Managing field service operations in today’s world is challenging. Talent shortages and increasing equipment complexity are placing new pressures on organizations, while customer expectations grow more demanding.
Many companies have turned to Salesforce Field Service to help manage operations, increase productivity and improve customer experience. While there is no doubt that Salesforce Field Service is a capable solution for the job, it is not equipped for delivering the relevant servicing documentation, parts information or visual support technology that technicians need when they are working in a mobile environment. This can be problematic considering onsite is often when they are in most need of this information.
As a manager and Salesforce Field Service user recently lamented to me, “There are so many different places within my organization to find information. It can be challenging because of the number of sources the field service techs have to go look at or be familiar with to find the information they need to do their jobs.”
This is a common sentiment that many field service managers and technicians have echoed recently. A 2021 survey from the Service Council, over 90% of field service technicians said that more knowledge than ever is required to do their jobs. This is why it is so important that service technicians and customer support staff have the right tools at their disposal.
Field Service Show and Tell
If field service companies wish to thrive in the face of today’s challenges, they must not only increase information accessibility, but deliver it in a way that empowers technicians of all the skill levels and learning styles to perform effectively and efficiently. This is a term I like to refer to as “Show and Tell”.
The answer lies in integrating Salesforce Field Service with a solution that provides technicians with powerful visual 3D instructions while also delivering relevant parts and technical documentation, all from directly within the Salesforce Field Service work order.
3D Technology is Necessary to Tackle Increasing Product Complexity
The way your field service technicians learn, work and communicate is changing drastically. A recent study from Techsmith found that 64% of millennials say they understand information faster when it’s visually communicated, while 58% say they remember visually communicated information longer than written information. This means that not providing your under 40 technicians with visual information in the field is hampering their productivity, efficiency and confidence.
Many organizations are addressing this need by repurposing existing CAD data to create interactive 3D instructions. Technicians can interact with and manipulate digital twins on their mobile device, while being guided through step-by-step installation, service and repair instructions.
These powerful visual renderings are designed to increase comprehension, so even the greenest of technicians has the necessary information to perform at the level of the most experienced one. 3D instructions relay information in a way your NextGen engineers are most receptive to, demonstrating processes in a clear, easy-to-understand way, so companies can upskill new hires faster and lessen the burden of training on more experienced staff.
Turning Corporate Silos into Corporate Treasure Chests
Providing field service technicians with access to technical and parts documentation is an important ingredient for efficiency field service. While most organizations recognize this on some level, many still struggle to provide this information in a way that sets their field service techs up for success, because so much valuable information remains locked up in corporate silos.
TSIA’s State of Knowledge Management report found that, on average, technicians visit 13 separate sources of information to solve a single customer issue. While Salesforce Knowledge does an excellent job when it comes to knowledge articles, it falls short in two areas.
First, it isn’t built to handle field service information. Specifically, the installation manuals, servicing documentation, parts lists, exploded diagrams, fault finding charts, how-to videos, and all the other critical information that technicians depend on to do their job. Second, technicians still need to leave the work order in Salesforce Field Service and search through multiple sources of information to find the answer they need.
Technicians not only need access to all the relevant technical and parts information directly from their work order, but this information should be transformed from unwieldy PDFs into smart, searchable documents and intelligent parts catalogs that can be made available online or offline.
Additionally, the responsibility to populate and keep Salesforce Knowledge updated still falls on the organization to do, a task that can quickly go from time-consuming to overwhelming. Therefore, working with a provider who will provide this service for your organization is critical to keep pressures off internal resources and make sure your knowledge base is updated and accurate.
Completing the Salesforce Field Service Puzzle
Salesforce Field Service is one of the most powerful tools available for organizations to effectively manage their field service operations. However, it does not provide a complete picture.
If service leaders truly wish to bridge knowledge gaps within their organization, ensure technicians are “field-ready” and meet customer demands, they must invest in an integrated solution that will provide technicians with the visual and documentational knowledge required for a fast and accurate fix.