the exact location of field workers and engineers, GPS trackers can be deployed. These provide customers with real-time information about location and route. This can enhance the customer’s expectation management as they have a clear idea of when and where the engineer is. Meaning they don’t have to worry about arrival times or chase the issue with office-based staff.

Cloud-Based Mobile Apps

Cloud-based mobile apps are commonly used in the field service sector. They can be accessed on devices such as mobiles, tablets and laptops. These apps help with assigning engineers, optimising vehicle routes and tracking work orders. Most companies use cloud-based software due to the low upfront costs, which sees data being hosted on an external server. With easy access to an app, engineers can gather real-time data to provide to customers. Who, in turn, get updated details that ultimately improve the experience they receive.

Work Order Alerts

A centralised dashboard provides field service managers with a clear overview of each job. After all, work orders are a vital part of field service management. Job visibility lets supervisors know when a job is complete or if it’s been delayed. Customers can also see if a job has been delayed due to routing problems or spare part availability.

Digitised Invoicing and Payments

The use of digital field service tools means a reduction in manual tasks, one of which is paper invoicing. Mobile devices enable engineers to provide digitised invoices as well as receive payments electronically. The process is much faster as customers can pay quickly and safely without the hassle of having to pay by cheque or store paperwork. This delivers an efficient service to the customer, which enhances their experience.

Live Chat and ChatBots

With customer service moving more online, 90% of customers expect to receive a reply to their query within 10 minutes. Two tools to accommodate this are Live Chat and Chatbots. LiveChat enables customers to quickly send messages to a field service provider if they require an instant update. Such as where an engineer is or if they have an issue with the service they’ve received.

Chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI) to answer basic questions without the need for an agent. These bots can resolve common issues that customers have by providing information from FAQs or knowledge bases. Both tools can deliver a high-quality experience to the customer as their issues can be resolved quickly without the need to send emails or wait on the phone.

The Benefits of Using Digital Tools for Field Service Tasks

Using digital and automated tools can help improve the operations of all field service providers. Whether that be small businesses looking to improve their invoicing procedures. Or large enterprises wanting to track their field assets and engineers. Either way, the use of digital field service management tools have multiple benefits. Including:

Reducing Paperwork

An increase in digitalisation means companies can reduce the paperwork they generate. When using software, office-based staff won’t need to spend hours searching for documents. Rather a quick search on the dashboard will provide the information they require. This helps to deliver a quicker service to customers. Additionally, a reduction in paperwork frees up office space and saves storage costs.

Providing Real-Time Data

Digital field service management tools have the ability to harness critical data, which can be used for various tasks. Data can be utilised to enhance the customer experience. By analysing data to tailor services and create strong relationships. Service providers can build a picture of their customers from their data, which can be anything from where they’re located to what their premises look like.

Increasing Field Staff Productivity

Field service companies will be able to plan out their operations using digital servicing tools, which means that jobs can be scheduled in advance and updated in real-time. If a customer wants to book an appointment they can see which slots are available. This increases the productivity and efficiency of the service being delivered, which in turn means the customer is being offered an excellent experience. Satisfied customers in conjunction with well-run operations will ultimately lead to maximising profits and business growth.

Ryan Condon
Comparesoft Ltd
Ryan is the Head of Content at Comparesoft, a B2B software comparison site. He is responsible for the production of all front-end content development and driving continued audience growth. Ryan joined Comparesoft in September 2019.


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