Technology

How Field-Service Management Tools Are Supporting Consumerization in the Construction Industry

An end-to-end FSM platform can help meet the post-pandemic demand for expediency and improved customer service.
By Steve Mason
March 7, 2023
Topics
Technology

Since the world was turned on its head in 2020 as the entire population experienced a global pandemic, many things have changed. For instance, numerous fields of business had to grow and adapt to a digital-first shift. As a necessary response, construction organizations also made the move to implement new processes and technologies that could accommodate expanding service delivery requirements. The problem is that, because many of these digital solutions were rushed into production, much of the overall quality for the end customer just has not been sufficient.

As post-pandemic “new normal” operations continue to settle in, leading construction companies are mindful of the fact that their workers in the field have also redefined standards that align with consumer trends at large—many of which center around increased demands for expediency and improved customer service in contracted services. Consumerism in construction calls for more transparency and interconnectivity between “paperwork,” service workflows and field operations. Simply implementing a closed-loop field-service workflow simply is not sufficient for optimal employee performance, and it doesn’t take the new-normal customer’s expectations into account.

Despite the growth many companies have seen over the last couple of years, providing exceptional service will remain a key differentiator in gaining and retaining customers—even more so than costs, compliant service standards and speed of service. Construction organizations must make the move to leverage data and insights across the business to give customers the seamless 360-degree experience for which they are yearning.

Finding the appropriate solution

As many construction companies continue to deal with a surge in demand, they must still try to be as quick as possible on projects, and antiquated solutions lack the function or connectivity it takes to finish tasks without significant customization and professional services investment. However, an end-to-end field-service management (FSM) platform provides unconflicted integration, scale and improved specialized usability by offering additional advantages such as a better return on investment (ROI). This kind of flexibility will, without a doubt, help construction companies meet the expectations and requirements that people have come to expect from the industry.

Giving construction workers all the tools they need to be successful is a key step in ensuring satisfaction for customers. Field-service apps that give them access to customer information and data-collection capabilities better equip them to be completely informed and prepared when they arrive at a jobsite, where they will be ready to discuss any matter with the customer.

Whether it's an issue that needs to be resolved or knowledge needed to help execute a new project successfully, the tools workers have at their disposal will provide all the information they may need. It will also help to keep orders consistent, with branded and customized documents specific to each customer. With the app, workers have a view of parts and services, giving them complete access to the full inventory of products, parts, services and bundles, which, in turn, allows them to relay that knowledge to customers, so they can understand what might be immediately available to them.

Because job documentation can be done quickly and accurately with one-touch data collection, an FSM solution eliminates cumbersome paperwork for technicians, and automated documentation reduces customer disputes. For example, workers can access job information from any mobile device and close jobs out quickly by creating invoices onsite. This also allows workers in the field to store customer notes, photos, videos, forms and more in a secure cloud data storage environment. A key benefit is that the customer can access information, too. They can get real-time notifications on upcoming jobs, detailed and accurate estimates and invoices in minutes—fully accessible from any device.

Meeting changing needs

One of the most critical elements of any modern FSM system is interconnectivity and data transparency, from the back office to the field, but many solutions simply are not up to par. However, a robust, end-to-end FSM solution provides workers on the jobsite with an array of tools to improve customer satisfaction. It provides the ability to increase productivity while bringing flexibility and robust capabilities that are meeting the changing needs and requirements on construction job sites—and it will continue to do so for the long haul. When customers are happy, they will return for business, which will always bode well for a company.

by Steve Mason

Mason leads a multi-disciplined professional team that is focused on delivering excellent customer experience from implementation to value realization across customers' key stakeholders. Mason has nearly two decades of experience in the field service management industry, and an MBA from the University of Sunderland London Campus.

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