Any provider of field services understands the frustration of having to comprehend a complex problem without a proper visual perspective of the issue at hand. With a verbal description and perhaps an attempt to recreate strange sounds emanating from a malfunctioning device, a service technician is expected to diagnose the problem and magically offer tips on how to repair it.
Thankfully, technological innovations have come a long way. With the support of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and virtual reality (AR and VR), new tools are emerging that make it possible to more directly involve service technicians, specialists, and experts in field service operations, even if they are not on site. This video assistance uses the tools available – like mobile devices – to provide images of devices in need of repair or even virtual spaces where service technicians can congregate to solve an issue.
What do you need to do to get started? Here is a short guideline how to start:
#1 Let’s Get Digital!
One of the biggest hurdles to effective field services is a lack of information. More specifically, field service technicians not having access to the knowledge and information that they require to get the job done. This can range from customer details to device data to the best route to get from one field service appointment to the next. This is all data that is available. However, if it is not all consolidated in one location and easily accessible to field service technicians, then it is basically non-existent. This problem can easily be solved by implementing a field service management software, which would allow for the seamless integration of all available information and knowledge. And, on mobile devices, which is essential for field service technicians on the go!
#2 Up the Workforce Ante
The next step is ensuring that there is a sufficient number of service technicians on hand to meet the field service demand. This can prove to be a costly undertaking if a company is forced to employ a number of new and highly qualified employees. That is why the best solution is Crowd Service. A crowd is a pool of trained and skilled field service technicians who are not just company employees, but also partners, subcontractors or even freelancers technicians. Thanks to the field service management software and artificial intelligence, field service tasks can then be intelligently assigned to a service technician within this pool while taking into account expertise and availability.
#3 Make it visual
The final piece of the puzzle is to integrate video assistance tools. With the field service management software in place, companies can upload any number of instructional videos, interactive checklists and manuals. Field service technicians can refer to these guides if they are unable to solve a problem on their own. Companies can take collaborative video assistance to the next level by providing augmented reality connections. This would make it possible for a field service technician on site to include an off site expert or specialist in the repair process.
These three steps, though crucial for optimizing processes, are in fact relatively simple and cost-effective to apply. And they promise increased customer satisfaction, higher revenues, lower costs, and overall maximized efficiency.
For more detailed information on how to get started and what benefits you can expect, we recommend the free White Paper: Long-term Excellence in Field Service with the Use of Augmented Reality Remote Video Assistance