Top Field Service Technology and Trends

In a mid-pandemic field service environment, plenty of solutions have arisen on the fly. From hybrid operations to revamped safety protocols, it seems like things are in flux.

Field service has permanently changed—perhaps more dynamically than any other business function. The pandemic has reinforced the importance of customer service by understanding customers across every service and digital touchpoint to maximize loyalty and consumer value. This has become more complicated due to COVID; nevertheless, innovations in field service management can enhance customer loyalty amid increased expectations.

Oracle’s list of top field service trends spotlights what’s new and what’s next.

1. An evolving field service workforce

As in many other industries, field service is feeling a crisis in staffing and in a transition to a more hybrid, digitally connected world. This is also exacerbated by an increasing gap in experience and expertise as older workers retire or leave the field. Service organizations are embracing the gig economy and third-party service providers to supplement their in-house workforces.

This trend is creating a new challenge (and opportunity) for service leaders to capture knowledge and integrate it into the digital tools new or contract field service engineers rely on to be successful. Giving your digitally-savvy new team members on-demand support speeds their ability to contribute while offering senior engineers the ability to shift into less demanding remote support roles.

2. Meeting new customer expectations

Much like our collective transition to virtual meetings and contactless delivery of goods throughout 2020, customers across the board are becoming accustomed to new models for service delivery. Field service solutions have been enhanced to ensure service visits meet local safety standards and customer preferences, while companies must seamlessly blend virtual and physical experiences.

Moreover, as customers’ buying preferences shift toward outcomes over products, service is becoming a critical piece in the revenue model for businesses. Field service teams are being given tools and incentives to monetize service events, such as for-service contract renewals or cross-selling equipment or consumables.

3. Making every customer interaction matter

If there were a broad theme to 2021 for field service management, it’s this. More than ever, the industry is counting on developing myriad touch points to increase engagement with customers.

With offerings including self-service portals, knowledgebase articles and media, AI-guided digital assistants, and remote service events, field service leaders are providing customers more immediate and touchless ways to resolve issues. This variety of customer touch points enable service team members to focus on the most critical customer issues.

4. Integrating connected assets and equipment into service

Perhaps the most significant trend impacting field service is the proliferation of connected equipment and assets that can mitigate the need for in-person repair or maintenance.

IoT monitoring enables remote diagnostics and self-healing routines. And when integrated with your field service management solution, it can automatically trigger work orders and schedule service activities for major faults. When your field service engineer arrives, they can use this information to fix issues more quickly and accurately.

5. Avoiding disruption while managing change

Amidst all this change is the critical task of moving forward without slowing down. All the tech tools in the world don’t drive and sustain change; change management is just as important as new tech rollouts. Organizations must make this culture of optimization and change something that sticks from the culture on down.

One of the biggest advancements is the connection between IoT and artificial intelligence (AI). Service businesses are now able to trigger services via AI without needing a human task to be that trigger. Leading-edge technology can help navigate change as conditions continue to fluctuate.

Utilizing AI learning tools for routing and scheduling allows for changing conditions to overcome issues of manual discrepancies that happen without automation.

Successful companies can deliver on the set of new customer expectations by removing the friction from all digital and in-person touch points to provide seamless, informed interactions to customers. The transactional economy has become less hands-on and is likely to change while the pandemic continues to hold influence. Smart field service organizations can meet the change positively by making every engagement count—no matter how brief.

Oracle Field Service offers intuitive, AI-powered tools for routing, scheduling, and managing field service technicians. Learn more about how this solution makes it possible to deliver efficient and on-time service experiences every time with the quick self-guided product tour below.

For more information about field service and field service management software, send us a message!

Article written by: Rick Shimko, Oracle Senior Product Marketing Manager

 

 

Deliver Customer Service that Meets the Moment

Over the last two years, brands were forced to accelerate their digital transformation efforts in just a few short weeks to meet the need for all things contactless.

During that time, customers made purchases and were serviced over digital channels more than ever before. And now, when they reach out to brands for help, expectations are high that the service they receive—be it human or not—is personalized, effortless, and consistent.

