Customer service is basic in today’s business world. Without costumers, there is not business. In a similar way to what we discussed in the importance of UX in our company, when we serve them our clients expect:
Help, above all, with their incidents
Quick response and transparency
Knowledge about the problem and control over what happens
There are many challenges in maintaining quality customer service. It can be difficult to control the technical team efficiently, or to maintain a schedule so that all requests receive the service on time, or to send the right person for each problem, etc.
How could it be otherwise, the digital evolution of business has brought us tools to make all these problems easier to manage. Specifically, today we will talk about Dynamics 365 Field Service, the Microsoft tool to enhance your relationship with customers. From this service, we can optimize tasks related to field service such as:
Improve fix ratio.
Complete more service calls per technician per week.
Manage follow-up work and take advantage of upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Reduce travel time, mileage, and vehicle wear and tear.
Communicate an exact arrival time to customers.
Give exact information of the client’s history to the technician.
Keep customers updated on the status of their call.
Avoid equipment downtime thanks to preventive maintenance.
Work orders to define the necessary service work at customer locations (and more locations).
Scheduling and dispatch tools to manage the resources and equipment needed to provide customer service. It is also used to view appointments and optimize service scheduling.
Communication tools to improve collaboration between customer service agents, asset managers, field technicians, and other stakeholders.
An easy-to-use mobile app that guides technicians through programming changes and service work.
Device management capabilities to track customer equipment and service history.
Preventive maintenance automatically generating recurring appointments to check the equipment.
Inventory, purchase and return functionalities, to manage truck stock, purchase requests and product returns.
Billing capabilities, to generate invoices based on the products and services delivered to the customer.
Time tracking to monitor performance, whether traveling, resting or working.
Analytics for reporting with key performance indicators to manage work orders, scheduling activities, and customer interaction.
What field service roles take advantage of Field Service?
Dynamics 365 Field Service is intended to be used primarily for a number of roles related to customer support and service and work orders. These roles change from company to company, or are grouped in different ways depending on the number of employees. In general terms, however, the most needed roles of these tools tend to be:
Customer service agents, who pick incoming requests and create a work order. They use the app primarily from a web browser.
Service Managers, who track performance metrics and monitor service delivery, finding ways to increase efficiency. They use the app primarily from a web browser.
Operators, who review and schedule work orders, and assign them to resources in the schedule table through availability lookups, and through the automatic schedule optimization add-in. Traders use the app primarily from a web browser.
Field technicians, who manage the work orders assigned to them using the mobile application on a phone or tablet. They carry out maintenance and repairs on site.
Inventory managers, who are responsible for ensuring that field technicians have what they need to complete their service calls. They also handle product returns and purchasing more inventory. They use the app primarily from a web browser.
Using the Field Service app
In the web
Dynamics 365 Field Service revolves around the work order lifecycle. These describe the work that a technician needs to perform at the customer’s location. In the application, this lifecycle looks like this:
Work orders are generated from service cases, purchase orders, emails, phone calls, service agreements, web portals, or Internet of Things (IoT) data, and then displayed in Field Service. They are grouped by geographical territory and line of business. The details of the orders consist of a checklist to fill in step by step.
Most work orders also include locating based on the associated customer account and/or equipment. Incoming orders that are marked as ready to be assigned are sent to an operator for scheduling.
An interactive scheduling dashboard helps operators assign work orders to the best resource based on location, availability, skills, priority and more. This is done with a manual drag-and-drop method, with a semi-automated scheduling wizard, or fully automatically with Resource Scheduling Optimization.
The schedule panel shows each resource (whether it’s your own worker, an outside worker, or equipment) and their scheduled work orders. Resources and their assigned jobs are also displayed on a map with real-time routes and traffic. The scheduling panel is extensible and can be used to schedule anything within Dynamics 365, including work orders, purchase orders, projects, and custom entities. In addition, integration with Microsoft 365 allows you to send emails and make calls through Teams to available resources.
Beyond the web environment, you will also have an easy-to-use application for iOS, Android and Windows devices. For each job, the field technician can view important information such as location, instructions, customer devices, or history. You can use your device to take photos, videos or record a digital signature of the client. If necessary, the technician can automatically download important information to work offline when the internet is not available.
After placing a work order, the technician can mark it as “complete” or “needs follow-up”. The operator can see this change in the programming panel.
As technicians complete work orders, service histories and inventory levels are automatically updated. This allows service managers to track needed inventory and the movement of parts from order to inventory to the installation site.
For example, if a piece of equipment is installed at one location, the system will document an inventory drawdown of the related warehouse or truck. It will also document the part as a new customer device along with installation details. Closing a work order will then generate an invoice for any parts used or for work performed.
Field Service will help your technicians, wherever they are
In case it needs to be said one more time, Dynamics 365 Field Service is an exceptional tool for connecting your diverse workforces. And while Teams is a good place to start, it can tell you little by little how much further you modernize your business.
Field Service, apart from organizing the tasks of your workers, also simplifies many of the inventory, tracking and classification processes. Automating processes is also not a bad thing, as we have already explained with Power Automate, especially those that can be repetitive.
In short, if you want to help your company take its assignments to the next level, perhaps you should start considering hiring Dynamics 365 Field Service.
Daniel Morales Fitó – Consultant at Itequia
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