Field Service Technician enablement is both an important topic but also a frequently rolled out buzz-phrase that we hear within our industry. Marne Martin, CEO of ServicePower digs deeper into the topic and helps us cut through the hyperbole to understand the key facts within this topic...
Technicians today are not the technicians of the past. Their expectations are continuously evolving based on the ability to consume information and communicate instantaneously from their connected devices among themselves, with assets, the back office and the end consumer.
ServicePower’s mission is to drive an excellent service experience and grow the value of every consumer relationship. To do that, we must focus on the technician.
Much time the past five years was spent talking about IOT. Less was focused on what a connected world means for the technician, and what is needed to work smarter. We know productivity, first-time fix and proactive maintenance is the holy grail of profitability for service organizations and customer experience. The technician is the key to both.
Consumer expectation of a seamless, digital experience has impacted the industry greatly as have technology trends, yet a true focus on technician enablement is still spotty.Consumer expectation of a seamless, digital experience has impacted the industry greatly as have technology trends, yet a true focus on technician enablement is still spotty. Our “best-in-class” customers bring technicians into the process related to user experience, and how data and workflow changes enable experienced technicians to be hyper-productive and how novice technicians become fully functional, faster. Likewise, the businesses which service a wide variety of equipment, work, or parts need technology that has best-in-class capabilities around artificial intelligence, data model flexibility, IOT, diagnostics, and robust, flexible mobile applications. They likewise need a consumer or dealer portal to collect and send technicians key information such as customer, product or service history, service contract or service level agreements.
Service technicians have become the “single point of failure” in the customer interaction because typical technology driven from the CRM and ERP ill-prepares them with a lack of information. Sales and financial systems provide customer and billing information but do not enable a game-changing service experience that improves brand, market share or revenue.
We endeavour to enable technicians to perform more efficiently with fewer points of friction in their daily activities. Consider the following.
Evolving Labor Supply
All technicians want to be successful on the job. The emerging millennial workforce uses technology every day. We must use veterans’ skills and talents while utilizing millennials to drive technology adoption. Functionality exposed to technicians is important. However, flexible date models, customer, product, and diagnostic information, available before and during a job, is equally important. First-time fixes don’t happen by accident.
Enable Technicians with Technology
Field service management technology is itself evolving, through artificial intelligence, but also more versatile data models that can use IOT or predictive information to update work orders, create differentiated service workflows, or deploy updatable forms in real-time, based on diagnostics. Asset data, IOT diagnostics and service history deliver service insights digitally, on-site. The best vendors and newest product releases do more with technology to achieve and exceed traditional metrics.
Intelligent portals are game-changing. They can do more than simply enable a service or technician location. Portals can digitally deliver appointment offers, which in the past, only the call centre would have had the insights to do. They can facilitate better service by allowing customers to upload connected smart sensor data, fault codes, photographs or videos of failed products, and interact with triage and field technicians. Portals better inform customers and prepare technicians to resolve issues in a single truck roll.
The latest mapping and location technologies provide consumers improved visibility of appointments, near-by technicians with schedule availability, and technician arrival estimates. Portals delight the customer and improve call centre efficiency by digitally handling booking, confirming and rescheduling appointments automatically.
Portals can even use AI, asset and service history to intelligently offer customers new products, accessories and services, without ever interacting with a call centre, snail mail or email, and before the technician arrives.
Mobile technology has come a long way in recent years. While scheduling optimized technicians and parts together, status, and capturing payment are still a challenge for some organizations, overall, field service companies can now also use mobile technology to provide better, more personalized service in the field to every customer.
Effective mobile solutions deliver relevant customer, asset, parts, and diagnostic information in real-timeMobile applications provide entitlement, customer availability, asset information and technician location, real-time inventory, payments, and timesheet capability, as well as work order and technician status updates. Leading solutions were built with 100% configurability and flexible data models, which provide the opportunity to customize service events, improve first-time fix rates and improve customer satisfaction. Effective mobile solutions deliver relevant customer, asset, parts, and diagnostic information in real-time, as well as provide task lists, pricing and payments, and survey delivery for a faster, smarter, more satisfying experience.
Mobile technology is the best way to enable technicians to deliver the best experience.
Siri, Echo, Alexa and Cortana Aren’t Enough
Digital assistants are cool, but how can we make them more helpful? Displaying navigation, making calls or texts is handy. Digital assistants integrated with data hubs can deliver useful customer, asset, and predictive intelligence to technicians which require it to improve service delivery. `
Digital assistants become more powerful when integrated with AI, machine learning algorithms, asset and service history, predictive and repair information, providing an entirely different kind of assistance to field technicians.
AI can analyze data to derive cognitive insights and deliver it through digital assistants, resulting in the holy grail of better tech enablement, customer experience, and financial performance of the service organization or brand.
Technician Enablement Means Transforming Field Service Experiences with Technology
Friendly, competent technicians enabled with game-changing technology are the future. Sales secure customers, but your service technology retains them, increases your share of their wallets and grows your brand.
Don’t just give face value to technician enablement, own it, and make it a priority. Your brand and your customers will thank you.
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