According to McKinsey, 75% of people using digital channels for the first time during the pandemic indicated that they would continue to use them when things returned to ‘normal.’

And at our recent virtual summit, “Deliver Service That Meets the Moment,” guest speaker Kate Leggett of Forrester indicated that 88% of contact center decision-makers project their self-service volumes increasing in the next 12 months.” So, it’s more important than ever to equip service teams with the right tools and customer insights to deliver proactive, personalized, and contextual interactions anywhere at any time.

During the virtual summit, Daniel Foppen, director of product management, and Alice Park, senior product manager for Oracle Service, demonstrated how Oracle Service can provide amazing digital-first service experiences.

Customer service has quickly become the face of the brand, now responsible for delivering a holistic brand experience across all channels. Is your service team ready to respond to these new customer demands?

Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) has assembled a strong ecosystem of partners to help you enable a seamless service experience—one truly built with a digital-first mindset.

Apex IT is proud to be one of these partners. We provide award-winning, global consulting services that transform your customer, employee, citizen, and student experiences.

Apex IT is a 25-year partner of Oracle and a five-time Oracle CX partner of the year Markie Award winner that supports the entire application implementation continuum—from strategy development and implementation to change management and training.

Our EVP, Bryan Hinz, discusses this at the CX Services Summit. He talks about creating business solutions and improving customer service experiences throughout the entire lifecycle by combining your applications and technologies. To watch the video on our YouTube channel, click here.

 

Most of Article written by:

Carrie West
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Oracle Advertising and CX

APEX IT Client Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) Wins the Nexus Award for Best CX Ecosystem at the 2021 Markie Awards

At APEX IT, we’re proud to be a part of our customers’ success stories each and every day—and we’re honored that this year’s Markie Awards have recognized so many of these shared achievements.

Among them, our client Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) just took home the Nexus Award for the Best CX Ecosystem, a testament to the brand’s innovative CRM solution that unifies Oracle Sales and B2B Service, Oracle Customer Data Management, and Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation, all in one best-in-class solution. 

Keurig Dr Pepper is a leading North American beverage company with over 26,000 employees and annual revenue exceeding $11 billion. In addition to its leadership position in the soft drink category, KDP also markets the #1 single-serve coffee brewing system in the U.S. and Canada, thanks to its Keurig acquisition that pushed its portfolio to over 125 owned, licensed and partner brands today, including Keurig®, Dr Pepper®, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters®, Snapple®, Bai®, and more. But with its vast foothold, KDP needed a way to unify its various platforms and system architectures into one cohesive and user-friendly customer environment. And we’re proud to say that’s where we were able to jump in.

In 2018, as KDP was consolidating its many business units, we leveraged the company’s real-world integration to develop a consolidated CRM platform that could accelerate the realization of both its customer and business goals. We expanded our use of Oracle CX from what began as one legacy Keurig group, to an enterprise standard across B2B groups. And we integrated customer care into CX across a variety of Oracle applications, including SaaS, PaaS and DaaS, ultimately creating a modern beverage CRM platform that is poised to digitally transform the customer, B2B and internal employee experiences at KDP. 

We’re thrilled to celebrate the success of Keurig Dr Pepper at this year’s Markie Awards, along with all of our customers who are working tirelessly to drive the evolution of customer experience in tandem with operational efficiency and long-term profitability.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Markie Award winners, and here’s to many more!

The City of Los Angeles wins Markie Award

The Angeleno Card Program is one that has made us immensely proud. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, our client, the City of Los Angeles wanted to help citizens who had been financially hit the hardest by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Angeleno Card Program was launched in March 2020 to provide direct financial assistance, via no-fee debit cards. This assistance was going to go towards low-wage hourly workers who had jobs in industries such as restaurants and tourism, as well as seasonal workers, day laborers, and self-employed individuals. The program was designed to serve residents regardless of immigration status.

The original plan was to require citizens to have their eligibility appointments over the phone. In an effort to be more efficient and help people receive faster assistance, the Office of Mayor Garcetti worked with Apex IT, TimeTrade, and Oracle to design a simple, safe and secure system that could help the office receive applicants and schedule appointments online.

