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Service Request and Service Contract Management are key functionalities of the e-service area of Web Channel Experience Management. Therefore it is important to understand the basics of the provided functionality and how it can be used to enable self-service for your Web Shop customers.
Service Request provides powerful functionality to request a service for a product you own. Usually the steps needed to create a Service Request are related to choosing the product, entering some details describing the problem and picking an address. In Web Channel Experience Management the process of creating a request requires the web shop customer to go through a process flow of 5 steps:
1. Choose the product

2. Fill in problem description

3. Consult some knowledge articles proposed automatically by the system based on the problem subject

4. Choose an address
5. Confirm the creation

Schedule Service Request

However many web shop customers require to get service on site. In order to automate the process Service Request functionality provides an additional step in the process flow to schedule an appointment. The scheduling of Service Request can be done in to different ways:
1. During creation of Service Request – available in “Service and Support” menu as “Schedule Service”
2. After creation of Service Request – available in Service Request overview page triggered by the “Schedule” button
The scheduling of an appointment is quite useful functionality and I would like to further dive into the details.
Service Request scheduling functionality leverages the Resource Planner and Service Request functionality in SAP CRM system.

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Illustration 1: Schedule Service Request

With Service Resource Planning in SAP CRM you can maintain your internal and external resources that you can schedule for a job.
In order to get the available appointments the web shop customer should first pick an address. This step is preceding the schedule service step and requires the customer to pick the address he wants to get the service at. At the schedule service step the system will automatically find the available time slots and populate the appointment table with data.  The customer can choose a slot which fits best to his own availability. The available time slots are determined based on the resource availability as maintained in CRM Resource Planner. Usually the timeslots are just fixed in time and define when the technician will be at the chosen address. The scheduling is not confirmed instantly though. For this reason the customer see a pending status of the scheduled time slot in the confirmation page of the newly created Service Request. The schedule appointment status can be checked easily in the Service Request overview page.

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Illustration 2: Scheduled time slot in Service Request overview page

I would like to mention that free appointments are not always available. As I describe above the allocation of the time slots is based on the resource availability. This means for example the web shop customer may not get any free slots in case the service address picked during creation is not part of the resource allocation.
The web shop customer can also schedule an appointment for a particular Service Request after it has been created. The functionality works in the same way as in scheduling process except the fact that the customer cannot change the address for an existing Service Request.

Assign Service Contract to Service Request

One of the essential aspects of Service Request process is the integration of Service Contracts. The web shop customer can check and assign a Service Contract during creation of a Service Request. This process can reduce the interaction costs and increase customer satisfaction.  Many customers have Service Contracts for their purchased products. The costs of the Service Request for a product might be covered by a related Service Contract. In case the product chosen for the service is part of a Service Contract item the customer can easily assign the Service Contract to the Service Request. In case there is only one Service Contract item found it will be automatically assigned to the Service Request. The web shop customer will not be able to remove or change the assignment. In case there are more than one Service Sontract item found the system will determine and list them in a screen overlay. This brings high value for web shop customers as they can easily find and assign the desired Service Contract to the Service Request.

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Illustration 3: Manual Service Contract selection in Service Request

The Service Contract determination process is executed in SAP CRM backend according to the customizing. The functionality can be easily enabled in Web Channel Builder settings of Service Request module. The web shop customer can easily change the assigned Service Contract during the process of creating Service Request. However after the Service Request is created the assigned Service Contract cannot be removed for the Service Request. The customer though can easily see the attached Service Contract in the Service Request overview page. He can also navigate to the Service Contract details via a link only in case the Service Contract module is part of the web shop configuration.

Service Request can be used and leveraged in different scenarios. If you want to enhance or simplify the process based on your own business requirements you can use the Web Channel extensibility concept. If you need for example a simple Service Request scheduling process you can easily remove most of the steps and keep only the schedule and submit page. For this scenario you need to enhance the Service Request module by creating your own and add it to the shop configuration.

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