Whether you’re managing field service agents—or you work in the field yourself—you’re going to experience unique challenges as you try to collaborate with your team.
These challenges include inefficient real-time communication, less interaction between field agents and back office workers, information gaps about customers and tasks, and more.
What’s more, a survey of field technicians shows:
- Twenty-one percent of technicians consider the feeling of isolation to be the worst part of their day.
- Twenty-seven percent of technicians want knowledge base access on their mobile device, and 27 percent also want mobile customer history access.
Field service managers that don’t prioritize collaboration through the use of dedicated tools are subjecting agents to both organizational and psychological challenges that will reduce workplace productivity and ultimately lead to dissatisfaction and higher turnover rates.
This article explores five collaboration software options* that offer features to help field service agents collaborate efficiently, ensuring they don’t remain isolated from the rest of their team as they take care of customers on site. Read more about our methodology for choosing these products at the bottom of the page.
Basecamp is a cloud-based project management solution that helps users manage workflows and communicate and collaborate within a simple interface.
The key capabilities offered by Basecamp that come in handy for field service agents include:
- Workflow management: Assign tasks to field service agents with details about the job and a due date for completion. Assignees are notified about tasks and reminded as a deadline approaches. Everyone can view tasks from every project in a centralized location called HQ to get a bird’s-eye view of all tasks and projects, along with the activity timeline.
- Centralized communication: Communicate through chat and organize conversations within a project using tags. Agents can also start a group discussion about any project to seek peer help and coaching on an ongoing assignment.
- Daily work updates: Schedule regular check-in questions so field service agents are prompted to provide updates at the end of the day. This not only provides a regular opportunity for managers to receive updates on work progress, it also creates a sense of community among field agents as they get to know what their peers have been working on.
- Announcements: Lets multilocation companies make company-wide announcements in HQ.
- Document and file sharing: Allows field service agents to document issues and share them (as PDFs, Word documents, images) with other affected team members to keep everybody updated.
- Automatic notifications: Offers automatic notifications about user activities on projects and role-based permissions.
What users like about Basecamp
According to reviewers on GetApp, Basecamp is easy to learn with little training required. Field service agents like the discussion thread feature, because it allows multiple stakeholders to come together and collaborate on one topic.
The solution’s message board has also been reviewed favorably for its ability to facilitate organization-wide communication. Field agents like that they can use Basecamp to post relevant notes from their shifts for workers on the next shift.
User recommended improvements for Basecamp
Reviewers from the field service industry say they wish the solution had a built-in time tracking feature, so field service teams could track time spent on a particular project. They also feel that Basecamp offers limited customizations.
Basecamp is $99 per month for unlimited users and projects. There is a 30-day free trial.
Who should consider buying Basecamp
Basecamp is suitable for non tech-savvy users, as it is easy to use and does not require a lot of training, according to user reviews. It’s a good option to consider for small businesses looking to manage simple projects.
To-do list in Basecamp
ConnectWise Control is a cloud-based remote support, access, and meeting software solution that caters to technical teams.
Some of the key capabilities for field service agents include:
- Ability to offer remote tech support: A centralized and customizable control panel lets technicians deliver ad hoc support sessions to monitor and control customer’s servers and computers regardless of their location.
- Online audio-video meetings: Remote technicians can conduct remote, recordable training sessions. They can also present product demos to customers and potential clients by sharing their computer screens with unlimited users. Invitations for sessions can be shared through email or the website. The presenter can also prompt participants to share their screens, live chat with participants, and capture screenshots during the meeting.
- Shared toolbox to create and run program files remotely: Lets technicians share and run programs (to configure or reboot certain software) on customers’ systems and guest computers.
What users like about ConnectWise Control
ConnectWise Control users who have left reviews on GetApp say that it’s easy to use and that it offers robust enough features to justify the cost.
Reviewers note in particular that the tool is scalable, in that it allows users to connect with external clients along with an internal user base. It allows for client grouping and enables agents to provide remote assistance to their clients when they need it.
User recommended improvements for ConnectWise Control
According to GetApp reviews, field service agents using ConnectWise wish it would work better in low bandwidth areas, which would make it even more useful for field service agents. Reviewers also feel that the mobile app needs to be improved in terms of the features offered.
