The number of workers who are mobile is quickly growing, in industries ranging from home healthcare, to agriculture, to construction, to hospitality. These deskless employees make deliveries, perform installations, maintain products, and deliver services in customers’ homes, offices, and wherever else they might be.
As the number of deskless and field workers continues to climb, it’s crucial that businesses learn how to manage their mobile workforce effectively, while also creating a great employee experience.
The Benefits of Mobile Workforce Management for Deskless Workers
Optimizing workflows based on the needs of your business, customers, and—of course— employees is crucial. Companies looking to optimize the installation, maintenance, and repair of the products they own or sell, for example, should implement a field service management (FSM) solution to streamline FSM operations and improve the employee experience.
Businesses looking to optimize the customer journey and scheduling process, on the other hand, benefit from investing in mobile workforce management (MWM) tools to improve end-to-end processes. The result is better visibility into their mobile workforces, streamlined optimization of how deskless workers spend their time, enhanced communication, and intelligent, data-driven business insights.
But what effect do these tools have on deskless workers themselves? Here are some ways that mobile workforce management directly benefits your mobile employees:
With the right mobile workforce management solution, deskless workers are always connected to each other, the office and fixed-location employees. At the press of a button, mobile employees can share a status update, let the next customer know they are running behind, or facilitate a last-minute change to the schedule.
With a tool that updates in real-time, deskless workers are never left in the dark about their next appointment. Plus, they can access customer histories before arrival, so they are always prepared to deliver excellent service. Instead of trading emails and phone calls about who’s doing what and when, mobile workforce management software simplifies and streamlines the process. Further, a unified mobile workforce management solution helps workers feel more a part of the company. 80% of remote workers report that they are more likely to feel excluded than in-office employees. Nurturing inclusion with an easy way for coworkers to communicate is vital to ensuring workers feel valued and want to stay with the organization.
Increases Productivity and Allows More Time With Customers
The manual, back-and-forth methods of the past can be frustrating and time-consuming for the modern workforce. A strong mobile workforce management platform automates routine tasks, such as scheduling, filling out timesheets, copying down job notes, collecting contactless signatures, and gathering other field data from customers. This helps mobile workers complete their work faster and paperlessly—which in turn gives your workers more time to spend with customers.
Before implementing a mobile workforce management solution, Easterseals Bay Area used a large and elaborate spreadsheet to track complex scheduling needs. Office workers and mobile employees were constantly playing phone tag to keep each other informed. But when the organization implemented a mobile workforce management solution, they were able to:
- More easily match workers with the right skill set to the right customers
- Alleviate frustrations related to chasing down information
- Inject more predictability into the scheduling process
- Retire many archaic, time-consuming spreadsheets
- Provide significantly more real-time notifications
- Decrease time-to-appointment
- Keep more scheduled appointments
The result? A tremendous reduction in stress for the staff scheduling team and more efficient deskless workers. The mobile workforce management system ultimately allowed workers to spend more time meaningfully interacting with customers, which improves the employee experience.
Increases Job Satisfaction and Employee Retention
Your valued employees are your best assets, and replacing them is costly. This is why it’s important to give your mobile workers the tools they need to get the job done.
That’s where mobile workforce management steps in. A good MWM system helps improve the employee experience by keeping histories updated with the latest information, including nuanced customer preferences that help staff respond in a customized way to customer needs. Feeling effective, connected, and supported helps give workers a sense of impact and engagement. In turn, this builds employee satisfaction and retention.
An engaged workforce brings many benefits, and the statistics speak to it:
- Teams with high levels of engagement show 21% greater profitability.
- When employees feel recognized, they’re 4.6 times more inclined to perform at their best.
- 96% of workers believe that offering workers empathy advances employee retention.
- Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion per year.
An excellent mobile workforce platform arms deskless workers with the tools they need in one powerful, easy-to-use interface. When workers need forms, contracts, job details, schedules, and seamless communication, it’s all at their fingertips. Thus, job satisfaction, employee engagement, and employee retention all soar.
