Top Six Service Trends for Utility Providers in 2014

Posted by Keith Doherty

Fri, Jan 24, 2014

trends enterprise mobilityUtility providers are reacting to increased competition by providing more services than ever before. They are looking for more and better ways to make customers happy.

Here are six of teh top trends rising to the top of the utility industry this year: 

1. Workforce management adoption

Many companies have decided to adopt a workforce management solution to help manage the increased services they offer and to help ensure efficient operations using dispatch software. After their workforce management software implementation is complete, most utility providers are very pleased with the results, which include lower costs, improved customer satisfaction, increased revenue and more efficient operations.

2. Proactive scheduling of periodic maintenance

More service organizations are taking the burden of scheduling periodic maintenance off the customer’s shoulders and managing the process themselves. By staying in close contact with customers, the companies help to cement the relationship over the long term. In addition, they can monitor the usage of consumables or disposable add on items and automatically replenish the customer’s supply, resulting in increased revenue and less likelihood of the customer turning to another source for supplies.

Field service optimization solutions make it easier than ever before to manage and schedule a diverse service workforce, so companies feel more comfortable taking on this additional service.

3. Providing more value added services

Even for utilities, it’s a competitive world. Companies are providing more value added services in order to ensure continued customer satisfaction. Faster response times are possible when companies use effective dispatch software, and enterprise mobility solutions can make phone calls to let customers know the technician is on the way.

4. Fewer paper processes

Another way utility companies are using enterprise mobility solution is to eliminate paper processes. Technicians record time and materials while still on site, and customers sign off before the tech leaves. This results in more accurate invoices or cost records since items are less likely to be missed and it eliminates future billing disputes. Customers appreciate that the paperless enterprise mobility process is environmentally friendly.

5. Location based services

Location based services not only help by planning the most efficient travel routes between service calls, they also help keep track of the technician and valuable parts and equipment. The result is that the company can easily dispatch the nearest available technician with the right skill set to manage a problem, so the problem gets resolved more quickly. This benefits both the customer and the utility by keeping downtime and service costs low.

6. Reports and analytics

The world is just too complex for businesses to run on simple rules of thumb as was often the case in the past. Today, companies rely on sophisticated metrics and analytics, displayed on dashboards in real or near-real time. Companies can make better, faster decisions than ever before, because the decisions are based on facts, not guesswork. Better decisions result in lower costs, reduced downtime and better overall operational performance.

Most service enhancements are designed to increase operational efficiency or improve customer satisfaction. Utility providers will find 2014 is a year of competition and many changes, but workforce management, enterprise mobility and analytics can help them to meet their challenges and reach their goals.

Image: Tricia

Tags: Developments in Field Service Management, Trends in Enterprise Mobility