29 Jun 2022

Innovate your field services and generate serious revenue - here's how.

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Written by Abhishek Mungi

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For years now, organizations have depended on skilled technicians to repair equipment and engage with customers in the field. While these technicians would usually be the customer would have to an organization, their skills, processes, and systems were not really considered crucial to the company’s revenue generation. Until recently, in fact, many technicians, or teams of field service agents were merely thought of as costs that needed to be paid. Even so, like other areas in the organization, such “cost centers”, too, must learn to innovate and discover additional opportunities to boost revenue.

Field service is essentially the process of organizing and managing work tasks that need to be completed at a particular location. These are mostly customer locations. This process often involves many variables and can be very complicated. Dispatching, scheduling, skills matching, and route optimization are just a few of the components involved. A lot of people have found themselves in a situation where they had to wait all day for a technician simply because they had been given a broad ETA between the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM. This makes it a rather inefficient model at times.

As this domain continues to evolve in recent times, organizations are coming to the realization that being inefficient in the field will definitely put a dent in revenue, as customer satisfaction will be negatively impacted and lifetime value of retaining a customer will decrease. While everyone is now waking up the cost of inefficient field service operations, the more innovative businesses have begun to leverage field service to generate more revenue. While reducing costs through efficiency is definitely beneficial, cost reduction while simultaneously increasing revenue is the real deal.

Here are three ways to drive revenue through your field service operations and how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service can help create efficiencies:

Lead Generation

This may be pretty unconventional. Isn’t lead generation something that they do in marketing and sales? Think about this for a minute: your field agents are the ones who know your customers the best!

Here’s an example:

An individual moved into a new locality; they contacted internet service providers to get their network up and running. The difference here was that the field technician asked about other services, particularly mobile phone service. As the customer was using a different mobile phone carrier, the technician said they have specials and asked if the customer would be interested in hearing them. After confirming interest and completing the internet installation, within a short time, a field salesperson showed up and converted the individual over to their mobile plan. This is a great example of lead generation and winning a deal—all originating from a field technician’s simple question.

Field technicians are skilled workers that often have a series of tasks needed to complete a service. By simply including a question or by noting a specific item on their task list, a Microsoft Power Automate flow can be triggered to automatically create a lead and route it to the sales team. This creates a qualified lead for the sales team and a cross-sell revenue opportunity for the company.

Expanding Business Units: Field Service-as-a-Service

To ensure your field service operations generate constant revenue, your current operations will need to become more efficient. Efficiency can only be achieved to through continual innovation, ie. innovation of processes, system platforms, and people. Not all organizations will be able to bring about innovations in the same period of time, and some may choose to not innovate at all. This is where being efficient and innovative in your business can make your services revenue-generating assets.

Here’s an example about the same:

A large provider of healthcare services began initially as a facilities management operation. They would continue to provide services to a growing network of healthcare providers, until they recognized the value of innovation and efficiency through Dynamics 365 for field services. Seeing that their drive to be efficient could be leveraged towards other prospects, they also began providing services to hospitals. By doing so, they were able to provide significant value to more than 150 hospitals, which in turn allowed their customers to provide better patient experiences. This is how a healthcare services provider utilized their strengths to create a revenue-generating business unit.

Connected Field Service: Leverage Data

Using connected field services, one can leverage IoT data which is collected from device sensors and is integrated with Dynamics 365 Field Service to create a predictive model that efficiently generates revenue. Being connected in field service allows business to move away from traditional service models and become more proactive and predictive. This shift enables businesses to understand their market better and thereby offer services that will yield greater revenue.

Consider an example of a mechanical contractor company, that specializes in developing energy efficient buildings. As they make use of IoT sensors to capture data, their connected field service solution enables them to offer post-construction optimization services. The sensors monitor the building’s energy levels and proactively dispatch a technician if an imminent failure is detected. This ensures operational efficiency within their customer’s facilities. The service provider can also conserve and save on costs by performing remote inspections and services using Dynamics 365 Remote Assist. These efficiencies create chances to sell more advanced service offering which boost profitability!

Becoming more efficient in field service operations can be extremely valuable to your organization. However, through innovation, field service operations can even be transformed into a revenue-generating machine.

At IncubXperts, we enable our clients to wield the true potential of Dynamics 365 Field Service innovations. The best thing about field service offerings is that the core offering remains unchanged, irrespective of the domain they are applied to. For more information about our services, do go through our Case Studies.