Enables Worker Autonomy
For deskless workers, another driving factor of employee satisfaction is their ability to be autonomous in their day-to-day work. A field sales representative’s typical day, for instance, probably requires them to move from one appointment to the next, which can be burdensome if their schedule is structured by someone else. But if they have the tools that provide them with a high degree of autonomy, they can better structure their day to suit their needs and—just as importantly—the needs of their customers.
Organizations, on the other hand, need to maintain a certain level of control and visibility over their deskless workforce to ensure proper service delivery, location tracking, open lines of communication, and accurate capacity management. This can be difficult if you have multiple workers in the field who are using their own tools for communication, data collection, time tracking, routing, and more.
But enabling autonomy for deskless workers can also be an opportunity to boost productivity and satisfaction, as most employees prefer flexibility over rigid, highly-structured schedules. Modern mobile workforce management software offers technology that supports a healthy balance of authority and autonomy, with mobile tools that put the power of success in the employees’ hands. If you equip mobile workers with an app they love to use (connected to systems that have all the right company and customer data, and easy access to support staff, as needed) they can go forth and do their best work on behalf of the company.
Builds Brand Loyalty
In a highly competitive market, the organization that builds brand loyalty is the one that consistently supports staff in delivering value to their customers—value in the form of improved experience and superior outcomes. Mobile workers play a significant role in driving both, which drives a virtuous cycle.
This is why it pays to create a work environment that empowers deskless workers with the tools they need to succeed.. Satisfied employees who find their jobs rewarding are more likely to provide thoughtful, attentive customer service. When workers are prepared with the information, equipment, and systems required to better serve and satisfy customers, the company reaps the benefits of increased brand loyalty and improved business outcomes.
Area Wide Protection (AWP) is another example of a company that successfully used mobile workforce management software to empower staff to drive customer loyalty.. With over 5,000 employees, the commercial security company was struggling with the inefficiencies of a manual scheduling process, which hindered their ability to provide consistently high-quality service. Implementing a mobile workforce management platform helped them increase scheduling and dispatching efficiency by over 86%.
Just as importantly, the MWM solution allowed their deskless workers to:
- Arrive fully prepared for the job ahead, with access to appointment details and customer histories—a confidence-booster for both mobile workers and clients
- Quickly receive appointment confirmations and specific appointment times
- Get reliably matched to assignments requiring their combination of skills, certifications, and more.
- Quickly and efficiently produce accurate invoices for customers
Decreases Travel Time
Optimized travel routes help employees spend less time on the road. This prevents late arrivals, the need to reschedule, and—in turn— reduces customer inconvenience and frustration. Plus, mobile workers aren’t rushed just trying to get each job done, enabling them to treat each customer interaction with uncompromised care.
With a good mobile workforce management platform, your deskless workers receive optimized, updated routes in one centralized app, reducing stress, travel expenses, and downtime. This saved time means workers have more time to focus on quality customer service and increase customer satisfaction.
Enhances Agility with Real-Time Schedule Updates
Because robust mobile workforce management tools provide schedule updates in real time, deskless workers are spared from showing up for last-minute cancellations. Furthermore, they can be alerted when a nearby coworker needs support, or when a job is running long and another worker needs to take over the next appointment. This can significantly enhance your ability to respond in an agile way to circumstances that shift continually, enhance operational efficiency, and help you maintain your competitive edge.
Mobile Workforce Management Improves Work Conditions and Business Outcomes
Today, there’s a growing awareness of the needs of deskless workers. Companies who support their mobile employees with modern solutions reap the benefits of improved customer service, productivity, efficiency, and competitive drive.
With Skedulo’s intelligent mobile workforce management platform, deskless workers can communicate seamlessly, build brand loyalty and excellent customer service, increase productivity and efficiency, and nurture job satisfaction. The result is an engaged mobile workforce driven by a better employee experience to provide stellar service.
Learn more about how to choose the right mobile workforce management solution for your business, or, book a demo today!