7 Reasons Why You Need Field Service Management Software
The business of sales is more dynamic now than it’s ever been. Customers are more educated and demanding, and both physical retail environments and online channels need to be optimized for ease and efficiency to meet growing customer expectations.
Field service management is how brands and retailers gain valuable insight into their merchandising, store appearance, and overall customer service levels. Today, this can be done in real time thanks to field service management software (fsm software) that turns up the dial when it comes to tracking labor hours and productivity, ensuring merchandising and marketing compliance, managing field service processes and teams, and measuring sales performance.
Who can use fsm software?
Field service management software is ideal for any business that needs to fast-track and optimize field service operations. This includes brands and retailers that operate brick-and-mortar stores, sell online, manage product inventory, launch marketing and promotional efforts, and whose success is dependent on delivering an exceptional customer experience. Field service management is a window into your business and the right software solutions can make the view a crystal-clear one. Here are 7 reasons you need field service management software.
1. Real-Time Visibility And Better Decision-Making
The right field service management solution will give you unfiltered and unequaled visibility into your stores and other sales environments. Field technicians or reps using an optimized field service management software will be able to instantly capture actionable data on product sales, pricing compliance, merchandising compliance, display and signage placement, even store appearance often backed up with photos as well as figures. Your fsm software should drill all this relevant data down into customized reports that provide the business intel you need to make informed business decisions, identify areas of weakness and speed issue resolution, and the customer experience to drive sales and build loyalty.
2. Drive Better Merchandising & Marketing
Field service management is about gaining a better understanding of your business and the relationship your customers have with it. Because fsm software gives you a real-time glimpse into your stores, you’re essentially experiencing them the same way your customers do. Essentially, you’re shopping like they’re shopping, so you’ll know if shelves are cluttered or empty, if products and displays are properly faced, if marketing and promotional materials are getting your customers’ attention or not, even if your products are priced correctly. Plus, thanks to a good field service program, you’ll be able to tell what products are selling and which ones are struggling. This level of actionable insights will allow you to revamp or re-focus your merchandising and marketing efforts where they are most effective. Maybe you want to push high sellers. Or maybe you’ll find a new way to get those struggling items off the shelf. The point is, with a field service management system in place, you’ll be able to adapt and adjust on a dime.
3. Greater Inventory Control
It’s only logical that the faster and more accurately you understand what products are selling, which ones aren’t, which locations and sales channels customers are frequenting and which ones they aren’t, the better you’ll be able to control inventory. A core component of top-notch field service management is following the sales lifecycle. By leveraging field service software, businesses are able to do this with a level of precision and timeliness that was never before possible. Look at it this way – it’s impossible to build lasting customer relationships and ensure customer satisfaction if they find empty shelves when they go out to get your products. The detailed reporting available with today’s fsm software helps you decide exactly where inventory should be focused, so products can always be purchased.
4. Field Service Employee Tracking and Accountability
Are your field technicians or reps where they are scheduled to be today? Are they performing the right tasks? Are your vendors delivering when, where, and how they are expected to deliver? Field service management with the right software solution allows you to track field technicians with advanced GPS technology to ensure they are performing the desired tasks. Field service management software can also schedule store visits, assign tasks, measure results, and send notifications to ensure there is a clear and accountable path to success. Vendors you partner with can also be managed using fsm software to ensure the promises they made you are kept.
5. Optimized Operations and Lower Costs
One of the major benefits of field service management is the transparency it provides into your retail operations – not just with regard to field service but in other areas, as well. You’ll be able to identify business areas that overlap, as well as ones that just aren’t performing up to snuff. Real-time data allows you to spot inefficiencies where you are overspending or where you’re not getting the right amount of value for your dollar. You’ll see all of this with real-time reporting, so you won’t have to wait around to understand the situation and do something about it.
6. Understand Both Your Customers And Competition Even Better
The success of any retail business depends on how well that business relates to its customers and delivers on customer satisfaction. Field service management doesn’t just tell you about your own stores, environments, and operational challenges. It informs you about your customers, their preferences, their demographics, and their shopping patterns. Customer data is invaluable in the retail space and field service management software is used by smart businesses to shine a light onto the best ways to connect with their customers. Field service management is also used to gauge what the competition is doing in terms of product placement, pricing, marketing and promotions, brand image and awareness, social media presence, and a whole lot more. If you could gain a clear perspective into your customers and your competitors, wouldn’t you? This is what fsm software makes possible.
7. A Deeper Understanding Of Your Business
Ultimately, field service management is a hard and sometimes difficult look in the mirror. It’s a real and honest take on people and operations that every business – retail or any other – needs. Field service management software provides data collection that paints a clear picture into customer service levels. It tells you whether everyone from field technicians to sales representatives to your management team are doing their jobs properly and performing at the desired levels. It informs every area of your business, from training to product portfolio to pricing to inventory and operations. Field service management gives you a big picture look at your business, while also providing a deep and real-time dive into specific areas and KPIs that you dictate. All in all, that’s a tremendous advantage for any business.
What are the benefits of field service management software?
The list of benefits of field service management software and the real-time visibility it provides, especially for the retail industry is a lengthy one: improved merchandising and marketing, lower operating costs, better customer service and greater customer satisfaction, GPS tracking of field technicians and teams, pricing compliance, greater inventory control, and the ability to make more informed business decisions – to name a few.
How can I get help designing a field service program?
Some businesses in the retail space will create their own field service management programs. However, more often than not the bandwidth required is just too much for companies to handle the job internally, not to mention the fact that developing field service management software is quite expensive. This is why many companies turn to a field service provider for help. These companies have already invested in developing their fsm software and license it out to other businesses.