The essential guide to field service software that boosts productivity

Fraser Doig 03 May 2024

Empowering your field service heroes

Picture this: your field service technicians, the unsung heroes of your business, are out there every day, face-to-face with your customers. They're not just fixing machines; they're building relationships. In fact, Forrester once declared that customer interactions with field service employees are the most personal channel for customer engagement. It's no exaggeration to say that these interactions can make or break your business. 

So, how do you ensure that your field service heroes have the power they need to save the day, every time? The answer is simple: give them access to top-notch, reliable documentation, no matter where they are in the world. Imagine your technicians being able to find the information they need at the snap of a finger, whether they're in the middle of a bustling city or out in the remote wilderness. 

By empowering your technicians with the right tools and information, you're not just improving their efficiency; you're boosting your business's key metrics. With better access to documentation, your team can dramatically improve mean time to repair (MTTR) and first-time fix rates (FTFR). 

In this blog post, we'll dive into the world of field service documentation and explore how you can equip your technicians with the tools they need to be the heroes your customers deserve.

Core challenges faced in the field services sector

For industries such as manufacturing, high tech, healthcare, or any industry that relies on complex machinery to operate, reliable field service documentation is a vital part of its operation. The sector faces several unique challenges that can have a severe impact on operational efficiency and customer satisfaction if they aren’t managed effectively. Service technicians and field workers encounter complexities daily, whether it’s managing installation, repair or maintenance tasks, handling technical information, or attempting to ensure seamless communication. To overcome these complexities, field service technicians must be able to easily access and find the information they need quickly, wherever they are and on whatever device they use. However, this in itself causes many unique challenges: 

Managing complex technical information: 

Field service operations involve handling a vast array of technical information, such as manuals, specifications, safety guidelines, and troubleshooting procedures. Maintaining and organizing this information can be challenging, especially when multiple sources and document versions are involved. When this information is inaccurate, not up-to-date and difficult to access, field service technicians will struggle to perform tasks efficiently and be more prone to error. 

Ensuring consistency and standardization: 

In field services, consistency and standardization play a crucial role, particularly when multiple technicians are working on similar tasks or across different locations. When documentation is inconsistent, scattered and not controlled, confusion takes over and mistakes are made. 

Real-time collaboration and communication: 

No technician is an island. Field service technicians often encounter situations where they require real-time collaboration and communication with remote teams or subject matter experts. If they are unable to gain easy access to their guidance and expertise, they may be unable to resolve complex issues, severely impacting service delivery and customer satisfaction. 

Adapting to rapid technological changes: 

The field services sector operates in an environment of rapid technological advancements. New products, upgrades, and changing processes demand constant updates to technical documentation. If organizations are slow to make these changes, documentation can rapidly become inaccurate. Failure to keep up with evolving technologies can result in delays, errors, and decreased productivity. In fact, 37% of field service management professionals struggle with change management and user adoption of new technologies, highlighting the importance of timely and effective documentation updates. 

Mobile enablement and offline access: 

Field service technicians often work in remote locations with limited or no network connectivity. They require access to critical information, even in offline mode, to perform their tasks efficiently and provide uninterrupted service. Mobile enablement and offline access solutions are essential for field workers to access documentation, manuals, and troubleshooting procedures on their smartphones or tablets, regardless of their location or network availability. 

For each of these challenges, field services teams can find answers in field service software. Specialist tools exist to help with an abundance of areas and can readily assist field service teams looking to increase productivity, reduce costs, plug the widening skills gap and exceed their KPIs. In the following sections, we will explore a number of solutions and best practices to overcome these challenges and enhance performance in the field services sector.

Key field service software solutions for productivity

If you’re in charge of field services at your organization, improving productivity is likely to be number one on your priority list. And whether your operation is small or large, your ability to deliver on customer expectations and maintain service levels is dictated by how effective your use of technology is. There are a vast number of field service software tools on the market today, so it is imperative that organizations consider their specific needs before they look into what type of field service software they require. 

77% of field service organizations invest in technology geared towards information enablement. For organizations that want to boost field service productivity by making information easier to find, more accurate and easier to access, we will examine three indispensable field service software solutions that offer a better way to create, manage and deliver field service content to those that need it. 

