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Make automation easy for your field service team

Have you convinced your company that field service automation was a smart move to make? Maybe it was a hard sell, so congratulations! Maybe they were already on board. Either way, you’ve now got to repay your colleagues’ or employee’s trust by making the changeover as easy and smooth as possible.

1. Choose the right tool

Make sure you choose a tool that prides itself on ease-of-use and user-friendliness. Likewise, make sure it has a good reputation for customer support, and make sure that you’ve used it yourself – even on a trial basis – to make sure that the experience lives up to the claims.

2. Think about the set-up

Most field service software allows for great personalization, so put some effort into this, and not just when it comes to using the company colors. Make sure employee details are correct (it’s the little things that count), and that you’ve really put some thought into how best to organize things so that it will be easy for them to use. Remember – in this case, the end customer is your employee.

3. Offer lots of support

Check out the tool’s self-service support (i.e. their knowledge base) and see if it allows employees to sort out some of their own problems. During the set up time, allow space for one-on-one help where you can help each tech to log in and set things up for the first time. If you’re not the nurturing type, pay out for someone who is. If your techs are the strong, silent types, make the one-to-ones mandatory, so there’s no shame in being seen!

4. Get the timing right

Timing is key when introducing new technologies. There are two aspects to take into account here – firstly, don’t introduce a new field service – or any other – system when other new technologies are making an appearance. People are easily overloaded by new technologies and will feel stressed and resentful.

Secondly, pick a traditionally quiet time of the year – not a dead time, like vacations or your industry’s hibernation season (you want to be able to start using real cases as practice ASAP) – but not at peak season either, again to avoid overload.

If you still meet resistance when introducing field service automation, brainstorm, regroup and try again. This article, by Small Business Computing, offers some more general tips for resistance to technological change, and might be worth a look.

Header image thanks to Joao Santos

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