2018 was an incredibly exciting year for the technology industry which has seen multiple initiatives and achievements. But until now, we have spoken theoretically about the real and useful applications of these innovative technologies in our work and personal lives.
This has started to change! 2019 promises to be another significant year as technology has now integrated with our lives, and more and more businesses are adopting it to get the best out of it. Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive services, and analytics, just to name a few – are becoming mainstream across the industries and their adoption is growing steadily. These technologies will be an integral part of how we work, communicate and interact with people around us, and deliver services in the next 3-5 years.
Technology is now fundamental for every industry — from hiring good candidates to delivering better and faster services to the customers. So, before we shape our business strategies for the year, it is highly essential to equip ourselves with the latest technology trends to know what is possible and how our business can reap benefits.
Let’s discuss five emerging field service trends that will gain prominence in 2019 and beyond.
1. Leveraging automation
Companies are focusing on modernizing their field service journey more than ever, and automation is one of the essential drivers that helps improve productivity and provide the ability to serve customers in a better way. With the advent of cloud-based field service management software, it has become more accessible than ever to get access to the useful information and manage everything from checking the technician availability to scheduling and confirming bookings in calendar apps and email, to automated invoicing and billing.
2. IoT-driven predictive maintenance
IoT has been a talking point for a couple of years, and we don’t expect this to change. Smart devices and appliances are connected to the internet today which means these devices will let the companies know in advance if an asset is broken, a part needs to be replaced, or maintenance is required. These predictive insights are transforming field services from reactive to proactive repairs and benefitting both customers and suppliers – identify and fix problems before customers raise, solve issues before failure, diagnose underperforming products and react swiftly.
3. Data-driven delivery
The field service industry’s shift from corrective to predictive maintenance highlights the importance of how companies get data, make sense of it, and act on it to set them apart from the competition. To attain operational excellence and maximize service quality, it is essential to gain real-time visibility into metrics like customer acquisition cost, jobs per team member, daily fuel usage, travel time, cost per job, and more. In a recent study, Aberdeen Group found that
best-in-class field service organizations that adopt analytics realize increase in service profits by 18%, customer retention rates by 42% and SLA performance by 44%.
4. The growth of artificial intelligence
As IoT offers field-service representatives the ability to talk to machines and quickly identify issues; AI is what makes them aware of problems before they even appear. Many companies in the field services industry have started experimenting with AI-based strategies to train their technicians, prioritize work order requests, improve levels of customer experience, dispatch the right technician to the right job, keep track of their workers’ performance, and manage inventory without much delay. AI, in the form of chatbots, converse and guide many of the customer requests efficiently that allow operators to focus on more complex customer service cases and other important chores.
5. AR and VR transformations
The field services industry has a lot to gain by integrating the innovative technologies like AR and VR into their business strategy. AR and VR enabled devices increases the technician’s efficiency, service delivery rate, and customer satisfaction in many ways like providing instant access to the entire knowledge base, getting instant access to maintenance history, helping in discovering the right equipment in order to carry out maintenance, identifying the useful information about the device which is about to repair, and much more.
How are you preparing for these upcoming trends? We look forward to discussing field service management ideas, and its implementation with you.