Knowledge management 

Knowledge management is the application of capturing, organizing and sharing critical information and best practices within field service organizations. It provides a centralized repository for storing technical documentation, manuals, troubleshooting guides, and other relevant resources. 

Use cases 

For field service technicians, knowledge management allows them to: 

  • Access up-to-date technical documentation for reference in the field, improving efficiency in problem resolution and reducing service time. 
  • Collaborate remotely with subject matter experts to seek guidance, share real-time updates, and even receive visual instructions using video or augmented reality features, enhancing first-time fix rates and minimizing repeat visits. 
  • Achieve continuous learning and training, with access to training materials, e-learning modules, and certification programs so that technicians can enhance their skills, stay updated with the latest industry knowledge, and improve their overall competency, streamlining technician training and onboarding for faster proficiency. 

For service managers, knowledge management provides: 

  • Assurances that technical information is always accurate and available to team members, enabling consistent service delivery with standardized processes and up-to-date information. 
  • Standardized service processes across the team, ensuring consistency in service delivery and higher customer satisfaction through prompt and effective solutions. 
  • Continual improvement of core KPIs such as First Time Fix Rate (FTFR) and Mean Time To Repair (MTTR), thanks to accurate, up-to-date service content through a centralized platform for a 'single source of truth'. 
  • A solution to bridging the knowledge gap between new starters and experienced service staff by securing their knowledge in a central repository and providing an outlet to quickly train new colleagues, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing among technicians for continuous learning and improvement. 

For the technical authors and subject matter experts creating the manuals, guides and catalogues accessed by field services, knowledge management: 

  • Offers a centralized space to create, manage and deliver field service content consistently, enabling greater self-service capabilities. 
  • Provides accountability and traceability of field service information via workflows, audit trails and version management, facilitating proactive maintenance and predictive insights to minimize downtime. 
  • Streamlines communication and real-time updates for smoother operation. 

Intelligent search 

Intelligent search refers to the utilization of advanced search algorithms and natural language processing to enable fast and accurate retrieval of information from large amounts of data. Here at Tridion, we call this ‘semantic’ search, because it simulates a human-like understanding of search terms to give searchers more accurate results that are much better aligned with what they were actually looking for. 

Use cases 

For field service technicians, semantic search: 

  • Helps find relevant documentation much quicker than traditional search methods. By entering natural language queries or keywords related to the problem they are facing, an intelligent search platform can understand the context and retrieve the most relevant documents intuitively, improving efficiency for technicians by quickly accessing relevant information. 
  • Helps decode the complexity behind difficult or uncommon problems. Semantic search can help technicians find solutions by understanding the intent behind their search queries and providing relevant results even if the exact keywords are not used. This allows technicians to explore different approaches, learn from similar cases, and access knowledge that may not be explicitly documented, eliminating information silos. 
  • Provides contextual recommendations to field service technicians based on their search queries or the type of problem they are facing, suggesting related documents, helping connect them to relevant experts, or locating specific troubleshooting steps to follow. 
  • Understands and processes queries in different languages, enabling technicians to find the information they need, regardless of the language used, making it optimized for multilingual search. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers try to resolve their issues themselves before reaching out to a service representative. When combined with knowledge management capabilities, intelligent search delivers excellent self-service use cases for customers: 

  • With a semantic search engine, customers can find answers to their questions easily on their own. It enables customers to find detailed product information, specifications, user manuals, and FAQs without having to dig through reams of irrelevant information first, leading to greater customer satisfaction through enhanced self-service. 
  • Whether they are looking for specific features, compatibility information, or usage guidelines, the system can understand their queries and retrieve the most relevant and accurate information, providing more accurate and contextually relevant search results. 
  • As they type, customers receive concept-based suggestions for topics that are semantically related to their search terms, enriching content and knowledge management capabilities. 
  • Their searches can also be dynamically filtered to make it quicker and easier to find the most relevant information. 

For service managers, intelligent search can: 

  • Save both time and money by streamlining operations and optimizing processes. 
  • Improve decision-making and encourage greater employee productivity by providing more efficient and effective information findability. 
  • Unlock greater potential for more advanced conversational interfaces, such as chatbots, for an even more streamlined experience. 

