Field service technology for better customer service

By David Steer

The way the UK is working is changing. Advances in smart technology, the rise of flexible working and increasing expectations from customers mean that utility companies now have to adapt and develop new ways to manage staff who are not based in the office.

Utility firms are also under renewed pressure from regulators, politicians and the public to improve services, while also operating under tighter profit margins.

One way forward is to adopt or develop new field service systems, which will help manage mobile and often flexible workers in order to improve efficiency and meet rising expectations at the same time.

Kirona’s chief operating officer, Nathan Ollier looks at how field service management systems can improve efficiency in utility companies, as well as customer satisfaction levels.

The changing face of work

In the old days, field-based workers might have gone to a depot and collected a lot of job sheets for the day. But it meant you had a building which was very expensive and you also someone travelling back and forth to the depot, which is not a productive use of time. And inevitably it also meant that while they are out in the field, information was not being exchanged dynamically with anyone back at the base.

Generating extra capacity in an organisation

It is incredibly rare for us not to find opportunity to generate capacity through the introduction of dynamic scheduling. Cutting out exchanging paper with operates can be a significant cost-saving to organisations, and that’s before you get to increased productivity or reducing labour costs by mitigating the need to recruit further. You can generate capacity out of what you already have. We generate quite significant capacity for customers, who sometimes take that in cashable savings or sometimes choose to inject it back into delivering services.

Improving customer satisfaction and service

All too often, organisations run headlong into the implementation of technology without taking a step back and consider what they need to achieve. Some organisations can be quite short-sighted and implement a process change just to overcome the next immediate hurdle on the horizon. That can be one of the biggest challenges – always set out what you are trying to achieve.

From a customer service perspective, you are setting clear expectations about what is going to happen and when, which can only be a good thing. You are also reducing the chance of failure demand and driving cost into your own organisation through missed appointments and no access.

Meet the Kirona team during Utility Week Live at stand C8 or email