Wednesday May 27, 2015

Modern Field Service Improves Network Maintenance Work for Communications Providers (CSPs)

When it comes to customer-facing work, modern field service management solutions deliver proven benefits for communications providers. Here’s a look at how CSPs can power even greater results by applying the same field service management best practices to network maintenance field service operations.

As competition increases in the industry, many communications services providers (CSPs) turn to field service management technology to boost customer satisfaction and power efficiencies in order to differentiate their brand.

As a field service solutions provider, we’ve seen many CSPs significantly increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction ratings, and reduce operational costs by leveraging modern field service solutions in their customer-facing operations. Now, we’re seeing interest from CSPs in extending these benefits to the network maintenance operations.

Here’s how some of the best practices we’ve learned in working with CSPs in their customer-facing operations translate into the network maintenance side of their business.

    Automate, then optimize

    The days of manual processes and automation-only field service management are behind us, and CSPs are leading the way. Organizations are taking automation a step further – using modern field service tools with pattern recognition and predictive capabilities to optimize their processes.

    These solutions employ predictive analytics to optimize technician job assignment, scheduling and routing—taking into consideration individual technician skill sets, availability, location and service level agreement (SLA) terms. These capabilities allow CSPs to:

    • Boost workforce productivity with more jobs completed per day
    • Reduce operational costs, such as vehicle maintenance and fuel
    • Get the right technician, with required skills and parts, to each job faster and reduce mean time to repair (MTTR)

    As a result, customers are happier and CSPs can maintain compliance with SLAs while driving operational efficiencies. Automation alone can save time on planning and coordination; however, predictive field service optimization drives new levels of productivity and cost reduction.

    Put the customer first, and give them control

    It may sound simple, but a little can go a long way when it comes to your customers. Deploying a field service solution that gives all stakeholders – customers, call center representatives, service managers and field technicians – a real-time view of what’s going on in the field and leverages predictive analytics equips CSPs to:

    • Provide shorter appointment windows by accurately predicting when a technician will arrive and how long a job with take to complete
    • Ensure on-time technician arrivals every time
    • Communicate appointment status updates proactively

    In doing so, CSPs keep customers in the loop and reduce costs associated with inefficiencies, such as unnecessary trips to customers’ homes.

    The same idea can be applied to managing the field technicians doing network maintenance and repair. The visibility that modern field service tools provide can help CSPs:

    • Complete routine maintenance on-schedule to prevent downtime
    • Be transparent with customers when issues occur, providing accurate information about when the issue will be resolved

    This approach enables CSPs to positively impact the relationships they have with customers, even in a situation that is ordinarily perceived negatively – for example, being kept waiting for internet service to be restored, or a cable service outage to be resolved on game day.

    Empower your field resources

    Collective knowledge and the skills of the entire team are important resources for field service teams. Modern field service solutions with collaboration capabilities allow CSPs to empower their mobile workforce, enabling technicians to:

    • Easily connect with their peers to complete jobs the right way, the first time
    • Quickly identify nearby technicians and transfer work to an available tech when upcoming appointments are in jeopardy of missing their service windows

    Keeping the network up and running is a critical part of business for CSPs. Field service solutions with integrated mobile collaboration tools enable field technicians to:

    • Complete network maintenance jobs faster
    • Ensure work is done right the first time, improving uptime

    For example, if a technician arrives to a job and discovers a bigger problem that he’s not sure how to fix, he can connect to nearby technicians via the field service solution’s integrated collaboration tool. One of them might have the right skills to complete the repair work, which helps resolve the issue faster.

    CSPs have an opportunity to apply the same best practices learned from customer-facing work to their network-facing operations to drive additional benefits. With modern field service solutions, CSPs can amplify the efficiencies, customer satisfaction and cost-savings, and propel their business further to stay ahead of the competition.

    Want to learn more about our Oracle Field Service Cloud solution? Check out our Oracle Field Service Cloud Service for Communications data sheet or request a demo today!

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