How technology supports trends in field service
Before you create your business case for a field service management solution, it is important to dive into the latest information about technologies and trends in field service. This way you know what is possible and how your organisation can benefit from this.
In this blog we will look at a number of trends that will help you direct your field service strategy.
Research shows that many of the field service organisations have difficulty achieving revenue growth. According to research carries out by Microsoft partner CTB (Knowledge-driven service improvement data poverty limits progress), the biggest challenges are meeting the changing customer expectations (45%), followed by knowledge sharing (38%) and finding new trained resources (35%). For revenue growth, it is important to increase productivity, control margins and gain market share. Making use of the advantages of technological trends, such as machine learning, Internet of Things, predictive analysis and Business Intelligence, helps.
Visual collaboration and user-friendly mobility
According to the Aberdeen Group in their video ‘The Connected Service Network: Resolution in Real Time’, it is 72% more likely that field service organisations using visual collaboration tools are the ‘best-in-class’. This is opposite to organisations that do not. With more and more available data and information, it is essential that the right engineers can be deployed quickly and optimally based on outstanding work orders on the basis of the right competences and available pieces / parts.
Differentiate through superior customer contact
The customer is always right and always expects more than what is given. Customers expect a proactive attitude from a service provider. The use of data contributes to the prevention of malfunctions because it is faster to see where a malfunction can occur in the short term. But although much more data is available, research shows that only 45% of service-providing organisations use data to proactively perform maintenance.
Whether your field service now operates in a B2C or B2B environment; the time of your customers is as valuable as yours and they expect to be informed in a correct and timely manner. Customer intimacy, first time right, empowerment and simplified communication are at the top of the list. Forrester’s blog about ‘Customer Service trends in 2016’ summarises this.
Putting the customer first and meeting their expectations must be at the top of the to-do list of field service organisations. To maintain and grow your customer base, it is necessary to solve problems as quickly as possible and keep customers informed about the results and services provided. Customers expect more and more personalised service and their technology use increasingly means that field service organisations must be proactive with their offer.
Trends in field service – predictive maintenance and the power of IoT
By expanding your range of services and adding predictive maintenance, you offer your existing customers more value and ensure greater customer retention, growth in your target market for new customers and increase your turnover, making you more profitable. Remote monitoring or self-healing maintenance models offer many benefits for both customers and suppliers. The number of maintenance appointments required decreases. You can identify and resolve problems before a customer even sees it. You can even solve cases before repair is needed by identifying poorly performing parts and just-in-time preventive maintenance.
Increased productivity and simplified administration through unification and integration
It is very important that your field engineers and your resourcing and project managers are flexible and well connected to each other. When the head office uses a number of outdated systems to correctly operate the installed base, for example, problems may arise. This ensures complex administration and confusion among customers. Using unambiguous tools creates transparency for your team and enables people, teams and resources to be cleverly deployed, in-house, onsite or possibly remote.
How technology supports trends in field service
Connected field service technology such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service embraces this field service and consumer trends to provide better customer service and increase productivity.
By providing your field service and delivery team with back office applications that seamlessly integrate and sync with your warehouse, sales and finance functions, they can do their job easier. They can easily find, reserve and sell replacement parts on request. They have insight into the customer history before they are on location and can communicate with colleagues in real-time (and send images to support to each other).
Are you curious? Then contact me directly. As a field service industry specialist I would be more than happy to assist you.
Would you like to read more first? Sign up for our free Digital Transformation of Field Service knowledge cycle.