Introduction to Field Service Lightning [now known as Salesforce Field Service (SFS)]
In an economic climate where customer expectations are constantly rising, delivering an exceptional customer experience should be a top priority for businesses in every niche.
Re-examining our business models in the light of global events, more and more businesses are moving towards service-based models. Customer retention is now king, even more so than customer acquisition, and it’s no surprise that customer experience and field service plays a major role in this.
Field Service Lightning (FSL) is one such solution which helps augment customer experience with its real-time collaboration capabilities which is now known as Salesforce Field Service (SFS). FSL has a new name but it’s value remains the same. Launched in 2016, SFS has quickly become one of the fastest growing products in the Salesforce Store rationalizing both customer and employee experience.
Salesforce Field Service gives us the ability to bring together three important elements of a Business which provide on-field service.
- Workforce (Admin, Technician & Dispatcher)
How does a Field Technician work?
- Get a job assigned
- Collect the details required
- Collect parts/repair material required for the job.
- Finish the job and log it.
- Get a confirmation from the customer
- Get Paid
- Go back on the mobile app and update the job status
How does an In-office Agent work (Dispatcher)?
- Collect work orders
- Assign Jobs
- Provide required information (customer info, address, time of availability) to the Technician/Field Agent
- Provide parts/repair material required for the job
- Update the job status once completed
A Use Case with SFS
For better understanding, let’s look at a real life scenario with Salesforce Field Service –
I need a head-to-toe grooming session every few weeks since I am a Celebrity Stylist working with Luxury brands and Bollywood stars. A major part of my job is interacting with clients which demands looking presentable (if not perfect) all the time. The problem is I hardly get time to make an appointment after work. If there was a mobile beauty salon offering all services I need, I wouldn’t have this issue of going to a beauty salon every time I need a grooming service.
Ok, let’s assume there is a company named “The Makeover Place” serving New Mumbai and its surrounding areas. Throughout the day, its beauty agents (beauticians, specialists, etc) travel to appointments across the region. The majority of their appointments are for commercial clients where an employer books slots for four to eight hours the same day so that its employees can get quick touch-ups even during a workday. The remaining time of beauty agents is reserved for residential clients who can book either a one-hour appointment or two hours appointment. The Makeover Place has one dispatcher who manages their booking and optimizes their travel times. Generally, this would be a lot for a single dispatcher to manually manage but with Salesforce Field Service, beauty agents can move seamlessly through their day.
This use case brings up four core aspects of the platform:
- Work order and Work order line items (WOLI) – The appointments made by customers are work orders and in the same work order, if the customer books for Facial, massage, and haircut, these orders will be WOLI in that appointment
- Resources & Regions – The Beauty Agents (Resources) only take appointments in their designated areas (Defined service regions)
- Work type & Duration- There are only four different types of Beauty appointments (Work types), four-hour commercial, eight-hour commercial, one-hour residential, and two hours residential. This duration is considered by dispatcher while building the Beauty Agents (Resource) schedule
- Exact Start time- To create a smooth customer experience, The Makeover Place provide their customer with exact appointment time rather than a service window
- Optimized Travel times- To maximize the number of appointments in their day, the beauty agents(resources) can leverage the Salesforce Field Service’s schedule optimization capabilities
Everyone can be satisfied with SFS including the dispatchers, resources and customers! Doing the same process manually would have been time-consuming for dispatchers and beauty agents will have a hard time managing their customers and their time.
Expanding Business with Salesforce Field Service
As The Makeover Place continues to grow, they add 30 more beauty agents and 5 more dispatchers. Now their team includes 35 beauty agents and 6 dispatchers. Beyond technical setup, scaling business is where Salesforce Field Service allows any business to grow successfully.
Because of implementing SFS, The Makeover Place is now able to add services like Spa & massage services. But not all their beauty agents are specialized to provide these services as they have different sets of skills. SFS gives field service managers the ability to add assigned skills to each beauty agent. This helps the dispatcher to know which beauty agent to send for a particular appointment.
Apart from this, the beauty agents will need more supplies and they will want to replenish the same as and when in need. Supplies like Facial kits, massage kits, pedicures, manicure kits, scissors, threads etc. SFS keeps track of the supplies in each location. It could be at the beauty agents house, beauty agents vehicle or a central warehouse- and allows the agents to move the supplies into their own inventory, if needed. Since this would decrease the overall inventory, the company’s operations team can remain up to date with product availability and order new inventory as needed.
This real life use case proves the endless capabilities of the Salesforce Field Service platform. The platform is implemented to provide out-of-the-box solutions for any business. It provides an intelligent onsite service and allows a smarter delivery of personalized service from a mobile phone to the field on a single platform. Regardless of the industry, Salesforce Field Service has the potential to transform any business and enhance overall customer experience. With more companies migrating to enhancing field service