In this next article in a series analysing exclusive Field Service News Research findings from a research project run in partnership with Field Aware are we seeing the emergence of new service delivery tiers…
Having established that remote service delivery will almost certainly take hold as a prevalent means of delivering service moving forward, the question that follows is whether remote service delivery will shift to become viewed equally to a traditional on-site service visit?
It is perhaps the most critical question that we must address as we move through the recovery period and begin to establish our service strategies for the post-pandemic age. On the one hand, an argument could be made that the speed and efficiency of remote service delivery could be perceived as an increase in service standards, particularly in service agreements that are based upon outcomes and guarantees of uptime.
On the other hand, the field service engineer, for many customer-centric service companies is far more than a pair of ‘hands on site’ as we saw in an earlier finding within this report. The service engineer for best-in-class organisations is an ambassador for the brand, a subject matter expert and a trusted advisor in the eyes of the customer.
The value for the customer of having such a resource on site can be invaluable and immeasurable and is often fundamental in their perception of the value proposition of the service agreement. This is something that simply cannot be replicated in an online setting.
Our study suggests that while undoubtedly the majority of service organisations within the response set will embrace remote services and add this to their arsenal of service delivery tools, the majority still see the traditional on-site service call as a premium offering.
Almost half (48%) of respondents stated that they believe their customers will still perceive a greater value in a face-to-face service engineer call compared to only 13% who believe that their customers will see greater value in remote services.
Meanwhile just over a third (39%) state that they believe their customers will see equal value in both. (Figure 6 above)
This could in fact be where we something of a balance emerge. One mooted suggestion that is gaining traction amongst service executives is the emergence of a hybrid model.
Such models are able to take advantage of the quicker resolution time that remote can offer in emergency scenarios and also leverage remote technology for routine maintenance, but with on-site engineer visits being preferred for particularly complex issues but also for more in-depth asset reviews which allow the engineer to bring to the table their experience and expertise they offer the customer.
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