So, the customer makes time, waits for the service technician to show up, to troubleshoot the error that has been showing up quite often lately. The clock ticks by and there is no sign of anybody at the door, you muster patience and keep your other important stuff aside for a while longer. But, alas! The guy is nowhere to be found, giving up hope that he would show up, you finally make up your mind to get on with the other stuff. Just when you are about to get busy and make the wasted day productive again, there sounds the door bell. Annoyed as much as you are, you open the door there he stands, the service guy. The moment he gets to work he realises that there are some essential parts missing to go through with the job. Talk about a day going from bad to worse!
For a service company, there is no other bane that shouts out foul louder than the Field Service technician who hasn’t responded, or been helpful, irrespective of the multiple calls and wasted efforts by the customer.
Such scenario that blows the customer satisfaction to 0 on a scale of 10, makes the customer disgruntled and annoyed. But on closer introspection, what the organisations should realise is that these are caused due to the absence of the right tools in the arsenal of the Field service guy. With the advent of time, technology has become an enabler and a good preventive for such issue that affects your customer satisfaction to go down south. Right technology incorporated can help you to optimise service delivery, delight customers and in turn result in transforming your business. The right tools can help you render world class service levels on a consistent basis and make a lot of difference the way your company is perceived by the customer.
Right Approach with the Right Tech
Field service requires efficient ways in which data and information can be provided to a remote technician, away from his workstation, so that he can take the right action without delay. What better way than to use the power of mobility to scale your areas with the most relevant information. Mobility, when coupled with the right technology, can make well-rounded tools that help you to stay informed, relevant and to give the right advantage.
Being mobile-centric can help you have a real-time approach to field service management, such as having visibility and streamlining communication with your field service technicians, giving them real-time access to knowledge and back-end systems, accurate data entry, real-time scheduling and data tracking. This can be best done with a combination of techniques and tools that help the field service technician enable better first-time fix ratios and establish a good customer relationship.
Internet Of Things
IoT for business is becoming the norm and the number of businesses investing in connected technology is rapidly increasing . The connected world that IoT brings forth and the equipment telematics would provide added value of monitoring the equipment health and the efficiency at which it operates. This invariably means lesser downtime because the preventive IoT data can help organisations take real proactive approach when required. This can also go a long way as the information can be utilised to re-engineer the product and make necessary quality improvement, by utilising the equipment performance diagnostics and performance metrics.
Embedded Analytics and Big Data
IoT can churn a lot of data from machines, customers, and products. The challenge lies in turning this data into actionable insights that can improve the bottom line of the company. Being able to replace the paper with mobile devices as the primary input device, can help in reducing the redundancies and save time. The data analytics allow fast and timely action on the vast data from the field giving more real-time feedback on the state of field operations. When the field service personnel is provided with sophisticated analytical tools, they can improve and tweak their operations according to the real-time data input from both the mobile apps and equipment sensors. This visibility enables the field service managers to gather insights on performance, tasks and service quality.
If there is one technology that has become the backbone of most field service applications, it is the ubiquitous power of the cloud. The cloud plays a critical role in field service mobility by providing the worker access to information whenever, wherever they need it. This leads to better collaboration among the workers by sharing the reports and documents that can be accessed through different devices. Cloud security becomes more sensitive as the workers would have access to data over various networks. This points out to the importance of choosing the right field service software with software upgrades and policies to keep your data secure.
With IoT, cloud and analytics it becomes easier for remote resolution of problems. The smart machines can go a step further and raise a flag before something goes awry. IoT would grow bigger, with more connected devices, it is imperative for organisations, that, they leverage the potential to resolve problems via remote resolution. The first time fix rates of organisations can go up since the field service manager has the information to take the required action, ahead of the actual occurrence of the incident.
The data generated from cloud-based and mobile apps, email and the communication technicians try to establish, can put a lot of strain in the underlying infrastructure of Network. The investment in mobile solutions means that the network in which they operate should be able to take this load and run with it effortlessly, without any glitches. Neglecting the requirement of a reliable network can impact performance, handicap productivity and make the devices less reliable with high traffic. The Hybrid clouds, Virtual servers and high capacity storage provides the network with scalability, flexibility and keeps it reliable.
With the power of IoT and an anywhere, anytime expectation of services and data, there are more points in the grid, where possible security issues may arise. The security concerns would be a primary issue that the organisations should be paying attention to, advanced security applications and an increase in financial commitment to prevent attacks would go a long way in securing the overall setup. Security should ideally begin with the user being educated with the do’s and don’t’s on how to be secure with mobile devices, and then it is essential that the devices be updated with tools and protocols to limit security issues.
The connected devices enable a field service capability that emphasises more on preventive maintenance rather than firefighting when things go wrong. The preventive nature of work empowers the organisation to give higher levels of customer service with little or no downtime. This can lead to stronger foundation between the business and the customer by keeping the business up, devoid of any hiccups or downtime. The predictive power of IoT-connected devices can automate the field service process and trigger service calls when something needs a maintenance.