ConnectWise Control pricing
ConnectWise Control offers the following pricing plans:
- Free: For a single tech license. Includes a one-session limit, three access agents, and remote support.
- One: $19 per month when billed annually. Includes everything in the Free plan, plus 10 access agents, mobile technician support, remote meetings, and more.
- Standard: $35 per month when billed annually. Includes everything in the One plan, plus up to three sessions per tech, unlimited access agents, and more.
- Premium: $45 per month when billed annually. Includes everything in the Standard plan, plus up to 10 sessions per tech, and video auditing.
- Access only: Starts at $300 per year for 25 agents. Includes unlimited concurrent sessions, unlimited users, file transfer, multiple monitor support, and more.
A 14-day free trial with Premium plan features is available.
Who should consider buying ConnectWise Control
The functionality to run, monitor, and control customer’s servers and computers to offer remote tech support makes ConnectWise Control specifically suitable for IT field service agents in organizations of any size.
It also offers audio and video calling functionality, which makes it a good choice for field service agents as they can collaborate in real time.
Beginning a remote support session in ConnectWise Control (Source)
Magentrix Communities is a cloud-based collaboration solution for organizations of all sizes. It is designed to help users and their clients connect, communicate, and learn on a single platform.
Some key features helpful for field service agents include:
- Public and private community groups: Create groups based on interest, teams, departments, etc. Share files, leave comments, and star favorite items for easy reference. This feature is useful for complex jobs where an agent may need peer coaching.
- Document management and collaboration: Lets you attach files and even add tutorial videos. Offers the ability to follow a document, file, person, or data record, so that when agents are in the field, they can stay updated on whatever they’re following.
- Training and certification: Provides the ability to offer on-demand product training, onboarding programs, and certifications through partner portal without any requirement for additional software and services.
What users like about Magentrix
Field service agents who have reviewed Magentrix on GetApp find its user interface very easy to use. They also feel that access to the support staff, which is included in the subscription, is a plus.
User recommended improvements for Magentrix
GetApp users in the field service industry using Magentrix feel that the reporting options of this software could be improved.
Magentrix offers two different pricing plans for its collaboration solution:
- Enterprise: $350 per month when billed annually; for a minimum of 10 users; includes 1 GB of record storage and 5 GB of file storage.
- Elite: $1,500 per month when billed annually; for a minimum of 50 users; includes 2 GB of record storage and 10 GB of file storage.
Who should consider buying Magentrix Communities
If you’re a midsize or large organization looking for collaboration software to boost collaboration and communication with external partner organizations and employees, Magentrix Communities is worth consideration.
The solution lets the field service agents provide on-demand product training, onboarding programs, and certifications to new partners and employees. This eliminates the need for additional software and enhances collaboration and knowledge management.
Organizing and sharing files in Magentrix (Source)
Slack is a cloud-based app that teams can use to collaborate and communicate in real time.
Here are some of the features that would be useful for field service agents:
- Audio and video calling: Slack lets field agents make audio and video calls to an individual or a group of up to 15 people with standard and plus plans. The free plan offers one-on-one audio video calling feature. While on the call, a “do not disturb” feature silences background notifications.
- Organized communication via chat channels: Chat with one person or a group of people in channels, which can be created based on team, project, or location. An integrated Zapier SMS tool allows users to send messages from Slack to non-Slack users, which can be used to send receipts to customers as soon as a job is completed.
- Integrated file sharing: Share PDFs, images, videos, etc. by dragging and dropping them into the interface. Agents can get feedback from their peers on documents by creating a public link. The feedback can be consolidated in the comments section of a shared file and files can be marked as “important” to be referred to later.
- Contextual search function: Search for a specific keyword or query and receive the most relevant results from the team archives, channels, chats, direct messages, specific documents, images, and other files. Narrow the search results by date range, channel, direct messages, specific members, etc. This allows field service agents to refer to cases that are similar to theirs, or gain access to client records, documented interactions, etc. any time.
What users like about Slack
Field service agents that have reviewed Slack on GetApp say it’s a good tool for collaboration because it offers multichannel communications that are specific to teams, projects, or topics.
Users also like that Slack offers many integrations, making it good for scalability. Other features that field service agents speak positively about include the convenience of the @mentions feature and the ease of setting up the tool and learning it.
