This post has been researched and written by Jeff Grosse, Senior Director of Service Transformation at Traction on Demand
Salesforce just did what I’ve been hoping they’d do for a few years – buy ClickSoftware, the global leader in cloud-based field service management solutions.
But why is this acquisition worth talking about? Salesforce has already deepened the ability for service teams to understand their customers with Service Cloud. And they improved the onsite experience for customers and technicians through Field Service Lightning (FSL). With ClickSoftware, Salesforce is now in a position to lead field service management by driving the best customer experience.
While the past ten years have transformed the service industry, the Fourth Industrial Revolution requires a dedicated focus on:
- Connecting customers to the services they need.
- Improving the technician experience through mobile devices.
- Deepening CRM integrations with service processes (such as installation, maintenance, repairs and training).
ClickSoftware was one of the preeminent standalone field service systems until they partnered with Salesforce to anchor the foundation of Field Service Lightning. Now, the pair form a powerhouse duo that will improve field service through enhanced artificial intelligence and machine learning. With this acquisition, Salesforce can leverage ClickSoftware’s leading-edge technology to improve the highly adopted Field Service Lightning product.
As a service transformation practitioner, I help service practices provide improved customer experiences and operational insight driven from service data. Here are three ways I see ClickSoftware changing the landscape of field service management for Salesforce.
1. Optimizing the Customer Experience
Consumer expectations of every organization have changed in the past ten years. Remember when you were okay calling a company, only to wait on hold to speak with a service representative? Or the days of setting an eight-hour window for service only to have the technician show up at the end of the day?
Customers won’t settle for that experience anymore, they have higher expectations. The connected customer wants to:
- Find help and answers on a public website.
- Schedule appointments for a convenient and specific time without speaking to a service rep.
- Know that the company will take their service history into consideration.
The ClickSoftware acquisition means that Field Service Lightning can further enhance their scheduling engine to include any customer touch-point within the CRM realm. This means that customer updates will become even more automated, personal and timely, particularly with IoT as devices “phone home” when a problem arises.
2. Enabling Technicians to Provide Better Service
As customer expectations evolve, so have those of technicians. When they are in the field, they want to:
- Know their schedule and route has been optimized for efficiency.
- Ensure they have the right parts on-board to complete the work.
- Write detailed service reports with photographs as evidence of the current state of equipment.
- Ensure standard processes are being followed during every appointment.
These skilled employees can’t work from paper spreadsheets that become outdated as soon as they roll out for the day; they need to have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips through their mobile device.
While the FSL mobile app provides technicians with continuity of work throughout their day, I can see Salesforce leveraging the advancements ClickSoftware has made in artificial intelligence and machine learning to put the right technician on the job every time by understanding the intricacies of how every technician works.
3. Shortening the Sales, Service and Billing Cycles with Tighter Integration
As customers, we want to see that a business knows everything about our history with the company:
- Who we are and our previous purchases.
- How long their product should last.
- How our past experiences with those products and their team have been.
The ClickSoftware acquisition will broaden service management capabilities by giving agents a holistic understanding of the customer on the other end of a case. Additionally, it will broaden the information available to field technicians, so they can update Salesforce and perform on-the-spot product and service quoting.
With this tight link between the field and the back office, I believe there is an opportunity to accelerate revenue collection and recognition as customers can be billed within moments of the technician wrapping up a job.
Salesforce + ClickSoftware = Field Service Excellence
Salesforce made a big investment in field service management a few years ago by partnering with ClickSoftware and introducing Field Service Lightning and I’m excited to see Salesforce double-down to position themselves as a leader in the field with this acquisition. Moving forward, Salesforce will be able to provide even more meaningful experiences for customers, agents and technicians.
These are exciting times, and our team is working closely with Salesforce to bring you every new technology in Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning. To learn more about Field Service Lightning, reach out to us anytime. We love to talk about this technology and how it can impact your business.
Jeff Grosse, Senior Director of Service Transformation
Jeff has invested the past 15 years in helping organizations leverage the power of Salesforce and transform their service departments into customer experience centers. He’s been a part of scoping and delivering projects on Field Service Lightning since Salesforce released it three years ago.