Mobile and multi-channel access 

Mobile and multi-channel access to information is a crucial aspect to field service operations in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing work environment. It means that field service professionals can access relevant data and resources anytime and anywhere through their mobile devices, enabling them to efficiently perform their tasks, troubleshoot issues, and communicate with customers or colleagues through various channels for enhanced productivity and customer service. 

Use cases 

For field service technicians, mobility tools can: 

  • Allow field service technicians to access relevant information directly from their smartphones or tablets, providing quicker and easier access to critical information. 
  • Enable collaboration in real-time with colleagues and subject matter experts wherever they are, through chat, video platforms or AR overlays, leading to advanced collaboration and communication. 
  • Allow field service technicians to operate in remote areas with low or no connectivity, giving them access to critical knowledge resources, resulting in better response time. 

For service managers, mobile devices can: 

  • Enable them to efficiently manage their workforce and assign and reassign service tasks based on technician availability, skills, or proximity to customer locations. 
  • Receive real-time visibility into field service operations. 
  • Enable on the job learning and training, which speeds up proficiency and closes the skills gap. 

Incorporating field service software solutions is essential for optimizing field service operations. However, to truly unleash their full potential, organizations need a strong foundation that ties these solutions together seamlessly. 

This foundation lies in structured content. Structured content acts as the key that unlocks the true power of field service software, enabling efficient data management, streamlined processes, and enhanced user experiences. By adopting a structured content approach, organizations can effectively organize, categorize, and manage their content components, providing a solid framework for field service software solutions to operate upon. Whether it's knowledge management, intelligent search, or mobile and multi-channel, structured content serves as the linchpin that maximizes their capabilities. In the following sections, we will delve into how structured content harmonizes with field service software, enabling organizations to achieve operational excellence and drive superior field service performance.

Structured content management for field service software and productivity

It’s all well and good implementing field service software that will help you centralize and classify your field service content. But that‘s just the first step in creating a single source of truth that technicians can trust. To truly get the most out of your field service content and maximize your field service software ROI, the answer lies in structured content. 

In the field services industry, organizations often deal with unstructured content. This refers to content that consists of diverse data types and is stored in its original format, making it challenging to effectively organize, search, and repurpose. Imagine having a mix of documents, images, videos, and spreadsheets scattered across different folders and file types, making it difficult to find the specific information needed in a timely manner. 

Structured content, on the other hand, provides a solution to this problem. It involves organizing information in a systematic and standardized manner, making it easy to process, search, and reuse. Think of structured content as breaking down information into smaller, meaningful chunks or "content components." These components act as building blocks that can be classified and categorized based on their attributes. 

For example, let's say a field service technician needs access to product specifications, troubleshooting guides, and safety procedures. With unstructured content, these documents might be stored separately and in various file formats, requiring manual effort to locate each one. However, with structured content, these pieces of information are organized and tagged as individual content components with specific attributes (called metadata), such as title, description, and keywords. The technician can then easily search for and retrieve the relevant components, regardless of the document format or location. 

In the realm of field services, adopting structured content enables organizations to make considerable improvements in their ability to provide accurate and consistent information to technicians, engineers, and other professionals who work on-site. 

How structured content can be leveraged by field services: 

Information findability and accessibility 

By leveraging structured content, field service professionals can effortlessly locate and access relevant information, thanks to its organized and tagged nature, enabling them to swiftly find the specific details and resources they need to effectively address service challenges, make informed decisions, and enhance their overall performance in the field. 

Governance and compliance

Structured content improves operational excellence and drives compliance by controlling the distribution and availability of content. Using a structured approach, you can always ensure that your field service content is up-to-date, accurate and compliant with all safety and quality standards. 


