Field service engineers have more face-to-face contact with customers than any other part of a business. They’re responsible for sales, installation, maintenance, support, and other tasks that require direct access to the products and services a business provides. They also have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction. As a result, they are the most valuable members of a service chain. Empowering them with the right training, the right information and the right technology enables them to help build the reputation of the business, and also makes them a key to company growth and increasing business revenue.
Field Engineers – A Valuable Investment
To provide field engineers with the tools they need, companies must supply vehicles, maintenance and support for those vehicles, tools, technology and parts to support their day-to-day activities. In addition, continuing education is needed to keep up with the changes in the equipment they service. To perform their duties and deliver a quality experience to the customer, field engineers need to have easy access to account history as well.
While many of these tools are standard – the vehicles, their maintenance, fuel and so on, one of the tools often missing in the field is information. Compared to the technology that’s available today, many field engineers are saddled with a disparate paper-based process. They’re forced to rely on the limited knowledge provided by dispatchers, which may also be incomplete. Rather than having access to the full equipment and relationship history for the customer, they do the best they can with the information they have on hand, which can cause the appearance of being ill prepared, hampering customer confidence. Introducing mobile technology into field operations is the remedy to this problem.
Beginning with the Basics
A good field engineer knows how to interact with customers. When hiring, it’s beneficial to seek candidates who have quality people skills. Listening, patience, the ability to communicate at the customer’s level of understanding and conflict resolution are all essential skills to providing a quality customer experience. To resolve this, companies that provide workshops to develop these skills can see an improvement in field performance. Review of field metrics revenue by employee and job estimated time versus actual job time to determine which employees are putting their skills to use.
The Informed Field Engineer
A field engineer who is empowered with the right information on site has the ability to make an incredible impression with the customer. Understanding the customer’s challenges and how the products or services are a solution for these challenges is vital to sales. Post sales, having access to customer and product history enables them to appear confident and knowledgeable, which in turn helps the customer feel confident about the business. For most companies, this information isn’t available. Their engineers must rely on pre-route check-ins and time-consuming calls to dispatch to gain the information they need.
Mobile technology is the solution. FieldAware’s field service management solution maintains customer and asset history in one place. When the field engineer pulls up the customer’s account, they’re able to access the pertinent information needed to ensure they are servicing the right equipment in the correct location, and verify any work that has been performed. Other corresponding documents can be stored on their mobile devices to ensure that the field engineers are providing the best service, and can also provide accurate information to customers.
The Next Step in Revenue
The business has field engineers with people skills and they have the right information for the customer in their hands – now they can help to drive new revenue. One of the keys to making this a realization is to help with the identification of sales opportunities. In the case of an industry such as industrial equipment manufacturing, a field engineer can review the equipment history to determine when it may be time for the customer to upgrade or purchase new equipment. In addition, they can identify which other products or services may be of interest as well. The use of mobile technology in the field makes this possible.
Empower field engineers with the technology and tools needed to perform at their best. As the face of a business, they are the most valuable asset to a company, helping to drive the business through quality relationships and improved sales.