Field service apps have revolutionized work for a large number of service technicians and other professionals who work out in the field. There has been a large mobile workforce well before there were ever mobile apps. Modern mobile app development advancements have significantly improved the workflow of field technicians and given their businesses more ability to optimize their labor resources.
Mobile field service apps have quickly been adopted by a wide range of different industries and businesses. If your organization is still sending service technicians into the field with a clipboard and carbon-copy paper, it is time to start thinking about upgrading.
Let’s go over the basics regarding field service apps, including what they are, how they benefit field technicians and employers, and key features that you need to consider in your mobile field service app.
What Is a Field Service App?
Even if you’re not completely familiar with the term field service app, there is a good chance that you have already interacted with one of these mobile apps at some point in your life.
Field service apps help connect field technicians with the office. These apps are indispensable to professionals such as electricians, plumbers, auto repair technicians, delivery drivers, and so many more. They greatly aid and reduce the amount of time and entry errors associated with order management, scheduling, routing, dispatching, and inventory management, among other field tasks.
The capabilities of field service apps are basically endless. They come in many shapes and sizes, and they are often developed to meet the unique needs of an individual business.
You can look at apps like Uber or Lyft to get a basic understanding of what a mobile field service app is and how it functions, even though these apps aren’t really field service apps because Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees who report back to an office.
The Benefits of Using a Field Service App
Mobile field service apps help improve the way businesses operate and increase customer satisfaction. Depending on what kind of business you operate, the benefits of mobile field service apps can vary. However, there are three broad benefits to using these mobile apps:
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced costs
- Increased customer satisfaction
Field service apps help businesses and employees work more efficiently by optimizing and simplifying the daily workflow. Let’s say you have a field technician who has to go see ten customers in different parts of town. Mobile field service apps can help plan the most efficient route for your service technician, so the amount of time driving and gas used are at their most efficient levels.
These mobile apps can also ensure that there are no mistaken service overlaps, where two service technicians are sent to the same job. They can be used to simplify billing and invoicing and even allow your field employee to collect payment for a job.
Field service mobile apps are flexible. That is what makes them so powerful for businesses that work in the field. No matter what your business is, a mobile field service app will be able to optimize your workflow and make your daily processes more efficient.
The more efficient your business is, the less money you will be wasting. Mobile field service apps help businesses reduce their costs by making them more efficient. Let’s revisit the previous example of the field technician with ten customers to visit in different parts of town.
We know that mobile apps can help field technicians plan the most efficient route. This obviously helps the company save on gas costs, but it also helps service technicians optimize their time, too, so they are not wasting time driving when they could be completing a job.
These apps can help businesses reduce costs in a number of other ways too. Let’s think about the administrative costs of sorting through paper invoices and bills. Mobile field service apps make it easy for invoices and bills to be created on the fly in the field and remain neatly organized in one database.
Field service apps help businesses gain a comprehensive overview of their operational costs and make adjustments to ensure that they aren’t needlessly wasting money or time.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
The proliferation of sleek app designs and on-demand services have made field service apps more important than ever in helping businesses provide a memorable Customer Experience. Consumers are used to being able to track the progress of their order on an app and immediately view billing and payment options.
Mobile field service apps do more than just help businesses be more efficient with their time and resources. They also help businesses deliver modern digital experiences that customers have come to expect. These apps can help your business engage customers, share status updates, and simplify the billing and payment process.
Increasing the satisfaction of your customers can give you a big leg up on the competition and help you generate more business.
Key Features You Should Have In a Mobile Field Service App
The great thing about field service apps is that they can be customized with your unique needs in mind to ensure that the mobile app you are using best fits your business needs. These mobile design tips are aimed at functionality. If you’re creating or buying a mobile field service app, you should be sure that you have the following features:
- Time tracking
- Customer history
- Price book
- Invoices and payments
Job time is a big part of how costs are calculated for field jobs. Plus, keeping track of employee hours is difficult when they are out of the office. Field service apps can simplify the process of tracking time and make updating job status simpler.
You are going to want a time tracking feature in your mobile field service app so that you can accurately bill customers for labor, track ongoing job statuses, and simplify time entry for your service technicians in the field.
Businesses with a lot of customers and field technicians are going to require dispatching and routing features in their mobile app. These features can help you dispatch technicians to a job as you create a work order in the app.
This feature can help keep the office and the field technicians on the same page and ensure that the closest available service technician is routed to the job. This feature should also give you the ability to prioritize jobs that require immediate attention and action.
If you really want to increase customer satisfaction, you can use this feature to help send customers notifications about the status of their technician, their ETA, etc.
If you’re visiting repeat customers, it is always a good idea to make sure that your field technicians are fully aware of the past work done and the status of any equipment the customer has. Service history is an important feature to make sure you have in your field service app.
Not only does this increase customer satisfaction, but it also saves technicians time since they don’t have to check back in with the office to learn about past work orders and service done for the customer.
During app development, you’ll likely want features that allow your field technicians to view equipment statuses like warranties, service history, spec sheets, and more. You might also want to include features that allow your service technicians to easily share or print service reports for the customer.
When you have employees in the field, they may need to offer customers options for equipment or services. Adding a price book feature to your field service app empowers your employees to make sales. It gives them the ability to share different options and price points with customers.
Providing customers with the full financial picture and their various options increases customer satisfaction, saves your field technicians time, and helps close more deals in the field. Presenting customers with options on the spot is the best way to maximize sales and upsell products and additional services.
Invoices and Payments
Invoicing with paper can be messy and lead to missing information. Your field service app needs to include an invoicing and payments feature that allows technicians to send digital invoices to the customer and the office.
You can increase customer satisfaction by also ensuring that your field technicians can process payments in the field. A mobile field service app makes every part of the invoicing and payments process more efficient and more accurate.
Modern businesses that employ field technicians need to use a field service app. These apps make the job easier for your technicians, increase customer satisfaction, and they help your business be more efficient.
If you’re unsure what direction to go in, get help from an app development partner. A partner can help you navigate the industry, understand your options, and help you create a field service app that is tailored specifically for your company.