Structured content unlocks self-service opportunities for field service companies by organizing information in a way that is easily searchable and accessible to customers. It allows them to find answers to their questions, access troubleshooting guides, and explore comprehensive knowledge bases or self-help resources independently. This helps reduce the reliance on direct support, empowers customers to resolve issues on their own, and frees up valuable resources for more complex service tasks. And, according to the Aberdeen Group, smart self-service can result in 2.2 times greater year-on-year growth in annual revenue compared to companies without (9.3% vs. 4.3%)


Structured content enables field service companies to deliver personalized content with ease. By organizing information in a modular and granular format, content can be customized and personalized based on specific customer needs, preferences, or service requirements. This ensures that customers and technicians receive tailored and relevant content that addresses their unique situations, enhances their service experience, and builds stronger customer relationships through a more targeted approach. In fact, research from McKinsey proves that personalization is a major driver for growth: “Companies that grow faster drive 40 percent more of their revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts”. 

Predictive maintenance 

Structured content enables AI-powered automation of content delivery in conjunction with IoT sensors to send precise, targeted information to the point of need, such as relevant parts, maintenance guides or troubleshooting options. 

Connected ecosystem 

Structured content can be seamlessly integrated with a number of field service management software tools and platforms. For example, it can be incorporated into mobile apps, knowledge management systems, or augmented reality applications, providing technicians with real-time access to relevant information and enhancing their decision-making capabilities. 

To unleash the full potential of structured content, most organizations look to adopt a Component Content Management System (CCMS).

What is a Component Content Management System (CCMS)?

A Component Content Management System (CCMS) is a specialized software solution designed to manage structured content at a granular level. Unlike traditional content management systems that handle documents as a whole, a CCMS breaks down content into smaller, reusable components called "content components" or "chunks." A component could be a phrase, paragraph, series of paragraphs, image, video, table, or any other ‘module’ of content. 

These content components can be easily tagged with metadata, such as product codes, customer segments, or content types, making them highly searchable and retrievable. This granular approach to content management enables organizations to create, manage, and publish content more efficiently, ensuring consistency and accuracy across multiple channels and touchpoints. 

With a CCMS, field service organizations can: 

  • Create a single source of truth for all content assets 
  • Ensure content consistency and accuracy across various platforms 
  • Enable content reuse and reduce duplication efforts
  • Streamline content creation, review, and approval processes
  • Facilitate seamless collaboration among content creators, subject matter experts, and stakeholders
  • Provide technicians with quick access to relevant content components in the field

The benefits of a CCMS for field service organizations are clear – it can streamline content management, improve consistency, and empower technicians with the right information at the right time. This means your technicians can spend less time searching for information and more time delighting customers with speedy, effective service. And because content is managed at such a granular level, you can be sure that every piece of information your technicians and customers see is accurate, up-to-date and on-brand.

Unlocking the future of field service productivity

Throughout this essential guide, we've explored the core challenges faced by field service organizations and discovered how the right software solutions can help you overcome them. From knowledge management and intelligent search to mobile enablement and structured content management, these tools are the keys to unlocking a more productive, efficient, and customer-centric future for your field service operations. 

But implementing these solutions is just the beginning. To truly transform your field service operations, you need to embrace a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. This means staying up-to-date with the latest technologies, best practices, and industry trends. It means fostering a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing among your technicians, managers, and subject matter experts. And it means always putting your customers first, listening to their needs, and adapting your services to meet their evolving expectations. 

By combining the power of field service software with a commitment to excellence, you can create a virtuous cycle of productivity, quality, and growth. You'll be able to attract and retain top talent, differentiate your brand from competitors, and build lasting relationships with your customers. 

So, whether you're a seasoned field service professional or just starting your journey, we invite you to embrace the future of field service productivity. Start by assessing your current operations, identifying areas for improvement, and exploring the software solutions that can help you achieve your goals. 

And if you need a partner to guide you along the way, we're here to help. Our team has helped countless organizations like yours to transform their operations and achieve new levels of success. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and services, and take the first step towards a more productive, profitable, and customer-centric future. 

Learn how Tridion can help you create, manage and deliver reliable, accessible field service content.

Fraser Doig

Fraser Doig

Senior Associate Product Marketing Manager
Fraser Doig is a Senior Associate Product Marketing Manager specializing in helping companies of all industries understand how structured content can elevate their business. At RWS, Fraser works in the Language and Content Technology division, always on the lookout for the latest and greatest developments in the market. He is a regular contributor to publications such as KMWorld and Customer Service Manager Magazine.
All from Fraser Doig