While it may be true that advances in mobile technology have freed up field workers from the chains of paper-based tasks and phone calls, they still struggle to access information and communicate efficiently with coworkers. So, how to fix communication problems?
Field service managers might not realize that approximately 20% of field workers are tech-savvy and under 30 years old, a number that will only increase in the future. If companies want to retain their field service workers they should look to how their younger field workers are using technology for solutions with their communications challenges.
In fact, and Aberdeen Group report 62 percent of the top performing field service organisations have incorporated a “Bring Your Own Device” strategy as a result of a more tech-savvy workforce, and 43 percent are more likely to give technicians access to social media and collaborative tools to facilitate knowledge transfer. That same report found the biggest concern of field service managers was increasing the amount of service knowledge available to their employees to solve support issues, which was closely followed by increasing investment in mobile tools. For those companies looking to improve their communication with field workers, here are the three most efficient ways to do so.
1. Good Ol’ Fashioned Email
While email not be sexy, it is still one of the most efficient ways to communicate with field workers. They can respond when they choose or are able to, unlike phone calls or two way radios. With the ubiquity of mobile email apps, workers are very comfortable with communicating via email from their phones as they pop in and out of other tasks. One downside of email is that employees are feeling email overload, so some of your employees may feel maxed out with it. Another downside is that not everybody has or should have a company email address.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
CRM leaders like Salesforce and InfusionSoft allow field service workers to access customer relationship data, as well as sales and marketing efforts from anywhere via the cloud. Managers are also able to upload training materials to employees so that they can more efficiently provide customer support when out in the field.
3. Enterprise Mobile Messaging Platforms for Communication Problems
According Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends report, mobile now accounts for 25 percent of all web usage, up from 14 percent a year ago. The world is going mobile and your field service workers likely already have. With enterprise messaging platforms like Beekeeper you can reach out to any employee group via private messages, emails, or push notifications, bringing flexibility and effectiveness that other single use communications platforms can’t. These platforms a allow your employees to communicate more effectively with each other and become more engaged with other segments of your company.
With rising customer expectations and communication problems, two things are critical for the success of your field workers: First, they need to be able to communicate instantaneously with co-workers. Second, to be effective they have to be able to have all service knowledge at their fingertips. As smartphones have become ubiquitous and new software is available to coordinate field service worker communication, companies have the opportunity to create a true competitive advantage resulting in improved employee engagement and excellent customer service.
Are you interested in improving your company’s communication with both field and office workers? Get in touch with us to find out more about Beekeeper – mobile communication tool for teams and companies, and we’ll be more than happy to show you how you can reach and engage your employees in a simple and secure way.