Field force management is one of the early adopters of mobile communication technology—from handheld phones to smartphones. As businesses continue to demand more flexibility and accessibility, innovation does not stop there. So you better keep an eye out for what is in store this 2021 and beyond.
With that, here are some of the emerging trends in 2021 that will affect your field force and how you can prepare for them.
1. Wide-spread use of cloud technology
Field service requires mobility and flexibility for their operations. Hence, they will also need tools that can move around with them. This is where cloud computing comes in. With this type of technology, your employees have access to communication apps and other business-related software from their own devices. This allows them to work effectively and efficiently at any time and anywhere.
2021 will see widespread adoption of cloud technology in small businesses from large enterprises. It also goes in line with the employee engagement trends 2021. With real-time communication and collaboration, you can boost engagement with both your desk and non-desk workers. From cloud storage, Software as Service (SaaS), and web-based software, your force field workers can benefit from its flexibility and mobility. It gives them easy and instant access to the tools and data instead of going back to the office for it.
2. Focus on customer experience
Field force management tools can become a powerful strategy in improving customer experience and satisfaction. You can use it to collect data and information to find out if a particular field or market is feasible for the company to invest in. Hence, many businesses have started using it as a primary tool for research and analysis.
Businesses nowadays recognize the importance of field force workers in boosting customer experience. Hence, one of theworkforce trends 2021 is training field employees to improve their interactions with customers. Moreover, businesses are constantly on the lookout for tools that can increase their efficiency and effectiveness in the field. You might also need softwares that can streamline communications with customers and boost visibility. These tools will allow your field workers to collaborate with your customers in resolving issues and improving your customer service.
3. Adoption of Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining momentum as devices and appliances become smarter and more sophisticated. In fact, a recent report said that the demand for the IoT will reach 487.30 billion by 2024. This shows an 18% increase in the coming years as businesses recognize its usefulness in field force management.
IoT basically connects all devices or even appliances to the internet. From smartphones to headphones to cars, all these things can be accessed by connecting online. Field force workers can take advantage of this trend by using smart devices with self-diagnostics functions to monitor and maintain services remotely. This makes it easier for them to react quickly before certain issues get out of hand.
4. Rise of wearable technology
With the pressures for increased flexibility and accessibility, the wearable technology trend is emerging. One great example is a smartwatch that acts both as a wristwatch and a smart device, which is useful for field workers who are always on the go.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the demand for wearable technology will increase by 17% in the coming years. Just as how the field force helped popularize mobile communication devices into the mainstream, it can also do the same for wearable technology. The nature of their work will allow them to fully appreciate the portability and convenience of wearable technology. For example, instead of bringing a bulky laptop into the field, they can simply use a smartwatch to accomplish certain tasks such as sending emails, downloading and uploading files, updating databases, and more.
5. Multi-platform optimization
The technological landscape is fickle. New devices are always right around the corner. Hence, you should make sure that all your field workers’ tools and software are accessible to all kinds of platforms—from smartphones, laptops, tablets, and even smartwatches.
One good example is your team’s communication channels. Instead of using emails, traditional phone calls, or SMS messages, you should consider using a team communication app for your field workers. This way, your workers can access the same conversation across different platforms. This makes it easier to carry over the same discussions from one device to another without having to start over an entire interaction with a client or employee.
6. Boost cybersecurity
In the race for full digital transformation, more businesses have also become reliant on the internet. This makes them vulnerable to potential cyberattacks such as hacking, phishing, scams, and more. Hence, many are investing in security tools and solutions to protect their business and customers. This way, even those without a computer science and computer engineering degree can properly secure all their business data and communications.
This is important for field force management especially since your field workers rely on the internet more than ever. They use it for communications, to share and retrieve data, and use the tools they need to perform their tasks. And since they often work outside the office, they might go beyond the reach of your security networks, making them even more vulnerable to attacks compared to desk workers. So you should add extra layers of protection in their devices and software to keep your employees, business, and customers safe. You can add a multi-factor verification process for logins, fingerprint scans, voice recognitions, and more.
7. Leverage data and analytics
As competition grows tighter in the market, businesses are becoming more and more data-driven. This gives them insights into the feasibility and probability of certain scenarios in the industry and market. Hence, the majority are investing in reliable and advanced analytical tools with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Since field force works in the field, they have direct access to raw data such as customer information, preferences, and satisfaction. More than that, they can witness and experience firsthand how your services or product are performing. You can then use this information to create more data-driven decisions and smarter strategies for your business. For example, you can mine critical data from all the communication channels they use for their operations. This includes their emails, social media, SMS messages, and other communication apps. Likewise, you can gain other insights such as route optimization, field inventory optimization, and even employment trends 2021.
Power to the field force
Field force management’s mobility makes it one of the pioneers for technological innovations and advancements. From communication apps, softwares, and devices, you must always keep an eye out on the latest technologies you can use to empower your field force. You should also check out the emerging HR trends 2021to find out how you can form a powerhouse field force team for your business.
The future of field force seems bright as technology continues to flourish. Likewise, more businesses are starting to recognize its critical role in leveraging data and analytics for the company. This gives you the needed information to adapt to the changing times and customer demands. So get on with the times and check out these latest trends in field force management. You can also check out softwares like NuovoTeam to improve your team communication and collaboration.
As an employee app, It helps organizations monitor their field force as well as their non-desk workers. NuovoTeam allows non-desk employees to communicate and collaborate with each other, notwithstanding their locations. Organizations can monitor employee productivity, their location, clock-in and clock-out times, track, work status, assigned tasks, etc.
Additionally, organizations can avail a unified contact management process and communicate across teams and geographies with instant messaging, VoIP calling, video calling, Push to Talk and group chats.
Organizations with Non-Desk and Frontline Workers across Logistics & Transport, Construction, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Remote Teams, First Responders and Oil & Gas Industry can use NuovoTeam.
Make Team Communication Easy,
Simple & Accessible to Your Non-Desk
Renuka Shahane is a Sr. Content Writer at Scalefusion. An engineering graduate, an Apple junkie and an avid reader, she has a 5+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for technology and web based startups.