The Future of Field Service: Internet of Things
According to studies conducted recently, about 52 percent of field service companies still rely on manual coordination. For these companies, a field service management software is either in its primary stages or does not exist at all., the future looks promising with the rapid shifts in the field service management space, thanks to technology.
It is predicted that by 2020, a whopping 20.4 billion devices and gadgets will be linked to the Internet as part of the booming IoT industry. Internet of Things (IoT) has become a viable way of delivering customer-centric services. This customer-centricity leads to customer satisfaction and ultimately results in substantial boosts in sales and profits.
As customer retention becomes a challenge for businesses, they seek to take help from the IoT to improve their customer engagement and deliver customer-first services, products and experiences.
With the round-the-clock availability of IoT services, it becomes easier and feasible to deliver services around the globe, at any time of the day. The immense potential in the IoT is now being leveraged in the field service management industry.
Internet of Things Equals Outstanding Customer Experience
Most field service companies know that their customers want their operations to go on without any hassle. So, they focus on measuring parameters that ensure minimal disruption to customer’s operations.
With the Internet of Things, field service management companies are now measuring parameters like the availability of components, the up-time of parts, the amount of time spent on site, etc. This is a proactive approach to detect issues before they make a lasting impact and to correct faults by predicting them in advance.
Field Service Management is witnessing a paradigm shift in the way workmen manage their operations and communicate their progress back to their employer. Through IoT, all the information updating, retrieval, and creation is possible on-the-go. This is why the Internet of Things has become a huge hype among the top field service providers.
It is estimated that about 74 percent of the best Field Service providers consider serviceable assets and equipment as the focal of their customer satisfaction. These companies also employ IoT technology to ensure sustained customer satisfaction. They find out the key statistics of their jobs and facilitate predictive maintenance by foreseeing the damages that could happen in a device or an app. This step allows them to be on top of their game.
Field Service Management – The Rich IoT Experience
Experts in the field service management space believe that the Internet of Things is about to have an impact on the world larger than the Internet itself. People are of the opinion that the Internet of Things will drive devices and gadgets that will allow companies to deliver world-class field service at the click of a button.
When the device that a company delivers has a small chip that connects it to the Internet, the device will let them know when it needs to be serviced, even before a glitch is detected. This will help make sure that there is never any hitch in the customer’s experience.
If this is not a revolution, what is? The devices connected to the Internet are capable of streaming information to their manufacturers about their service history, when they were installed, the problems that were discovered, etc. This will help in the collection of first-hand information that can be used to deliver field service instantaneously.
Sophisticated Knowledge Exchange with The Internet of Things
Another aspect where IoT can prove to be revolutionizing is the matter of knowledge exchange between the field service providers within an organization. When a field service personnel comes across a challenge and addresses it, the information should be harnessed and communicated across to other men in the space so that they can leverage the knowledge when they come across a similar situation.
This intelligent system has to be in-the-moment to deliver quick information over the Internet to the various professionals who may need it. Through this application of IoT, the need to document and share information manually will disappear, with the added advantages of reduced manual errors and speed of communication.
Also, this knowledge-sharing system should be unique to field-service as the industry has a lot of quirkiness of its own and can derive huge benefits from such a system.
When the cause and the fault in a device will be communicated beforehand, the managers in a field service management company will be able to route their workmen according to their specialized skill set. This will lead to proper routing of agents according to the tasks they are best at. We can only imagine the outcome of this provision – enhanced customer experience and satisfaction because when the best person for it will do the job, the service will undoubtedly be exceptional
The Flip Side of IoT in Field Services
While the applications of IoT in the field service industry are many, there are a few speed-breakers too. Companies will have to leverage best-in-class Big Data and Analytics platforms and exceptional technologies to achieve the accuracy and speed of service delivery with IoT.
Also, there are a few other aspects to consider, like the ownership of the data that will be the center of all IoT applications. Nonetheless, we are sure of one thing, the pen and paper era is gone forever, for the good.