Part 1 of a 3 part series by Dane Peterson, Salesforce Field Service Practice Lead at Traction on Demand. Complete the series and check out more Field Service content.
When you're a field service representative on the go, you can't afford to get bogged down with the logistics of the day.
What is Salesforce Field Service?
Formerly known as Field Service Lightning (FSL), Salesforce Field Service (SFS) has a new name, but its purpose and value remain the same. It is Salesforce’s field service solution. In other words, it's an onsite job management platform with real-time collaboration capabilities.
From installations and repairs, to professional services and regular maintenance, many organizations send agents into the field. But 52% of organizations are still manually managing their field agents. Since launching in 2016, Salesforce Field Service (SFS) has quickly become one of the fastest growing products in the Salesforce stack, offering a much better option, given its capabilities to streamline both customer and employee experiences.
Salesforce Field Service makes life easier — for everyone
SFS provides valuable insight so everyone involved can work efficiently:
- Dispatchers set field technicians up for success by sending the appropriate technicians (with the right skills and tools) to complete a particular job, keeping in mind driving and services times.
- Field Technicians have real-time data at their fingertips, so they clearly understand the work that is being requested as well as the tools they need to complete the work. They can also access knowledge articles to fill in any gaps as needed.
- Leadership teams have access to all the data they need to spot trends and improve operational processes.
- Customers gain an effortless experience with a 48% faster case resolution time because the technician arrives prepared to do the task at hand.
This Gantt chart gives you a sense of how neatly all the data is organized, providing a holistic understanding of your operations at a glance.
When you use technology to manage the logistics, the people in your organization can focus on creating the best experience for your clients.
SFS IRL (Salesforce Field Service in real life)
With this quick introduction to SFS, let's work through a business case.
I need a haircut every few weeks but find it difficult to make it to an appointment after work. Maybe if there was a mobile barbershop, I wouldn't have this issue. Let's pretend there's a company called the Bustling Barbers serving Vancouver and its surrounding areas.
Throughout the day, the barbers travel to appointments across the region. The majority of their appointments are for commercial clients requesting four and eight-hour time slots so their employees can get a quick haircut during the workday. The remainder of the time is reserved for residential clients who can book either a 30-minute or one-hour appointment. The Bustling Barbers have one dispatcher who manages their bookings and optimizes travel times.
Generally, this would be a lot for a single dispatcher to manually manage but with Salesforce Field Service, the barbers can move seamlessly through their day. This use case brings up four core aspects of the platform:
- Defined resources and regions: The barbers (resources) only take appointments in their designated cities (defined service regions).
- Defined work types and durations: There are only four different types of haircut appointments—four-hour commercial, eight-hour commercial, 30-minute residential and 60-minute residential—the Bustling Barbers can schedule. These durations are considered when building out a barber’s schedule.
- Exact start times: To create an effortless customer experience, the Bustling Barbers provide their customers with exact appointment times rather than traditional service windows.
- Optimized travel times: To maximize the number of appointments in their day, the barbers can leverage Salesforce Field Service's schedule optimization capabilities.
Everyone wins with Salesforce Field Service, from the field service representative to the customer.
What could have been a complex system of calendars and back-and-forth on barber availability (potentially leading to customers frustrated with the wait times), has now been broken down into a simple system for the Bustling Barbers to manage with ease.
Scaling with Salesforce Field Service
As the Bustling Barbers continue to grow, they add 44 more barbers and nine more dispatchers. This brings their entire team to 50 barbers and 10 dispatchers. Beyond some additional technical setup, scaling is where Salesforce Field Service allows your business to shine.
With their growth, the Bustling Barbers are now able to add services like beard trims and hot shaves. But not all their barbers have the specialized skills, so SFS gives field service managers the ability to add “assigned skills” to each barber. This helps the dispatcher know which barbers to send to a particular appointment.
Additionally, the barbers are going to need increased supplies: razors, scissors, towels, etc. SFS keeps track of the supplies in each location—could be in the barber’s vehicle, a central warehouse, or even at a commercial customer’s building—and allows the barbers to move the supplies into their own inventory if needed. Since this would decrease the overall inventory, the Busting Barbers’ operations team can remain up to date with product levels and order new inventory as needed.
These are just two quick examples of how easy it is for Salesforce Field Service to scale with a business. An SFS implementation should be considered an integral part of any field service operation, even when just starting out. Establishing SFS early on will only make it easier to grow as you add functionality for your expanding business. The additional value in the platform is how you can track and report on the aspects that matter most to your field service operation.
Regardless of your industry, Salesforce Field Service has the potential to transform your business. Check out the successful SFS implementations completed for Zoom, Pilot Flying J, and ACV Auctions, and understand what SFS and Traction on Demand can do for your organization.