CRM and FSM must work together. Why? Because together they give your business a 360 Degree view of your customer and that enables you to improve your customer service—and grow your bottom line.
There are two important applications within an enterprise software suite—Field Service Management and Customer Relationship Management— that can no longer afford to exist in separate siloes.
There is now a strong argument for integrating field service management software with CRM. Both use customer information. Integrating the two will ensure that customer needs are meet and service expectations can be addressed whether customers interact with the CRM or a field service technician. And the good news is, it is possible. Let’s look how.
Different functions, same objectives – customer service
While both are important for servicing customers, they do address different needs. CRM is designed to manage the customer experience, a field service solution such as IFS Field Service Management offers a different set of functionalities aimed at ensuring customers can be served successfully—and profitably—in the field.
Dispatch and service scheduling, issuing and recording completion of work orders, contract management, service inventory, warranty management, as well as reverse logistics and service billing. These are important functions needed to deliver a high degree of visibility and connectivity in the field—and ultimately provide a superior and more efficient service. Even when a CRM package has some basic field service capabilities it cannot enable a company to deliver all these functions.
The value of a combined view
Bringing together the power of FSM and CRM improves customer service and increases revenue. Arming sales teams with visibility into the products and services used by a customer helps them identify opportunities for renewals of contracts and extended warranties, reproduce replacements, and make cross-sells and up-sells.
When a sales rep can access the CRM and see what service has been performed on a customer’s equipment, they can use information such as frequency of service, cost of service and parts and maybe even predicative analytics to record a potential sales opportunity and make a business case to the customer. Alternatively, a field service technician may learn the site they are visiting is expanding and be in a position to log a new sales opportunity for additional equipment or services.
Bringing it all together
Service-centric companies deliver a better experience when a customer’s contact knows about recent conversations, transactions, service calls, open issues, customer-specific requirements and correspondence—regardless of whether a customer deals with the service department or the sales department. But integrations can increase solution expense and complexity, so standard integrations that easily accommodate your unique solution set are extremely valuable.
This is why IFS has used its integration architecture—IFS Connect— to create standard, but configurable, integrations to both Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CRM and Salesforce Sales Cloud.
This streamlined approach to integration also increases enterprise agility. As the way you do business changes and those changes are reflected in Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CRM or in IFS Field Service Management, the integration can change with you without custom programming or external consulting fees.
A unified view of sales
Field service management software should not be an island unto itself and should extend other enterprise software including CRM and ERP. The enhanced visibility into a customer you get from a high-quality enterprise solution means more sales opportunities, better sales performance, and a better bottom line. Closing the communication gap and eliminating the disconnect between your sales and service teams is the first step. For a deeper dive into how and why to integrate field service management with CRM and how it can ensure a customer’s needs and expectations are met download this whitepaper.
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