The reporting of breakdowns and faults is one of the most difficult forms of contact with a customer. The necessity to take rapid action, calm down the customer, ensure professional maintenance and repair services by a competent specialist… all this means that good will is not enough to carry out the entire repair process quickly and efficiently. During a breakdown it often happens that an emotionally charged customer scrupulously observes and analyses the supplier’s actions related to a repair, looking for an opportunity to report a complaint or claim and even to terminate an agreement. SAP Field Service Management changes that, turning obstacles into business opportunities.

However, the process of reporting a breakdown and the repair process can be simple, and the negative emotions which sometimes accompany it can be maintained at the minimum possible level. It is sufficient to provide a customer with the chance of selecting the form of contact, to let him/her determine the repair deadline, to maximally shorten the time of waiting for a visit and the repair time, sending an appropriate technician from the nearest possible location. This is possible with SAP Field Service Management. Below we show how SAP FSM helps to maximally simplify and accelerate the service request and repair process even in the most difficult situations.

Firstly: take by surprise positively

Contact via helpline or sending an email are the most frequent forms of reporting a breakdown. For both options, the first thought which accompanies them is the long time waiting for the first reaction, i.e. acceptance of the request. Placing the QR code near the rented device, with a description such as “Scan to receive technical support”, allows one to take a customer by positive surprise right from the first stage of contact with service staff. By scanning the QR code, the customer is conveyed to a platform where, with a properly programmed chatbot, he/she can determine the type of fault, form of contact with a serviceman, method of repair and time of visit. Everything in the same time in which another customer would be still waiting for connection with a consultant…

To make the chatbot effective, it is necessary to prepare a map with service processes very accurately, taking account of the method of repair, its time as well as possible types of faults for all devices serviced by the company. If in the case of certain breakdowns, instead of waiting for a technician’s help, the customer can solve the problem on his/her own, it’s worth making this possible. A well-developed process not only provides the company with a benefit in the form of automation of customer contact; it also relieves the helpline and field staff, optimizing the cost of repairs.

Secondly: professionalism at an appropriate level

In submitting a service request, a customer expects understanding and information. He/she wants to know at what stage of the repair process they are and wants to be informed in the case of unexpected situations. The platform or SAP FSM application given to a customer for use shows the current status of an order, enables review of its details, allowing them to make contact and complete/change data pertaining to the state of a device, its location or repair time. Without the necessity to call or send e-mails to an anonymous telephone number or e-mail address, as often happens.

On the other hand, the comprehensible overview, understandable messages, photos of devices which are the subject of breakdown and pictorial instructions make the customer feel cared for. The SAP FSM enables companies providing maintenance and repair services to “step into the customer’s shoes” in line with the principles of Customer Experience, and the platform handed over to the customer for use has been designed according to the User Experience guidelines.

Thirdly: show a customer how important he/she is

Online anonymity is a condition desired by the majority of people; however, it’s a different story in situations which require quick service repairs. SAP FSM perfectly meets the GDPR requirements. On the other hand however, while submitting a service request, the application does not ask about obvious issues or those to which it can find an answer on its own. Neither does it order one to repeat data once provided. The QR code placed on a given device contains information about the type of machine, possible faults and location. The application also remembers the history of repairs and contains data on the warranty and instructions. The same information is sent to the field serviceman who is assigned with a repair order: information on the reported breakdown, the device’s history or data on replaced parts are available in the application. Thus, he/she will not ask about information given earlier at the stage of reporting a fault.

Fourthly: continue the first good impression

Quick and efficient acceptance of a service request is not the end of the “wow” effect offered by SAP FSM. The first good impression will be continued during a serviceman’s visit, equipped with his/her own application with previously given data. It is obvious that the serviceman’s application may include the warranty card and device operation/repair manual. Another advantage of SAP FSM is that it can propose an appropriate serviceman who best meets the criteria of a given breakdown or the customer’s requirements. The SAP FSM solution gives the possibility of describing each serviceman by tagging his/her competences pertaining to their command of foreign languages, specialization, region of operation, possessed spare parts, number of waiting orders and even the travel time to a customer. And this is not the end of the surprises. One of the tools made accessible by SAP Field Service Management is Crowd Service, a platform whose operating principle is similar to Uber, where orders can be taken by servicemen operating in the field.

… and what about a repair without a request?

Thanks to IoT, SAP FSM not only offers the possibility of carrying out a remote repair using access to the Internet. Faults can also be detected automatically, upon their occurrence, or predicted, e.g. due to intensive exploitation of a device or its poorer efficiency. Then if a given situation requires a serviceman’s visit, e.g. due to the necessity to replace parts, the serviceman may be called before the problem occurs, so that the customer is not surprised by a sudden breakdown.