Together with these tech partners, we were able to create a dual-language and easy-to-use portal to serve residents of Los Angeles. And we’re proud to say that we designed and implemented this in just three short weeks.

“Apex IT’s work helped double our pace of delivery,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “When people need help putting food on the table, they need help fast.”

The city was able to schedule more than 50,000 appointments across 21 locations in just 9 weeks. With an original goal of raising $10 million, The Mayor’s Fund surpassed that goal and raised over $36 million from private donors. This allowed them to distribute to over 100,000 residents. Not only did the system help many families in need, but it was less costly than the original approach of handling applicants through the call center. This initiative reduced costs by 30% and created a direct ROI for the city.

Due to the impressive vision and quick action, The City of Los Angeles and its Mayor Eric Garcetti were awarded two Markie Awards this year.

 

Transportation & Logistics Truck at Night

Does Marketing Own the Customer Experience in the Transportation & Logistics Industry?

Who owns the customer experience? Do you define your customer’s engagement with your organization as ‘customer experience’? Do you have a customer experience strategy?

Typically, marketing has focused on the first two steps of the customer journey — Awareness and Consideration, and Expansion. Sales is involved. Service is definitely involved. The C-Suite creates the directive to provide great customer experience. In most industries, the majority of CMOs feel that marketing owns the customer experience. How about in the transportation and logistics industry?

At Apex IT, we believe Marketing, Sales, and Service own the customer experience, but that a centralized group needs to own the consistency of the message and the experience the customer has throughout their journey of interacting with you. The marketing organization is enabled to provide centralized support when defining and mapping out the customer journey.

When defining your brand, there are three steps that you can take to define your customer’s experience.

Understand what your customers look like, how they make decisions, where they are along the routes you service. Segment them into different target audiences and personas. These personas may change how your market to them and even fine-tune your message, the channel you use, maximizing the experience of your prospect or customer.

Once your experience strategy has been created based on your target audience, collecting data and defining attribution about your customers helps determine your channel strategy. The data you collect may help with up-selling or cross-selling, website or e-commerce approach and design, and help customers interact and resolve more online.

Guidelines may consist of color schemes, fonts, and logo usage. But brands must look to develop a new playbook…by defining their brand experiences. Personas and behavior profiling can be used to create guidelines for customer interactions throughout the customer journey, resulting in building loyalty, increasing sales, and providing better customer service.

If you are interested in learning more or having a conversation, please contact us.

Apex IT is a leading CX/CRM consulting firm helping transportation and logistics organizations improve their customer’s journey. To learn more about Apex IT, please visit our website.

Oracle is a Gartner and Forrester leader, providing solutions in CX/CRM, BI, and Data. To learn more about Oracle CX, please visit their website.

Transportation & Logistics Customer Data Management

Customer Data Management is the Cornerstone for Successful Customer Experience Transformation

Accurate and complete customer data is a cornerstone of an effective and efficient CX strategy and can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Common problems that arise from inconsistent, incomplete and inaccurate customer data are very real, including multiple sales reps working on duplicate accounts, ineffective marketing due to duplicate leads and poor customer service resulting from inaccurate data.

If you are interested in learning more or having a conversation about your customer data strategy or are interested in Apex IT’s CDM Assessment package, please contact us.

Apex IT is a leading CX/CRM consulting firm helping transportation and logistics organizations improve their customer’s journey. To learn more about Apex IT, please visit our website.

Oracle is a Gartner and Forrester leader, providing solutions in CX/CRM, BI, and Data. To learn more about Oracle CX, please visit their website.

Transportation & Logistics Shipping Containers Being Moved on Dock

Sales Trends for 2018 in the Transportation and Logistics Industry

Buyers and decision makers are rapidly changing and doing more and more research prior to making decisions. Traditional selling efforts and Sales Force Automation (SFA) technologies are now a foundational must-have. In your sales readiness strategies, where are you on the sales process and technology maturity scale?

To move into a Best Practice state for your sales processes and strategies, here are the trends in Sales Customer Experience (CX) for 2018.

