Whatever you make, whatever service you provide, the success of your business depends on customer satisfaction. And, as technology continues to change the service landscape and raise expectations, customer experience is set to become the key brand differentiator.
Your field service technicians are the face of your business and, when something goes wrong, customers rely on them to sort it out. Managing a field service team is operationally complex, and prospective clients that I speak to describe how existing processes are riddled with inefficiencies. Here are some things to ask yourself:
- Do you know how much it costs your business when issues are incorrectly reported and you don’t send the right team, or equipment, first time around?
- Do you have the visibility you need to send the nearest, best-qualified technician so that your business doesn’t waste time and money on unnecessary travel?
- How do you decide which issues to prioritise? Does it sometimes feel like the customer who shouts loudest gets dealt with first?
How can you make the right decisions if you don’t have the information you need?
Incorrect, incomplete and inefficient reporting isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s bad for business. Customers subjected to equipment downtime, delays or inadequate service vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere. But not before they’ve taken out their frustration on your best field service technicians who, tired of being the scapegoat for process inefficiencies, leave to work for one of your competitors.
I don’t believe that data is the answer to all problems, but I know that a service operation enabled by data-led processes and technologies makes smart decisions faster.
With IoT sensors installed in products, suppliers can monitor everything remotely. Connecting assets and devices so they can talk to each other generates data that can be used to offer a better service. The IoT gives field service operators the information and insights they need to pre-empt issues and fix them efficiently, often remotely.
A connected approach to field services makes inventory maintenance and workload prioritisation easier. It allows businesses to move from a reactive to a predictive, proactive approach.
Predictive maintenance using IoT substantially reduces equipment downtime, and remote monitoring reduces costs. And, unsurprisingly, both these make customers happy. I’ve also witnessed first-hand how streamlined processes reduce admin and wastage and arm technicians with the insights they need to add real value to a customer’s business.
As customer experience is key to business success, it isn’t enough just to tick the boxes on service. You need to be thinking about how to exceed expectations. Connected Field Services help you do this, and give your business the competitive edge it needs to succeed now and in the future.
Next generation technology is available now, and I’m committed to helping businesses extract maximum value from all it can offer. You can find out more about the Hitachi Solutions approach here or contact us here: