Field Service Takes a Cue from Uber

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The worst part about waiting is not knowing.

A study from CSG International found that field service customers are sick and tired of waiting through a four hour window for someone to show up and fix their problem. According to the survey, 89% of respondents would prefer an “Uber-like” experience.

Uber is famous for its on-demand platform, where users can easily request a ride, track their request, and see which driver is coming to get them, all from their smartphone. Now, some businesses are trying to bring that level of sophistication and feedback to the field service industry.

Dispatch, a Boston based start-up, is giving field service a deadline. The company has created a platform that integrates with legacy field service  management systems and allows businesses to feed information about their technicians’ locations to eagerly waiting clients – the 89% from above will be pleased.

field service trends

Dispatch aims to make its offering the Uber of any service industry, giving customers the ability to request, track, and pay for service directly from an app integrated with the Dispatch platform. Not only does this integration increase the number of contact points for service providers, it also means customers can manage their entire experience through one app.

Due to its goal of working well with legacy software, Dispatch knows that it needs to play well with others right out of the gate. The platform already has integration with SalesForce.com, QuickBooks, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to name just a few.

Big players are already putting this style of customer interaction in place. Comcast recently launched an app to let customers know when the company’s technician is thirty minutes away. There’s still a service window, but now customers can go about their day, knowing they’ll have a heads up before the tech arrives at their home.

In addition, Comcast provides customers with information about the service person so they can identify the employee who comes to their front door.

While the Comcast system doesn’t run on Dispatch’s platform, Dispatch CEO Avi Goldberg reveled in the cable provider’s announcement. In a blog post by Goldberg, he said that Comcast “stepped up to the plate to validate [Dispatch’s] idea.”

CSG’s survey also validates that plan, suggesting that customers would happily pay more for service that they could manage in an Uber-like fashion.

Unsurprisingly, Dispatch’s plan has gained traction in the investing world, and last month, the company announced that it had completed a $3.1 million capital raising initiative giving it the cash it needs to try and grow into a major player in the field service management industry.

Between the customer demand, Comcast’s offering, and the availability of platforms like Dispatch, it seems clear that businesses need to get ready for the coming days of on-demand service integrated with the mobile world. That can come with a whole host of benefits – like happier customers and more revenue – but there’s going to be a steep learning curve.

If you’ve seen the on-demand field service trends already taking hold in your industry, let me know in the comments – I’d love to talk to you about it. To get more insight into the process of finding the right field service management software for your business, check out our free e-book, The Expert Guide to Buying Field Management Software.

Looking for Field Service Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Field Service Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Andrew Marder

Andrew Marder is a former Capterra analyst.

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What software suite does a firm like Comcast use for field service management?

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