Innovation in the field service industry is unstoppable, and it seems that disruption is its only future. Many field service management companies have adopted technology to lower costs, enhance efficiency and improve customer experience – the ones who haven't – are yet to get the taste of sweet success. Technologies like the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Cloud are rapidly evolving and sound futuristic enough to disrupt the future of field service. With the field service industry evolving, the following are the top 5 trends to watch out for:
1. Mobile app technology
Mobile apps offer consumers the convenience to connect with the service providers or consume services more efficiently. Customer-connect, field service management, and work order management apps are becoming increasingly popular among field service providers. These field service management apps allow the field workforce to be mobile, enabling them to access information while on the go. This mobility allows them to:
- View service history of customers
- Access service reports
- Receive push notifications
- Route planning on-field
- Data collection and sharing
- Capture customer signatures
- Obtain and update work orders
- Data collaboration
Customers also want to use mobile apps to book services, raise a ticket, make payments, etc. Field service management apps will become indispensable tools in the future for managing and standardizing the field service workflow, thereby reducing operational costs and delivering service excellence.
2. Predictive maintenance
Predictive maintenance is also referred to as 'scheduled maintenance' or 'break-fix maintenance. Currently, most field service providers fix a problem that has already occurred or carry out preventive maintenance on a scheduled time and frequency. Although these services are expected to avoid significant outages in equipment, they are cost-intensive for both customers and service providers. Enter IoT and AI-enabled predictive maintenance. This technology predicts equipment failures or challenges before they happen. Predictive maintenance enables you to take appropriate preventative measures to prevent unexpected failure from happening and thus decrease maintenance costs. Field service companies are now looking at predictive maintenance as the way of the future. It provides maximum uptime with fewer service visits, thus saving time and money for both customers and service providers.
Automation easily transforms simple, slow, repetitive, and error-prone tasks into fast, accurate, and reliable actions that facilitate better business. Automation gives you a solid competitive advantage, reduces overhead, and frees up the time of your field service workers and administrative staff to focus on the most critical aspects of their work. Some of the time-consuming tasks that can be automated with the help of field service management software include:
- Dynamic scheduling and dispatching
- Recurring appointments
- Location tracking
- Order intake
- Sharing and syncing data
- Inventory management
- Route optimization
Automation can help optimize your scheduling and dispatching process. Check out how Zuper does it.
4. Contactless (remote) service
Generally, field service visits are costly when you add the travel time, technician labor costs, and vehicle expenses. The concept of remote services isn't new, but it has gained popularity in 2020. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increased demand for contactless solutions. Technologies such as IoT, augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) have helped make this possible. A new study reported by Customer Think indicated that 75% of customers don't want technicians to visit their houses unless it's absolutely necessary. In cases where it's impossible to provide contactless services, field services companies are looking at options of sending a device to fix the problem and walk the customer through the repair process.
5. Training the technicians
It's crucial for a technician to have real-time access to the latest and relevant information and support to interact with the customers and deliver exceptional customer service. Technology has taken care of that. That said, technology and knowledge alone cannot ensure a successful customer interaction. Interpersonal skills play an essential role here. Training the existing employees and hiring those already well-versed in such skills is needed to deliver a positive customer experience. With the increase in competition, it's more important than ever for field service management companies to get serious about hiring new talent to keep up with the demand for skilled employees
As the field service industry continues to evolve, it's becoming essential to watch out for the new trends in the market. The future of the field service industry is bright as it's expected to generate more revenue with every passing year. However, if you want to be a part of the boom, you must stay on top of trends and give in to technology to be future-ready. Take your field service business to the next level of service excellence with Zuper. Book demo now!