Field Force Management: Key To Efficiency Of Businesses

By Rahul Agarwal, CTO, Policybazaar.com

Field Force Management: Key To Efficiency Of BusinessesWith the onset of the digital revolution, B2C businesses are witnessing a rapid transformation in consumer behaviour and their expectations. I find the modern age consumer to be more informed and willing to pay for the services rendered. The combination of both augurs well for the bottom line of businesses.It presents an opportunity for growth and also possesses a uniquechallenge for businesses because consumers no longer want to settle for mediocrity, particularly in an era where alternate avenues are available in plenty. Thus, the only way to ensure consumer retention is raising the bar of consumer centricity by moving away from traditional means and adopting technologies that enable an effective field force management.

The Prevailing Consumer Scenario

Options in cornucopia and querulousness are two words that resonate with today’s consumer. Even though you will concur with my take on the consumers being spoilt for choices, those who disagree about them being impatient should consider the following stats. According to a Forbes report analyzing customer behaviour, 92 percent of consumers would stop using the services of business after less than three poor service experience, 26 percent of them would stop after one bad experience and 59 percent of the consumers indicated that they want to be treated as individuals. On the payment side, the report states that 68 percent would pay more to the company that provides great service and 8 percent would be willing to pay over 20 percent more if the service was great. These figures clearly allow us to draw two derivatives. First being the kind of services today’s consumer demands and other being the need to offer personalized services. Both of which depend on the efficiency of the field workforce of the business, particularly those that depend on providing onsite interaction.

"As we head towards automation through AI and other technologies, the success of the mobile apps in augmenting the capacities of field force management will depend on how enterprise resource planning and business intelligence can be integrated with client relationship management solution"

Let’s take a look at how mobile applications are increasingly opening new avenues for businesses in empowering its field force resulting in a seamless experience for its consumers.

Understanding Consumer Behaviour is The Key Differentiator for Businesses

In today’s competitive era where multiple businesses offer similar deals to consumers within a uniform price range, I believe that consumer centric services have emerged as a key differentiator between a successful business and a not so prosperous one. By utilizing the data insights provided by mobile applications, one can track the online activities they indulge, the webpages they like to visit and the links they click. The amalgamation these factors allows a holistic analysis of their preferences and behaviour that enables organizations to empower their field force in conceiving a more personalized need based pitch for them, which translates into high levels of customer centric offerings, consequently resulting in more efficient work force and a happy set of consumers.

Provides a window for the management to be with the field force at all times

Mobile applications of the day allow live geotracking. The feature allows the management to track the activities of with their field workforce at all times without being present physically at all times. Not only do these apps enable the management to track what the employees in the field are doing but also affords the opportunity to the management to be updated about the results of the meeting, the time taken by employees to reach the consumer and also share information requested by the employee in the filed for addressing consumer queries more effectively; thus allowing the decision makers to have a 360 degree view of activities taking place on the ground. Furthermore, a thorough analysis of these activities equips the management to devise realistic targeting setting for the field force staff, which otherwise may not necessarily happen.

Eliminates the need for manual dispatchers for passing instructions to your filed workers

Businesses often pass instructions to their field force using traditional tools like telecalling. The traditional methodology could be exercised for variegated purposes. It could be for something as basic as passing instructions to the field worker regarding the next lead or sharing information relevant to the upcoming pitch. These traditional methodologies are time-consuming and require a human presence. However, new applications that have come into force pass automated instructions to the field worker, which not only reduces administrative costs but also eliminates the possibility of human error while sharing information.

The Way Forward: Integration Hold the Key

For any tech to be successful, seamless integration with pre existing practices holds the key. I believe that as we head towards automation through AI and other technologies, the success of the mobile apps in augmenting the capacities of field force management will depend on how enterprise resource planning and business intelligence can be integrated with client relationship management solution.

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