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IFS-mplsystems Discuss The Future of Digital Field Self-Service in Facilities & Repairs

1st June, 2016

As with everything, digital self-service is changing, undergoing multiple advancements on a daily basis. How can the Facilities Management industry also adopt this way of business for the benefit of their customers?

The mobile phone is transforming how customers expect to interact with service organisations. Consumers now expect their enquiries to be answered and problems solved without having to wait in a call centre queue. With the growing dominance of tech savvy generation Y, answering an email within the 24-hour window is now considered as bad customer service; in fact, at least 39% of modern customers now expect a reply within just 4 hours.

Astonishingly, 30% of calls and emails into the field service desks today are simply to check on the status of jobs or to change previously agreed time slots. In an age where information overload is engulfing from the moment one checks their device in the morning, it is not surprising that consumers expect to have the autonomy to manage their own bookings and see all the information possibly available relating to their job.

For businesses to remain competitive then, self-service and automation is an inevitable part of the help desk’s evolution, if it is to provide immediate service whilst simultaneously putting the customer in control. But what are the most effective options? And how can virtual assistants and automated chat be blended with your live agents to offer a true Omni-channel customer experience?

IFS-mplsystems believe that the only long term solution to meeting customer expectations, is providing them with self-service as an alternative channel to help desks, currently driven by emails and phone calls. Their software solution provides a filter feature for the company so that simple enquiries, such as status checks and rescheduling, can be dealt with by automation, whilst seamlessly handling more complex issues in an efficient and professional manner.

For example, if a customer needs to know what time their engineer is due to arrive, they simply type their query into the web chat feature on the company’s website or mobile app. The system then acts as a virtual assistant, cross referencing the customer ID with the engineer assigned to them to deliver the appropriate information. If for some reason, the system cannot locate the ID, it will ask the customer if they are able to provide it. It is due to this level of intelligence that the customers do not realise that they are partaking in an automated chat.

If the request becomes complex or further assistance is required, the query will be passed onto an agent who will be able to read the chat history, as well as view all relevant information related to the customer. The agents then continue with the interaction, thus moving the customer from self to assisted service so seamlessly with no interruption or forcing the customer to repeat. This is the essence of a true Omni-Channel experience and just one example through which response rates can be improved, efficiency increased and customer loyalty ensured within the facilities management industry.

By effortlessly blending online assistants or web chat applications with live agent interaction, not only is the customer able to receive an answer to their query on every occasion, the help desk agents are only having to deal with 1/3 of all customer service enquiries. As a result, agents are able to channel their focus on to more complex customer service enquiries whilst simple, straight forward questions can be answered with automated online assistants. Overall, the customer’s experience is drastically improved, as they have managed to log their request at their convenience and have also avoided sitting in call queues or waiting for emails.

IFS-mplsystems will be hosting a seminar session at the Service Management Expo in June this year to talk further on this topic. The session will look at how the expectations of customer service are changing and the options for service organisations to meet these needs with mobile self-service and other alternative technologies. They will draw on experiences from businesses such as Ecomaster, who offer customer self-service solutions which automatically schedule and dispatch an engineer with no human assistance.


Date: Tuesday 21st June 2016

Location: Field Service Solutions Theatre, Service Management Expo, ExCel London

Time: 14.40 – 15.10

Register Here – please note this show took place in the past. For information on the next show that IFS-mplsystems will be exhibiting at, please sign up to our newsletter.

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