Field service owners may confuse customer relationship management and field service management, but these two systems are very much separate.
While customer relationship management (CRM) helps store customer data and convert a qualified sales lead into a customer, field service management (FSM) covers the after-sale process. FSM helps businesses manage their team of field technicians and ensure quality service.
What is Customer Relationship Management?
Customer Relationship Management software helps manage all of a business’s interactions and relations with potential and current customers. A CRM system allows companies to streamline processes, connect to customers in a more meaningful way, and improve profitability.
Typically this software collects and analyzes data during a client’s account lifecycle. It helps companies learn more about their customers to better tailor solutions that fit their needs. Operationally, it can automate the marketing, service processes, and sales aspects of a business to improve customer retention and productivity.
How a CRM System Can Help You
A CRM platform compiles data from any interaction through various mediums, such as phone calls, company website interactions, social media, email, chat, and marketing collateral. The CRM platform then stores and organizes every potential and existing customer’s personal information, consumer profile, and preferences. In 2013, Salesforce reported that companies that have successfully incorporated CRM systems saw sales increase by an average of 29% and improved sales forecast accuracy by about 42%.
Here are the main ways in which a CRM system can specifically benefit your company:
- Sales Automation — A CRM tool can cover the complete sales cycle, from prospecting to sale to customer onboarding. It will track sales activities and communications to see all of a contact’s touchpoints made and enable appropriate and timely follow-ups.
- Marketing Automation — The goal of marketing is to increase brand or product awareness and generate high-quality sales leads. A CRM system can automatically send out promotional materials and proposals and post them on social media sites or company websites.
- Collaboration Tool — A CRM system invites collaboration by enabling outside parties and other team members to share their input. Outside parties may include distributors, suppliers, and agents.
- Analyze Data — A CRM platform also compiles and analyzes data so that users can make informed decisions about their sales and marketing strategies. For example, you can record sales calls to see how your sales team is performing. Or you can view and compare the conversion rates of your promotional materials.
- Workflow Automation — CRM software can streamline repetitive and mechanical tasks that are time-consuming, such as dialing a phone number and manually typing introduction emails. Automating these tasks frees up your employees to focus on tasks that require more attention and skill.
- Service Automation — Your team can significantly automate customer support through the use of a CRM system. Users can store FAQ templates, how-to’s, and knowledge portals.
- Data Platform — A CRM system serves as an all-in-one platform that stores all customer information, such as lead generation, customer management, and internal processes.
What is Field Service Management?
Field service management refers to the process of managing a company’s resources, such as its equipment and employees, through the use of a cloud-based platform. Examples of tasks that field service management entails are ensuring driver safety, dispatching and scheduling jobs, managing worker activity, locating vehicles, tracking inventory, and billing. Field service technicians are skilled or specialized workers sent to specific locations to repair, install, or maintain systems and equipment.
Many moving parts need to be kept in line within a service-based business. Proper management helps technicians complete their job more efficiently. In fact, of the companies that have made the switch to an FSM system, 79% could take on more visits, and 90% won more customers with their quotes.