Field service technicians are the backbone of any organization. They’re the ones who are in direct contact with the customers at the most critical point in time. This means that they’re directly responsible for your relationship with your customers and your company’s reputation.
Other than this, field service will never live up to its full potential without competent management. Still, what does this imply, and are there some trends that could help put your business well ahead? All in all, here are the top five such trends that you should look out for.
Predictive maintenance is all about being able to foresee a problem before it even occurs. So, how do you get this foresight? Well, ideally, you would get it from vast quantities of data gathered through various means. Virtual diagnosis, conversations with in-fiend experts, and even customer service can be a great source of information.
Another way in which technology can help you with predictive maintenance is through the use of IoT. Simply put, this is the concept that allows you to track your equipment in real-time, which means that you can also notice if there’s any noticeable deterioration of the equipment. Any fall in productivity will be noticed immediately, which will give you enough time to react.
The importance of predictive maintenance is so great because it usually requires you to stock up on certain goods, tools, and materials. In other words, it can determine your relations with strategic vendors, as well.
Utilization of New Technologies
One of the biggest priorities in the field services industry is the increasing reliance on technology. This one is relevant for several reasons. First, better technology increases productivity, safety and makes your field team’s work more consistent.
The second reason why this is so important is the workforce demographic. Like in many different industries, field service is facing the problem of an aging workforce. Increased use of technological trends and gadgets may increase the interest of the younger population when it comes to this kind of work. It can increase the appeal of the industry, thus increasing its talent pool.
Keep in mind that various gadgets and tech trends would make it much easier for new users to get engaged in this field. You see, while field service technicians are usually highly-trained in these tasks, field supervisors, contractors, and others are not necessarily up to date. This can make it all a lot easier.
Invest in Mobile Technology
The next thing you need is to invest in the development of a mobile app. This is particularly handy if you customize it to the needs of your own industry and allow your employees to bring their own devices to work (BYOD system). Naturally, this system is full of various risks and concerns, which means that you also need to introduce a solid BYOD policy from the very start.
Field teams are often reliant on customer data, which is why being able to access it from a mobile device might facilitate the process far more accurately. Then, there are situations that are uncommon in the industry, schematics that they haven’t dealt with in a while, etc.
Keep in mind that in 2021, remote working is still a hugely important trend. This way, you have an easier way of establishing a communication bridge between your field teams and your remote teams. This collaboration is what can elevate the quality of service to a whole new level. It also helps improve UX quite a bit.
Previously, we’ve mentioned remote teams, but the truth is that there are so many problems with a workforce in this day and age. Due to sickness and fluctuations in workload, it is hard to keep an optimal number of employees on your staff. Therefore, you need to look for several different potential solutions before progressing forward.
First of all, you need to think about freelancers. The gig economy is booming and hiring temporary help (either to fill in spots of those who are currently sick or to face a current increase in workload) is generally a good idea. It gives you the flexibility to handle the issues revolving around a blended workforce with great efficiency.
Second, you need to think about collaboration with third-party agencies. Sometimes, outsourcing a part of your workload is the best possible course of action. This way, you get the privilege of having trained professionals on your staff at your own behest (even if it costs you a bit more than the alternative).
Personalized Customer Offers
Field technicians need to be fully independent in many different aspects. This means that they need to be able to act as salespeople, as well. Most of the time, when there’s a repair or replacement to be made, it is their duty to advise the customer on how they can procure the part in question. Regardless if you expect them to palace an order in person or via a portal, it starts with the field team.
The key asset of the field team (even if they’re not fully-trained salespeople) is the fact they’re physically closer to the customer. In traditional retail, a customer would have to go to the retailer, and the fact that this situation is opposite makes a world of difference.
The fact that they’re there, interacting with the customer in person, already puts them in an advantageous position to make a proposition. Their assessment can also help them make a personalized offer to the customer, which is more likely to be accepted. This is one of the best ways to leverage company products.
In order to just keep field service running, you would have to commit quite hard and pay attention to so many different aspects. If you plan to further improve it and keep up with all the latest trends, this job becomes even more difficult. Still, by researching the latest industry trends and finding a strategic way to integrate them into your own operations, you might gain quite a bit of competitiveness. Field service is always a top priority.