User recommended improvements for Slack
GetApp reviewers using Slack for collaboration on field service jobs would like to see improvements in snoozing notifications. To reduce the number of unwanted notifications in projects. Users would also like to see the app offer an intranet integration, so they don’t have to spend time switching between different apps.
Slack offers three pricing plans:
- Free: Includes the ability to search 10,000 of the team’s most recent messages, up to 10 third-party or custom integrations, 5 GB total file storage, and standard support.
- Standard: $6.67 per active user per month when billed annually. Includes unlimited searchable messages, unlimited app and service integrations, 10 GB file storage per team member, and priority support.
- Plus: $12.50 per active user per month when billed annually. Includes unlimited searchable messages, unlimited app and service integrations, 20 GB file storage per team member, and 24/7 support.
Who should consider buying Slack
Slack is suitable for organizations of all sizes. Field service agents looking for collaboration software specifically offering real-time messaging and organized communication channels, should consider Slack. It lets you stay connected with other agents at all times through team channels and makes project-based communication more convenient.
Search function in Slack (Source)
Taskworld is a cloud-based project and task management solution with analytics features that offer various customizable report boards and charts for users.
Some of the key features offered by Taskworld for field service agents include:
- Task management: Create tasks; assign them to multiple people; add followers; break them into checklists; and add tags, task points, and labels to differentiate them. Create group task lists and recurring tasks for ongoing work such as routine service trips.
- Reporting and analytics: Offers visual task boards to see the progress and scope of a project. Track completion rates for all tasks inside a project to better plan workloads for field service agents.
- Automate workflows: Enables field service agents to save on time by using pre-defined templates to create tasks.
- File sharing: Drag and drop files to the tasks to attach them. Field agents can collaborate with peers and share documents pertaining to billing, customer information, or details around a particular task.
- Organize communication: Add context to tasks with comments. Individuals can pin chats and channels to the dashboard to avoid switching tabs. This feature saves time and helps newer agents onboard more quickly as they can refer to previous information more easily. Message fellow agents directly instead of using email. Public and private channels (with specific group members) or project chat can also be created to streamline communication about a particular task or project.
What users like about Taskworld
Taskworld has been favorably reviewed by field service agents on GetApp for its ability to boost overall efficiency. Users feel that Taskworld offers them a convenient way to delegate tasks to field workforce and track performance. They feel that the feedback loop within a team improves the quality of work.
User recommended improvements for Taskworld
Field service professionals who have reviewed Taskworld on GetApp feel that the tool should also offer integration with business applications such as Google Drive and Workplace for Facebook.
Taskworld offers two pricing plans and a 15-day free trial.
- Professional: $10.99 per user per month when billed annually; includes one workspace, unlimited tasks and projects, 100 GB storage, and more.
- Enterprise: Pricing on request; includes everything in Professional plan, plus unlimited workspaces, unlimited cloud storage, and more.
Who should consider buying Taskworld
Field service agents of all industries looking for collaboration software offering project management features should consider Taskworld. The solution lets users take care of elaborate projects that can be broken down into several tasks and assigned to the agents according to their expertise and workload.
This solution does not offer audio or video calling, but it does offer project-based chat for centralized communication.
Built-in chat in Taskworld
Recommended actions to improve field service collaboration
In this article, we’ve gone over some of the ways collaboration software can improve your field service business. Here are some additional resources and next steps you can take to adopt collaboration as a best practice:
- Check out a side-by-side comparison between Taskworld, Basecamp, ConnectWise Control, and Slack
- Explore options through GetApp’s directory for collaboration software
- Read about collaboration software pricing.
The solutions highlighted in this article are collaboration software systems for field service teams that have the highest average overall user rating from buyers in field service at the time of writing. For this article, we evaluated 261 collaboration software systems and approximately 10,590 user reviews on GetApp, exclusively from users providing field service.
We analyzed reviews from field-service users and shortlisted those products that had 4+ out of five stars.
From that list, we considered only those which are listed on GetApp.
The sections include “what users like” and “user recommended improvements” for each product, based on feedback from users who left reviews.
The “who should consider this software” section highlights the most popular features of the software product and recommends who should consider buying that product based on the features and why.
Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of GetApp.