A Deeper View for Bigger Problems

In the second excerpt from a recent e-book sponsored by Salesforce, and now available at Field Service News, we discuss how having a deeper view is important for field service workers

 

Having deeper, more nuanced information is important, because field-service workers are being asked to do more. “All the reproducible issues can be dealt with through self-service or the contact center,” Leggett says. “Field service deals with the harder problems, which require pulling resources together quickly.”

 

Eliminating data silos is fundamental to elevating the role of field service and assembling those resources. Sharing information more effectively affects both CX and the employee experience.

Today, a technician in the field wants immediate access to helpful videos, or a knowledge base where they can connect with other subject matter experts in the company to get guidance.

 

One company, BID Group, which makes timber-processing equipment, uses augmented-reality (AR) technology so a field- service technician can share an image on location with an expert in the home office. Other companies are using hands- free eyewear that projects manuals and other information into the mobile workers’ field of vision. Such technology depends on coordinated information: field-service technicians need to easily access experts or material they need.

 

“Millennials, who will represent half the workforce by 2026, want to use technology to make a bigger impact,” Leggett says.

 

This shift dovetails with companies’ expanding their use of technology in field-service operations. Some 73% of field- service operations now have capabilities to deliver service remotely, according to a 2020 report by Field Service News. About 60% say they implemented these capabilities as a result of the pandemic.

 

But now that this technology has arrived, field service has changed forever. Many companies now believe both face- to-face and remote visits will play important roles in field service, according to a study by the consultancy Strategies for Growth.

 

This finding suggests that field service operations realize they will need a variety of channels to serve customers in the future. However, all channels depend on gathering and sharing information more adroitly among departments.

 

Since the pandemic, Fuji Xerox has blurred the lines between its field service and contact center; agents have been upskilled so they can coach a customer through a problem or repair a system remotely, and field-service workers are dispatched only as a last resort. As the boundaries between the departments blur, they need to share new kinds of information.

 

Beyond working remotely together, field-service and contact agents can also help product-development teams make products easier for customers to work on as they are guided remotely, says Richard Glover, a senior industrial fellow at the Advanced Services Group, the Centre of

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"Mobile workers need a 360-degree view of the customer to deliver service quickly and efficiently."

Excellence in Research and Practice on Servitization and Advanced Services at Aston Business School in Birmingham, U.K. Based on their experience guiding customers, a service technician might recommend panels on equipment be designed differently, so they are easier for a customer to open.

 

With a 360-degree view of customers, companies can determine which cases are best handled remotely.

 

It’s critical that these services be positioned with CX in mind, Glover says. “You don’t want customers to see remote access as a cheap service that you are using to reduce your costs,” he says. “You need to explain that remote interaction allows the customer to get his problem solved quicker, improving the service level for the same price.”

 

Along these lines, field-service organizations indicate that their primary goals for expanding use of new technology, such as remote capabilities, focus on pleasing the customers and meeting or exceeding their expectations.

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