If a picture is worth a thousand words, to a field service team a video is priceless…

Nov 30 • Features, Future of FIeld Service • 2726 Views • No Comments on If a picture is worth a thousand words, to a field service team a video is priceless…


Prankul Middha, Head of Utilities & Strategic Partnerships at VideoYourNotes explains how they are accelerating productivity, improving compliance and boosting customer satisfaction for Global clients through utilising smart, storyboarded video notes…

For thousands of years the written word has been used to communicate the full range of human emotions: love; hate; longing; disappointment. This skill sets us apart from other life forms.

However, writing clear, unambiguous text requires time and experience. Time is something that is in short supply in our hectic working lives. It can be a real challenge for field services representatives when time pressured due to multiple jobs. This pressure to be productive can actually undermine efficiency through incomplete communications. Clear precise communication is difficult, under pressure it’s very difficult.

Field services suppliers are increasingly looking to digital tools to help solve this problem leading to the adoption of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Field Service Management (FSM) systems.

These systems are designed to create a unified place for customer data allowing the engineer or inspector to capture information as text or pictures into the customer record so that the correct resources and parts can be allocated to resolve the problem.

We speak at 150 words per minute (wpm) but type on a laptop at 40 wpm and into a mobile device at a mere 20 wpm. That’s 7.5x less productive than speaking. Still images can also be problematic in handling a complex problem.

While this is great in principle, the right information does not always find its way into the CRM or FSM systems in practice. Trying to be clear and unambiguous can often result in long winded, dense prose that is difficult to understand – the very opposite of what is intended.

Even Winston Churchill once apologised for writing a long letter because he didn’t have time to write a short one! This can lead to higher failure rates and customer dissatisfaction – a situation that will be challenged further as more and more hand-held devices are introduced for text data capture.

We speak at 150 words per minute (wpm) but type on a laptop at 40 wpm and into a mobile device at a mere 20 wpm. That’s 7.5x less productive than speaking. Still images can also be problematic in handling a complex problem.

These very real challenges have led to CRM or FSM systems not delivering all the productivity gains they should be able to due to the poor quality of data in the system.

This is an issue we first helped overcome in sales organisations who faced similar data quality and compliance challenges for their mobile field sales teams.

Our SmartVideoNotes, which are short, structured and secure 30-60second videos are now being used in over 35 countries globally and in 8 languages. Leading companies like P&G, Cognizant, Unilever, Vodafone, etc. have discovered the power of smart, structured video to help them to make better and faster decisions.

Our solution could be deployed in an even more transformative manner to the challenges faced by field services providers. SmartVideoNotes capture the problem quickly (30-60seconds), show the real situation and can be shared with the right people or appropriate systems instantly.

Smart tagging of the data captured through speech to text recognition allows for valuable reports to be simply and quickly generated.

All this is done with the highest levels of security on systems that meet banking level security audits. Indeed SmartVideoNotes have just been awarded Cyber Essentials Certification.

Alan Harrison, Non Exec Director and previously Group CIO of a major Water Utility summarised it beautifully to me:

Video is the single most powerful communication media, 5x as effective as any other media. Your organisation could now be harnessing this power to reduce failure rates, increase productivity and efficiency.

“When you have teams working remotely across wide geographic areas good communication is even more imperative. Video gives the opportunity to show the problem or issue very clearly. E.g. ‘when you walk into the plant room, this is what you will see, this is the valve that needs fixing’. You can remove the need to type an essay or try and draw a picture to explain the issue/need. This improves the effectiveness and efficiency of teams by saving time and increasing resolution on first visit, with a corresponding drop in requests for more data and clarification. If your eyes can see the problem, accurate, rapid, true communication will follow.”

Video is the single most powerful communication media, 5x as effective as any other media. Your organisation could now be harnessing this power to reduce failure rates, increase productivity and efficiency.

In a recent study of video by a major field services organisation, 87.5% of users used SmartVideoNotes and this resulted in a 50% time saving compared to completing their normal processes. Further, there was significant customer interest in our video solution and field services engineers reported greater customer confidence and improved perceptions of service.

Video into your workflow or CRM has the power to transform your field services teams today, not just in compliance, productivity and customer experience but imagine its power in Health & Safety.


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