Members of the Generation Y (sometimes referred to as Millennials) have been in the job market for a while now….and are being promoted into more senior decision making positions. These buyers know how to use technology, they value work-life balance, and are enthusiastic and creative. Your processes, techniques, and SFA technologies must adapt. Also, many millennials are also your sales reps, and also are expecting more advanced tools to help them do their job rather than just set up appointments and have lunches.

Members of the Generation Y (sometimes referred to as Millennials) have been in the job market for a while now….and are being promoted into more senior decision making positions. These buyers know how to use technology, they value work-life balance, and are enthusiastic and creative. Your processes, techniques, and SFA technologies must adapt. Also, many millennials are also your sales reps, and also are expecting more advanced tools to help them do their job rather than just set up appointments and have lunches.

Members of the Generation Y (sometimes referred to as Millennials) have been in the job market for a while now….and are being promoted into more senior decision making positions. These buyers know how to use technology, they value work-life balance, and are enthusiastic and creative. Your processes, techniques, and SFA technologies must adapt. Also, many millennials are also your sales reps, and also are expecting more advanced tools to help them do their job rather than just set up appointments and have lunches.

Good sales people know when to use the right collateral at the right time. What if technology can suggest the right content in the right context at the right time? Advanced SFA technology can help sales teams with the WHAT and WHEN based on the WHO. These are the automated things, called ‘Bots’ that can help automate engagement with your sales teams and your customers.

Even though many organizations are still figuring out their predictive lead scoring models, modern selling teams are developing prescriptive models. Sales people just want to know what their next move should be to move their funnel forward. Technologies can provide more insights….and these can be used to calculate ‘next best actions’ leading to better outcomes. Machine Learning models analyzing all of this data and collecting feedback will help adjust these prescriptive suggestions.

If you are interested in learning more or having a conversation, please contact us.

Apex IT is a leading CX/CRM consulting firm helping transportation and logistics organizations improve their customer’s journey.

Oracle is a Gartner and Forrester leader, providing solutions in CX/CRM, BI, and Data. To learn more about Oracle CX, please visit their website.

Food Service Sales Growth Employee Delivering Takeout Order

Food Service Sales Growth Continues to Outpace Traditional Retail Sales Growth!

Change is both rapid and profound across the Consumer Goods Industry – we’re now making, selling, and buying in entirely new ways. Old business models have been turned on their heads, or needs to be! The lines between Principal, Broker, Distributor and End Consumer are blurring as new technologies are transforming the connected customer.

Members of Generation Y (Millennials) are being promoted into more senior decision-making positions. These buyers know how to use technology, they value work-life balance and are enthusiastic and creative.

With marketing creating ideal customer personas, it’s time for sales to approach the ‘most wanted’ accounts in creative ways.

Big data and Artificial Intelligence drastically improve the way we understand and respond to market trends.

Lots of questions, all with multiple answers. We’ve helped countless companies in the CPG/Retail/Food Service arena solve these problems, in a timely and profitable manner.

To learn more about Oracle’s offerings for CPG organizations, click here. To learn more about Oracle’s Customer Experience (CX) / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) offerings, check out our Sales Solutions.

Please email us if you have questions or want to have a conversation!

Proactive Chats & Chatbots User Chatting with Chatbot on Mobile Phone

Proactive Chats & Chatbots – Is This Part of Your Customer and Internal Service Strategy?

You may have noticed recently many best-in-class websites leveraging proactive chat pop-ups – you know, those “Can we help you” pop-up windows that can connect you to a support agent.

As a consumer, they’re helpful to answer questions. But for the company providing it, there’s science/strategy behind those. They are intended to not only ensure customers are having their questions answered, but also to drive additional sales. If a customer leaves frustrated because they had questions about a product, it results in lost potential sales. Connecting with the customer quickly is proven to solidify sales.

This type of application is not just for customer support, there are very relevant use cases for doing this sort of thing on your internal intranet sites for an employee use case. The benefits are significant, including improved customer/employee satisfaction, reduction in lost sales, etc. Chatbot technology can also be incorporated to minimize cost and provide that 24×7 support that is difficult (and expensive) to staff.

Are these areas part of your near-term strategy? If not, it should be. Apex IT can help you develop that strategy and implement these with significant ROI. Ask us how.