Written by 6:00 am Digital Transformation, FSM Technology

Is Remote Visual Support a Threat or an Opportunity for Field Service Teams?

COVID-19 turned working life as we know it on its head from one day to the next. It hugely accelerated the necessity of a digital workplace, which has never been more important than it is now. But what exactly does it mean for employees in field service?

In the last five years, the innovation team from Konica Minolta Intelligent Connected Workplace (ICW) talked to representatives from almost one hundred field service teams across the globe.

The most common reaction when facing the new emerging solutions for Remote Visual Support based on Augmented Reality (AR) is curiosity followed by fear. Fear from unknown, fear from disruption of the current status-quo or fear from losing the job. Service visits are the core of the field service function and yes, Remote Visual Support enables to resolve some portion of customers’ issues remotely. So yes, some on-site visits can be avoided. However, just a small portion of technical issues can be resolved remotely.

So, what is the opportunity in Remote Visual Support for field service? Most of the field service teams face the problem of not having enough human resources. The teams can become more efficient by resolving some portion of issues remotely. The remote diagnostic of the problem with the customer before an on-site visit significantly increases first-time fix rate. For example, the spare part is ordered and delivered before the field technician comes on-site.

The experience shared by Gurney Ghathory from Rayprograghics Ltd United Kingdom, which is a Konica Minolta customer, confirms the benefits of remote visual diagnostic: ”After reporting an issue on the Konica Minolta Production Print device, I was asked to use AIRe Link to show sample prints to the Konica Minolta technician. He guided me through some troubleshooting procedures and was able to diagnose a part which needed replacement. As the fault diagnosis was already carried out remotely and the technician already knew exactly which spare part was required, my machine could be fixed directly on the first visit. AIRe Link was incredibly quick and easy to use.”

If getting stuck, the field service technician on customer site can get visual support from the most talented expert in the company instantly. Issues are resolved faster, leading to lower downtime of the machines and improved customer experience.

By resolving some issues remotely, your field service has more time for your most valued customers, creating an opportunity for your brand to build strong customer relationships and grow customer lifetime value. Finally, by avoiding some on-site visits you help fighting climate change as you produce less CO2 emissions.

As Gerald Pomper, Head of Service and Support Konica Minolta Business Solutions Germany stated: “AIRe Link is the perfect supplement to our service management toolbox. It enables us to increase the uptime of customers’ infrastructure while optimising our processes. We are also using this tool to increase the knowledge transfer between our service task forces.”

There is a famous saying: “The first machine is sold by Sales, all the other machines are sold by the service.” The biggest threat for your company is not to implement Remote Visual Support and fall behind your competitors in terms of brand recognition, customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and attractiveness for both your current employees and new talents. With Konica Minolta AIRe Link, you will get both the award-winning tool and the support from a global service company, which is using AIRe Link within its service and support globally.

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