Over time, technology has come to play a key role in field service delivery. The changing needs of markets and customers has evolved the erstwhile field service management into a highly automated digital system, enhanced by IT applications. The systems have shown increased understanding of challenges that field service organisations are now facing in the post-pandemic scenario.
Face to face dealing has long been the accepted way by businesses everywhere, but the new normal forced in 2020 has altered the rules of engagement radically. As recovery from the Covid-19 calamity gets on, we see a more digitization for engagement of customers, with bare minimum of physical interaction. Today’s pandemic centric environment has made organisations to rethink of what field service means in this context. But they all agree the show must go on. There are mission-critical staff in many industries, such as communications or utilities, that must continue to support various infrastructure maintained by different industries and organisations.
Get ready for Field Service in the New Normal
Some challenges ever present is data in different systems not consolidated to get a view of the history of an asset and information about the customer involved. Safety is another issue to be considered for staff and customers alike; to continue mission critical maintenance even in uncertain situations. We take every precaution possible to mitigate any potential risk, but still operate effectively. Companies must prepare for a remote operating environment to minimise person to person interaction.
To handle the challenges and of backlogs amassed during Lockdown.
- Besides finding ways to work quickly and safely, the challenge is the build-up of backlogs during lockdown, that has to be cleared to move ahead.
- The field force management software platform can have processes automated as much as possible and let service executives attend only exceptional cases.
- Automation helps to free up time for the field executives or technicians. It also goes far to help remove most of the essential daily tasks in the workflow, to be back on track again.
- Elasticity in the workforce is an attribute needed in 2020, in the light of unpredictable availability of resource in general.
- Access to information is essential, either to use remote service delivery, or for the technician at the service delivery point.
- Other ways to improve service delivery are involving a call-centre service, digital engagement tools, knowledge management and even self-service. Many options depend on cost factors and nature of the issue.
Catering to changing Customer Preferences.
Digitization gives increasing in-built capabilities in data collection that can be sent to service teams via a customised mobile app, when connected, even in real-time, by a versatile service management software. The field service technician is thus equipped with all necessary info, like customer profile, history of service, etc., all valuable to deliver a better service for the customer point remotely or when scheduled as per restrictions as per post-pandemic state of affairs.
Remote Engagement & Limiting Visits.
Remote diagnostics through voice or video sessions is now preferred. A virtual presence of the service technician via video or voice delivered via software resources, help limit visits but supports the non-site experience and a customer centric management.
Automated solutions aim to deliver service experience on site, while managing social distance. It can minimise visits by selecting the right technician to attend a complaint. Automated arrival notifications help customers to be at the point of service at a fixed time to help reduce points of human contact.
Remote First Approach as Default.
Forced by circumstances the remote first approach as default has to be adopted for service delivery. The physical presence of a service personnel on site is now at a premium, owing to various reasons. This also depends on what product or asset has been sold or in use with the customer and their expectations. Allowing remote connectivity or remote service first priority could help to reduce downtime quickly. Timely preventive maintenance done remotely results in maximum uptime.