By Arun Upadhyay, LionO360
For most businesses, rolling out new technology can not only be a daunting task, but one met with considerable resistance. One technology that often brings opposition is field service management (FSM) software. Specifically, FSM that uses global positioning systems (GPS) to confirm the location and activity of sales and other field representatives.
There are a lot of business benefits for companies that require FSM tracking, including fuel control, route optimization, equipment management, task matching, and improved customer visit efficiencies. Many employees, however, see FSM as an invasion of their privacy and an extreme tool for micro-management. While these sentiments are understandable, if your business and customers both stand to gain from FSM functionality – either directly or through your CRM – then its implementation should be a priority.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for employees to simply get used to it. The following tips can help ease the transition and potential growing pains of rolling out an FSM system.
Objections Should Be Noted
Not surprisingly, this isn’t a tip for your employees, but rather a way for you to gather basic, but important reactions out of the gate. If you have employees who seem to be more vocal with objections and are vehemently opposed to more oversight, then you may want to consider their value as employees. Those who put up a constant battle might be doing so for reasons that are detrimental to the company. You know your employees best, so evaluate these complaints carefully.
Explain The Limits To Oversight
Now that you’ve made it clear that FSM is being implemented, make it clear to your employees that there are limits to how it will be used for oversight. They should understand, for example, that management won’t be using FSM to capture what employees do on their phones. They can take breaks to have conversations with significant others or surf the web in perfect privacy. However, they should know that it’s not advised to utilize a company vehicle to repeatedly travel outside of sales routes or make stops that aren’t customer sites or pertinent to site visits.
Continue To Communicate
Adjusting to change takes time. Simply deploying FSM and not continuing to communicate with employees is a fast-track to resentment and potential backlash. Instead, be empathetic. Remind them that this new technology will help them be more efficient, faster, and will make life easier – which is better for them in the long run. For those who come around to the change sooner, be effusive and show appreciation for their cooperation. And where possible, share results with how the technology has helped them and the business.
Explain The Benefits
Quality FSM apps can do more than supervise employees for the benefit of management. For example, FSM can serve as a reliable source of current data to promptly pay expenses or bonuses based on key performance indicators. The tool also can be leveraged to communicate with the entire team and/or inform staff of announcements, promotions, or important updates to customers. Reps also can use the FSM as a communication vehicle to announce their accomplishments, encouraging others to follow suit.
Getting your team trained on a new FSM is not only paramount to successfully using the application, it also presents yet another opportunity to get them synchronized and bought into the changes. After determining the type and level of training each user needs, you can approach training a few different ways.
There is role-based training for users in relation to their job function, bespoke training or fixed agenda training, and, of course, ongoing training and onboarding for new users. All of these training approaches can be performed in a manner that helps alleviate trepidation associated with deploying new technologies by creating support among the team and its members.
Review And Reward
Now that your FSM is in place, scheduling regular meetings to review the FSM functions, features, or to simply ask for input on how users feel about the new system is a good practice. For those users who are setting positive precedence on adoption consider offering incentives. This type of reward recognition builds value, spurns competition, and increases buy-in – especially among smaller teams.
Change is never easy. If it’s your goal to grow as a business, then chances are it’s going to require change that will be uncomfortable for everyone involved. Applying some of the tips above will help make the move to a beneficial technology easier. Once it’s evident that your FSM is generating gains, you and your employees will wonder why it wasn’t rolled out sooner.
About The Author
Arun Upadhyay is the CEO and Founder of LionO360.