This story is cross-posted at www.mediaagility.com
A typical day in the life of a field force agent comprises of office, trip sheets, customers, traffic, and back to office. While, a typical day for an operation center involves drafting trip sheets, coordination with the in-field force team, and checking status of jobs.
If we zoom into these seemingly regular days, we start to notice many irregular patterns. To name a few –
- Traffic conditions
- Incoherent and unplanned routing
- Customer unavailability
- Unplanned scheduling without considering skill sets, and more
These irregular patterns contribute, often the negative way, to customer experience, productivity, bottom lines, and working environment, of both the operations team and the field executives. One common trend attributable for these irregular patterns is the static nature of operations. The increasing size of operations is still managed through static systems, like – unchangeable trip sheets, coordination through traditional calls, slow information transfer, or time spent on waiting and traffic.
Operations Managers ask multiple questions when their concerted efforts to tackle the irregularities bounce back without any results. To mention a few –
- Are my field staff optimally utilizing the time they spend on field?
- Are they spending enough time addressing the customer’s problem?
- Are they productive enough?
- Are they reporting genuinely?
This is the story across multiple industries which interact with their customers through a mobilized field team.
One particular banking and finance service provider, managing a force of 550 customer service executives, faced a similar situation. The service provider did everything to improve customer experience, to increase employee productivity, and to gain better bottom lines. But, it did all in the traditional way – charting daily manual trip sheets, connecting through calls, assigning teams and roles, and more. As a result, executives’ productivity declined and customer experience stayed well below the expected level.
With multiple failed customer service instances, the service provider took an alternative approach. It felt the need to be in connect at all times, to remain updated about the status, and to respond quickly to changes. A close look into the issues gave a few observations, to name some –
- Static trip sheets
- Delays due to dynamic environment factors, like – traffic, weather, unavailability of customers
- Long waiting times for reassignment of jobs, or new job allocation
- Uncentralized operations
- Unstandardized reporting
The service provider realized that powering its field force with location has the potential to rectify the wasted time and efforts, and to regain its productivity and customer loyalty. It started to approach its field force management from the Location Lens. Through this lens, the apparently irregular patterns bogging the operations down, were more organized and easy to tackle!
The service provider put in place a location-enabled field force automation system, and reaped the following benefits
- Lowered costs for operations
- Real-time insights to operations teams at the HQ
- Improved agent productivity, directly increasing organization’s revenue
- Mobility to field service agents
- Enhanced customer experience
- Additional information and help at fingertips of the Service Agents
- Streamlined and automated operations
- Improved field force visibility, tracking, and control
With location intelligence, reallocating the jobs on any typical hectic day was as easy as a compass magnet aligning itself to North. The system is always abreast with the location details of the operations, it can nimbly take decisions and achieve SLAs, and deliver exceptional customer service.
Field Force Automation with Location Intelligence – the new way!