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Take a Field Service Journey

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • List the members of Ursa Major’s service team.
  • Explain how a customer’s request is logged, scheduled, and completed using Field Service.
  • Describe a dispatcher’s main responsibilities.

Ursa Major’s Field Service Team

Ursa Major Solar is a solar energy company based in the southwest of the United States. It sells, installs, and maintains solar energy products. It uses Field Service to connect its workforce, products, and customers on one platform to deliver exceptional on-site service.

Ursa Major has a great field service team ready to go. Let’s meet a few key members.

  • Salesforce admin: Maria Jimenez. She administers Field Service for all field service hubs.
  • Agent: Ada Balewa. She takes customer calls, solves their problems, and creates work orders for installation and repair. At Ursa Major, nobody’s better at that than Ada Balewa.
  • Dispatcher: Jacinta Silva. She’s an experienced and talented dispatcher who manages service appointments and mobile workers for the Los Angeles area. She also jumps in and helps dispatchers in other territories when needed.
  • Mobile worker: James Clifton. He’s an experienced solar system installer. Solar panels, hot water heaters, and complex solar systems—big and small, he’s installed them all. He’s one member of the mobile workforce in Los Angeles, and he’s never without his mobile phone.

Let’s follow Jacinta as she uses the dispatcher console to coordinate her service team and help Ursa Major’s customers.

It’s All About the Customer

Customers are the beginning and end of the field service journey. The journey starts with a customer request and ends with a satisfied customer. But what happens along the way? That’s where Field Service shines.

This quick video shows Field Service in action.

Let’s walk through a customer journey and see how field service works. We use an example from Ursa Major Solar to show how its dispatcher, Jacinta Silva, and its mobile worker, James Clifton, solve a customer problem.

  1. Customer requests a product or service. A customer named Violet Winkle calls Ursa Major Solar. She wants Ursa Major to install a new solar hot water heater at her house right away so she can start saving on her electric bill.
  2. Agent creates a case, work order, and schedules appointments. Ada takes Violet’s call and creates a case. She enters Violet’s information, the job work type (installation), and the start date and end date for installation. Ada adds any additional information needed to the work order, such as Violet’s name and address. She also notes that Violet has a friendly dog. Then, a service appointment is created automatically and the agent makes sure the time works for Violet. Ursa Major also has a self-service portal where customers can schedule their own appointments, but Violet didn’t use it.
  3. Dispatcher dispatches and tracks the appointment, rescheduling if necessary. The service appointment appears in Jacinta’s dispatcher console. The dispatcher console recommends that James Clifton do the installation tomorrow at 1:00 PM. Its recommendation is based on the following.
    • Skills: James has installed solar hot water heaters before, so he has the right skills.
    • Location: James works out of the Los Angeles territory, and that’s where Violet’s house is.
    • Availability: James has a free slot in his schedule tomorrow at 1 PM.
      Jacinta dispatches the appointment to James. She tracks it until it’s complete.
  4. Mobile worker performs the task. James sees the appointment on his mobile phone. He travels to Violet’s house at the appointed time with the required parts and tools. He installs the solar hot water heater. Then, he records his start and end times, photographs the finished installation, and Violet signs off on the work, all on his mobile phone.
  5. The customer is happy. The next day, Violet gives the dog a bath using water heated by the power of the sun.

That’s the process. Jacinta’s role is in the middle: receiving, dispatching, and tracking the order. But that’s only a small part of what she does.

Where Does the Dispatcher Fit In?

Dispatchers like Jacinta are an essential part of a field service team. They help take care of customers who are getting solar equipment installed or serviced and track the mobile workers performing those tasks. On a typical day, a dispatcher has a lot to do.

  • Monitor service appointments in the assigned service area.
  • Reschedule or cancel service appointments.
  • Reassign service appointments to nearby mobile workers when the situation changes.
  • Optimize the schedule based on worker skills, location, availability, and job priority.
  • Keep mobile workers busy by managing their schedules.
  • Coordinate resources, back office, and warehouse services.
  • Dispatch service appointments to third-party contractors and crews and track them to completion.

Much of this work is done by the scheduling engine, but dispatchers monitor everything to make sure that the scheduled plan becomes a reality. How do they do it? By using the magic of the dispatcher console.

Some businesses set up dispatching duties differently than Ursa Major. Designated dispatchers perform some tasks while an admin or a select group of agents perform others. No matter who does the dispatching, the dispatcher console makes these tasks straightforward and—dare we say it—fun.

The dispatcher console includes an appointment list, easy-to-reach scheduling actions, a dynamic Gantt chart, an interactive map, and several other nifty features. Because everyone’s needs are different, it’s also highly customizable. You can customize all kinds of things.

  • The time horizon
  • The dates displayed
  • Gantt and map display preferences
  • Color schemes
  • Data filters

Here’s Jacinta’s dispatcher console, full of mobile workers and appointments. Since you don't work at Ursa Major, yours looks different.

Dispatcher console for Ursa Major.

In this unit, you followed a field service team on their service journey and discovered what a dispatcher does. You even got a quick peek at a dispatcher console designed to help you gather information and update the schedule in as few clicks as possible. Let’s see what Jacinta does with it.