Mobile has redefined how field service technicians work. As the months and years go by, it’s hard not to wonder what lies ahead for enterprise and field service mobility. It’s important to keep future trends in mind as you plan out where to invest in your field service business.
Depending on the industry, service organizations use mobile in different ways, but Aberdeen research discovered that there are three areas that will especially affect field service in the future. Companies should make these areas a priority and look to invest, install, and strategize within these sectors to gain benefits from them in the near future.
The following are the areas that will significantly impact the future of field service mobility and enterprise mobility:
Mobility Helps Customer Engagement and Communication
It’s already known that mobile workforce management and field service software have changed the service game. But they have also changed how customers communicate with field service organizations and technicians. Everything from requesting appointments to invoicing to signing off on reports to notifications sent from IoT-connected machines can be done on mobile. And mobility allows field service techs to communicate directly with customers.
Mobility in the future will continue to be developed so that customer engagement increases and more communication channels are opened. There are apps that let techs communicate with customers who want self-service options through video chat. And technicians who are new to the job can use mobile devices equipped with field service software to guide them through the steps of how to fix a machine they’re unfamiliar with.
As mobile devices continue to diversify beyond smartphone and tablets to wearables and virtual reality gear, technicians will have even more ways to communicate with customers and the back office, and keep customers engaged while they fix equipment.
The Aberdeen report, State of Service Management 2015: Connect to Your Customers (March 2015), showed that according to 71% of the Best-in-Class, the best initiative for improving customer engagement was creating a communication strategy that lets customers get in touch with your business however they want, and as often as they want.
Mobile helps you create real-time service moments for your customers, and since customers have purchased your software, it’s true that they want to see your field service company succeed.
Reactive maintenance is becoming a thing of the past. Preventive and predictive maintenance are the future, alongside other service options, such as self-service. When customers are engaged and have easy mobile channels to communicate with your field service business, both your business and the customers will see benefits.
Invest in Remote Resolution
The key to remote resolution is mobility. Field service mobility and enterprise mobility allow for remote resolution of problems thanks to smart machines equipped with sensors that can notify both customers, and more importantly, technicians before they happen. The IoT is only going to grow broader in the future, and businesses that learn to leverage its potential for remote notification and resolution of problems will rise to the top.
Remote resolution possibilities can be as simple as self-service through giving the customer guided instructions via mobile or it can be as futuristic as a technicians being able to remotely reboot a machine or upload new software.
Enterprise mobility makes field service much more efficient and improves first-time fix rates since technicians will have remotely received the data they need to be able to properly fix machines or equipment faster and, even order the right parts ahead of time, if needed.
Furthermore, when companies find ways to use the data collected from the Internet of Things, they will improve their relationships with their customers since they can use the data to better assess the customer’s needs and faults within their machines, without having to be on-site to do so.
Learn How to Use Big Data
Mobility will propel developers to create new and innovative solutions and applications to manage data, as the amount of data continues to grow thanks to automated machines and the IoT-connected devices.
With the large amount of data floating around now, going mobile helps businesses to collect the right data in a digital and structured way. This way analyzing that data to find out how to better use the information for customers becomes much easier.
Mobile devices help technicians see status updates on certain machines and enables them to pull up customer history to view trends or red flags within the data.
Data is not only useful for technicians, but also for customers and other business departments as well. The Best-in-Class field service organizations realize this fact, and ensure workers in various department can access information to put it to good use. Leveraging big data can also mean being transparent with customers or empowering field service workers with access to the ERP.
Enterprise Mobility Best Linked to the Cloud
Enterprise mobility, Big Data, security, and remote resolution need the cloud to work together successfully. In the future, the cloud will continue to play a critical role in field service mobility. It allows workers to be able to access all the information they need whether they are in the office or on-site.
The cloud also lets workers collaborate with each other by sharing reports, documents, or customer history to help more efficiently fix a machine. Of course, cloud security will become even more important in the future, since technicians will have access to sensitive data over various networks. That’s why it’ll be even more important to choose a field service software company that allows for software upgrades and has a safety policy in place to keep data secure.
The key takeaway for the future is businesses that keep the customer in mind and invest in customer engagement tools, remote resolution, big data analysis, and the cloud while also pushing for smart usage of enterprise mobility tools will be the field service leaders of the future.