Software solutions for the service industry provide organisations with tools that deliver on their everyday needs.

By Heman Kassan, chief commercial officer at Technodyn

But more than that, growing customer expectations and increased competition mean businesses need service software that helps them optimise, integrate, and grow to fit the digitally driven challenges resulting from a new operating environment post-pandemic.

The agility required to do so will be driven by three key areas: outcomes-based service; knowledge management; and zero-touch service.

Most companies will be transitioning to an outcome-based service model. By building their business plans around outcomes, rather than selling warranties, they establish long-term contracts that extend beyond the lifespan of a given product. Furthermore, they provide customers with something more valuable than simply making a promise to resolve issues.

But do this right, the service organisation must be measuring and managing internal systems, whether it be asset-centric, or in terms of the speed and effectiveness of service delivery. For instance, if it promises a four-hour window from ticket to resolution, it must ensure it happens while still doing so profitably. This requires smart optimisation that examines every step of the process.

While knowledge management is not a new concept, many companies need to balance the influx of a younger workforce with those specialists leaving the business. Change management in this regard becomes critical. More than putting manuals on mobile phones, companies should consider innovating through augmented reality and remote assistance to quickly upskill technicians through a virtual mentor watching them over their shoulder.

The third component, zero-touch service, takes on new meaning in a post-COVID world. Much of this revolves around how to schedule and manage service visits. To do so, an organisation must use a customer experience tool that incorporates asset management. Having a strong Internet of Things (IoT) platform helps as this can dispatch technicians before customers become aware of a problem.

Chatbots can be calibrated to respond accurately to challenges and recommend the right solutions. All of these provide innovative zero-touch options for services organisations looking to differentiate themselves.

Industry advantages

But what are some of the practical areas in which services organisations can benefit from service management software? In the property and commercial services segment, issues can easily arise from a dense network of in-house, contracted, and contingent labour sources. All these need to be centrally managed through a service management platform with a scope of solutions tailored to specific business requirements.

The retail environment has also changed. Customers are demanding a standout experience from their shopping experiences, both when they purchase a product, and for the long term. Forward-thinking retailers understand that getting after-sales service right gives them a platform on which to drive new product offerings and engage with customers beyond the sale.

In transport and logistics, companies have access to tools that track, organise, and manage their fleet operations. That results in increased customer expectations around the speed, accuracy, and transparency of operations and product delivery. The right service management solution can combine insights and analytics from many systems and provide the tools required to perform fleet management, parts management, and reverse logistics better than ever.

There are also many exciting technology advancements taking place that are changing the service landscape for capital and industrial equipment. Large, serviceable assets are continuing to increase in complexity. This makes repair and maintenance a sometimes-daunting task. Fortunately, service management technology can transform that complexity into a business asset by enabling remote resolution, predictive service, and significantly less downtime.

An efficiency boost

Field service management software can provide the organisation with a significant efficiency boost. With the right digital tools in place, all team members can work more effectively and deliver improved experiences to customers.

To modernise field service operations, require digitally led field service management software that factor in the requirements of a more modern, agile world. This empowers organisations to optimally manage the staff and resources they deploy in the field.

Field service management software can use data to meet customer expectations, inform employee training to focus on priority areas, and improve operating procedures. Additionally, field service mobile apps can provide remote workers with all the information needed to deliver on their job specs in the palm of their hands.

Ultimately, service management has entered an exciting new realm of opportunities by combining more sophisticated technologies with advanced business practices to deliver value where organisations need it most.