Oracle Virtual Summit Recap: Deliver remarkable experiences with connected field service

April 21, 2022 | 6 minute read
Nicola Fairhead
Content Marketing Specialist, Oracle Advertising and CX
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If you missed our virtual summit, “Deliver Remarkable Experiences with Connected Field Service,” don’t worry. Today, we’ll explore some of the major takeaways and insights from the event.

Experts weighed in on the power of connected field service to deliver remarkable experiences—not just for customers, but for employees too. After all, creating an engaging experience for your workforce is a key part of top-of-class CX.

Here are just a few of the highlights:

"Even as technology changes how we think about service, one enduring fact remains,” says Natalie Anderson, UK sales lead and host of the event. “At its core, service is driven by people. And when you improve the experience for everyone involved, we all win.”

As a service provider, your field service workforce may be the only people who engage with your customers face to face. As such, the steps you take to educate, engage, and empower your field service team have a direct effect on how customers view your business.

It’s all about effort—for employees and customers

In his session, “Drive service success by prioritizing your customers and employees,” John Carroll of the Service Council shared the top priorities for service providers today.

Customer, revenue, and cost metrics ranked highest among providers. John dove into these numbers and made the argument for a new kind of orientation—one based on effort.

When it comes to customer metrics, he explained that satisfaction rankings and retention rates, though valuable, are lagging metrics. They reveal the effects of the service you provide; they don’t capture the actual cause of customer issues.  

“As we look at the research data,” says Carroll, “we're moving towards a leading metric orientation… Many service leaders are starting to turn their attention towards customer effort. If you think about how difficult or easy it is for a customer to seek and receive support, that's an important part of the journey.”

”So, organizations are turning toward building an agile and an accessible platform for customers to engage […] and going back to understanding where and how customers are seeking support and service.”

On the employee side of things, service providers are grappling with the dueling challenges of the Great Resignation, the mass retirement of Baby Boomers, and the fact that 60% of field service engineers aged 25–44 don’t plan to stay in this role long-term.

To create a more satisfying employee experience, “we’re encouraging service leaders to […incorporate] employee effort into the employee metric side of their business—understanding the employee's journey [as] the difficulties and challenges of being a frontline field service technician continue to rise.”

This theme comes up again and again throughout the summit. How can service leaders simplify their processes and reduce unnecessary effort for customers and employees alike?

Watch John Carroll’s session below:

Elevating the employee experience for better service, faster resolution, and higher engagement

According to Service Council’s 2021 Voice of the Field Service Engineer survey, service technicians agree that the challenges are rising. In 2021, most technicians reported that the required knowledge (91%) and technical skills (89%) needed for their jobs had increased. 75% also noted that products have become more complicated.  

To address these challenges, field service technicians need easy access to the right information and equipment, plus the ability to adapt based on what each customer needs.

So what can you do to support your employees and deliver great customer experiences?

Simplify knowledge sharing for faster speed to competency

Service providers are losing many of their most experienced and knowledgeable team members while relying more heavily on third-party contractors.

Oracle Field Service addresses this problem by giving technicians access to knowledge-based articles, client and job order information, how-to videos, guided workflows, and a direct line to other members of the field service team.

Tools like Workflow Manager can guide technicians through complex processes on the job while ensuring that all company-specific compliance and safety guidelines are met. As a result, you can feel more confident that new team members and contractors are living up to your CX standards.

Help technicians access the tools they need more easily

“Most field service technicians will carry the most used parts on their truck or van,” says Oracle VP of Product Management Jeff Wartgow. “However, if you need something specialized, […] you might have to go out and look for one or locate it.”

If a field service technician doesn’t have the tools they need to resolve a customer issue, it’s a frustrating experience for everyone. Wartgow showed how simple it is for technicians to order parts through Oracle Field Service, likening the functionality to any online shopping transaction.

Technicians can also check the inventory of other field service employees in the area. If someone else has the part they need, a technician can contact them directly via chat, arrange the transfer (in person and in their inventory), and resolve the customer’s problem without a return trip. 

The result: a faster resolution for the customer and a greater sense of accomplishment for service technicians. “It doesn’t need to be complicated for your team or for your customers,” says Wartgow.

Create opportunities to drive revenue

Another major change in field service in recent years has been the shift from a cost center to a potential revenue driver. By tapping into detailed data about your clients’ needs and purchasing habits—as well as each field service technician’s aptitude for selling—you can create new opportunities to upsell.

Will Claxton, manager of Solution Engineering at Oracle, described a few ways that field service organizations can adapt their practices to provide stellar service and drive revenue:

  • Provide product-based training during technician down time.
  • Make routing decisions based on who’s most likely to buy and who’s best able to sell.
  • Create tailored offers based on customer data.
  • Give customers the option to purchase items before the technician arrives.

“We're not trying to make the field service technician salesmen,” says Claxton. “We're just enabling the technology around them to support a sale. And the more we can do that, the greater the value to the organization.”

For even more insights, watch “Equip your employees with the CX tools they need to succeed" with Jane Day, Faiza Tajammul, Will Claxton, and Jeff Wartgow below:

Enhancing the customer experience with visibility and convenience

From the customer perspective, the ultimate differentiator is convenience. Customers today want more control, more visibility, and as little disruption as possible to their daily lives. That all starts with more streamlined scheduling.

As John Ranalli, senior manager of Product Management, explored in his session, Oracle Field Service provides automated scheduling for mobile workers that continuously improves and adapts to your business.

No scheduling system can account for all the unpredictability of life, from sickness to a last-minute client reschedule. However, Oracle Field Service employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to learn from each manual scheduling change you make. It can also show you the overall impact of any such change on your business. And having such a streamlined scheduling experience on your end ultimately means a more consistent service experience for your customers.

Meanwhile, features like the popular Where’s My Technician? provide customers with more visibility into the service process. Like popular ride-sharing apps, customers can see who their technician is, track their technician’s progress and expected arrival time, and even message them directly if needed.

This functionality, combined with appointment reminders, the ability to reschedule, and other self-service capabilities, reduces disruption and paves the way for more remarkable customer experiences.

For more information, watch “Improve field service experiences with service scheduling and updates” with John Ranalli, Andy Murray and Jon Sieck (Windstream)” below:

Learn how to craft remarkable service experiences with Oracle Field Service

Don’t miss out on other incredible insights from the Field Service Virtual Summit.

See Oracle Field Service in action with a brief demo, “Manage assets from anywhere with Connected Field Service” with Victor Domich.

Find out how to get the most out of Oracle Field Service with “Best practices in building a Field Service Center of Excellence" with Hamid Hajibashi and Borja Toron-Antons.

Hear how our partners at Accenture, Windstream, and eVerge are putting these tools to work.

Or catch all the latest insights and best practices in the full hour-long event below:

Nicola Fairhead

Content Marketing Specialist, Oracle Advertising and CX

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