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3 Ways to Close Automation Gaps with Field Service Solutions

In the next two years, the field service industry will hold an estimated value of $4.45 billion. The worth of this sector continues to grow as field services remain essential because of a continued need for in-home repairs amidst a global pandemic. Therefore, it is shocking to know that 52% of field service companies still coordinate work and perform functions manually. Field service management software allows companies to close the automation gaps in their systems and workflows. With increased automation, field service technicians can access tools and information quickly, executing superior service faster and more efficiently.

Here are three ways that service companies can benefit from closing automation gaps using field service management software:

Leverage technician mobility

Field service organizations specialize in servicing customers at their homes and businesses around the country. Mobility is integral to their functionality and therefore, providers who can equip technicians with effective mobile applications and automated real-time insights on inventory and jobs while they are on the go will increase the efficiency and quality of service visits.

According to a recent study, 80% of field service organizations say mobile field service is required to improve efficiency and speed of personnel. Mobile access allows technicians to review complete customer history and create new work orders wherever they are. They can remotely access custom documentation made for each service request and see up-to-the-minute alerts when new jobs are scheduled, eliminating paper job receipts and timesheets. Field technicians who are using automated field service solutions can reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and locating customer information.

Employ predictive and proactive maintenance

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A greater focus on predictive and proactive maintenance allows field service providers to anticipate a customer’s needs before an issue is reported. Fueled by Internet of Things (IoT) triggers, predictive maintenance can monitor the performance of a system and automatically inform field service technicians of potential shutdowns or needed repairs by proactively identifying when certain product factors are in need of service. This aspect of automated field service means technicians now have the foresight to identify an impending issue and inform a customer, therefore increasing product life, eliminating the need for emergency field visits and improving the customer experience.

Additionally, the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate processes allows for smarter systems that can analyze error codes reported by the customer and reference service history to predict the necessary part for repair while updating accurate part availability. By 2025, algorithms and bots will schedule over two-thirds of field service work using automated schedule optimization. Automated predictive systems can ensure inventory levels are constantly maintained so that key parts are available to improve first time fix rates when technicians arrive on site. Additionally, job information and work logs are routinely recorded to increase efficiency for each following visit.

Increase customer satisfaction

Automated field service systems not only assist individual technicians with their daily challenges, but they also enable effective communication between stakeholders in one centralized digital location. Customers hate nothing more than to be kept waiting. In fact, 83% of consumers would not recommend a brand that provides a slow solution, even if it is effective. Automated field service management solutions allow technicians to avoid common customer service mishaps, like late arrivals and incomplete repairs, by keeping consumers informed throughout their customer journey with automatic notifications and work order confirmations.

Customer portals offer clients the ability to request maintenance jobs and electronically schedule service appointments. These portals also offer reduced work for technicians and dispatchers as customers can receive automated alerts and GPS tracking notifications to track their technician’s location and progress, offering complete transparency and ease of access. Similarly, automated solutions mean technicians can notify customers of changes or delays to a job. In combination with increased insight to customer history and work order details gleaned from their mobile applications, technicians are fully equipped to provide excellent service and drive customer retention.

Servitization is the future of commerce. As companies focus on outcomes-based service to engage and retain their customer base, they must implement more advanced technologies in order to deliver exceptional field service. Field service solutions can close gaps in service through automation, and by doing so, can increase their efficiency, scalability and customer service. Nearly 50% of field service organizations identify automation as the greatest contributor to revenue growth. So as companies navigate away from paper service records and reactive maintenance visits, it is vital to integrate automated systems to inform data-driven decisions and gain a competitive edge.

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