No matter if it’s a service technician, service employee, customer service rep or another role, field service employees of all stripes are confronted with special challenges every day. Sometimes customers can’t be reached, other times important information is lacking or the problem can’t be solved completely. Often the main problem is a lack of connectivity – to backend systems or to colleagues from the service team, for example. All of these challenges can be solved with a wave of the hand. With software for service calls – in short, with a customer service app. And every service employee will love service apps of this sort. This article demonstrates the advantages of a mobile app in the area of service – and what you should ideally pay attention to in the course of its introduction.

Tip 1: The advantages of the customer service app at a glance

Do good things and don’t be afraid to blow your own horn. Communicating the advantages connected with the customer service app being introduced is an absolute must. Make the advantages clear and make sure your service employees see them. Regardless of the specific purpose of the mobile app, the advantages are usually the following:

  • Finally paperless processes – no more clipboards and paper checklists
  • Know for sure what the day will bring first thing in the morning
  • Best possible preparation for the service call
  • On site: the entire service history at a glance in the app
  • Special problem cases can be processed with service colleagues via the customer service app
  • Better communication with the back office: app and ERP systems are connected bidirectionally

With the introduction of a service app, paper really is now a thing of the past. This has massive advantages associated with it. No more forgetting paper documents, no illegible paper documents due to handwritten notes, etc. Tell your service team about this.

With the customer service app in the service finally towards the future – for a plus in transparency and efficiency.

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Tip 2: Always in sync thanks to the customer service app

Even if the mobile telephone network in Germany has improved in recent years, service technicians still have to reckon with the occasional “dead zone,” especially in rural areas. Nevertheless, even when the connection drops – a well-designed app will have already stored all the necessary data locally, and the data will be sent back to the leading system as soon as the connection is restored. That way, backend systems and mobile apps are always synchronized.

Tip 3: Everything flows – permanent flow of information

Service calls frequently falter for unforeseeable reasons. Perhaps there is a rare technical problem – and the call slows down. That often costs time and with it money. One significant advantage of a service app is that the mobile app already contains an FAQ and a list of known problems for every device and machine. The pool of your employees’ collected experience is therefore also available to everyone.

If that isn’t enough, with a state-of-the-art customer service app you also ensure that the service technicians can immediately exchange ideas about the current problem. Photos can be taken and sent via app; device data is easy to send to other service employees through the service app. And the service technicians can quickly come to a solution of the problem together, because they all have the same information available. That pays off.

Tip 4: Mobile service calls demand dynamic resource scheduling

More personal responsibility in the course of work is the order of the day. Thus it is easily possible for a customer service app also to include dynamic resource scheduling. One practical example: The service technician completes the current job before the planned end time. The mobile employee can be shown jobs to be completed right now in the area, since the customer service app “knows” just where the technician is based on GPS data.

Tip 5: Involve service employees in the selection of the customer service app early

You should involve your employees even before the implementation of a customer service app, for example a maintenance app. You may be convinced of the idea and almost enthusiastic about the expected gains in efficiency which the mobile customer service app promises. However, success rises and falls with the acceptance of the service employees. Understandably, since they are the ones who will later have to use the app every workday. Explain the upcoming advantage. Bring your employees on board early.

Asking questions helps: Involve service teams long before introducing the customer service app

No matter in what segment the mobile apps to be developed will later be used – asking questions and listening come first. Take the time to ask your field service employees exactly what range of functions should be part of the customer service app’s handling and what information the app should be able to record. The more the app meets the working needs and requirements of your employees, the more likely it is to be accepted. That is the key requirement for success.

The practical test: Offer seminars & training for use of the mobile app

Since you asked your field service employees early on, no major changes should have crept into the app functionality during its development. As soon as the first prototypes of the app are available, let your service employees use them – the feedback goes back to the development team. And the improvements will also be available in the next iteration of the mobile app.

Shortly before introducing the customer service app in the company, offer training and seminars for the new mobile service app. Divide your field service employees into teams and let one or two people per team participate in the training. In turn, they will inform the other team members. You will be surprised how quickly all service employees will be up to date – and just how eager they will be to use this mobile app in their daily work.

Summary: Customer services – ideally positioned with mobile service apps

Apps on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have already simplified our personal lives greatly for a few years. Now they are finding their way more and more into business life. They are the ideal addition to digital business processes – via service apps, you increase efficiency, transparency and ensure satisfied employees.

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About Thorsten Schmidt
Thorsten Schmidt

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