Shoppers increasingly prefer digital channels to research, compare, and order a product. Post sales, customer service has also gone digital; customers are using the web, email and chat to resolve issues. That means your customers’ first encounter with a real human is likely your field-service technicians — will they live up to your customers’ expectations?

By Andy Chinmulgund

As customers increasingly choose digital channels to interact with businesses, human conversation is becoming less important. Shoppers often choose digital channels to research, compare, review, select and finally place their order. And as businesses have come to depend on these cost-effective digital channels, they are increasingly looking for ways to automate the shopping process. Artificial intelligence, for example, can personalize the shopping experience by assisting with product selection, customer service queries, and merchandise returns.

Consequently, for many customers, their first contact with a real human who represents the brand they purchased just may be the field service technician. This places extra emphasis on equipping your field techs with everything they need to make an excellent first impression.

Field visits become critical for creating successful customer relationships

When field visits become the primary human touchpoint, they become the focus for building strong customer relationships and enhancing customer lifetime value. Of course, just as technology is automating the sales side of the house, it is also touching field-service operations. Here, we see equally dramatic changes. Products in the field are now connected, enabling more frequent, accurate, and automated data collection. Maintenance tasks and software updates can be performed remotely, and when a site visit is needed, even the decision to schedule that can be automated. Advanced data analytics coupled with AI now enables us to predict when maintenance is required and the probability and timing of a product failure.

Even the core tasks traditionally performed by field technicians are being automated: data collection, maintenance, asset state assessment, and troubleshooting, to name just a few. This means the focus in the field is shifting from the installation and maintenance of physical assets to qualitative objectives such as exceeding customer expectations and delivering differentiated customer experiences — because the success of a field visit is no longer measured solely by how effectively and quickly an installation or repair of a physical device is performed.

How can field service organizations enhance the CX they deliver?

The first step in equipping your field technicians to strengthen customer relationships is to implement a customer-centric approach backed by broad, deep technical and customer insights that are delivered ‘in the moment.’ Existing CRM systems play a key role here as they enable us to tailor field-service delivery to each customer’s needs and preferences. But these are just one input; we also need to blend them with information that is typically ‘owned’ by the service organization: product and service records, sensor information, and so on.

Increased data connectivity facilitated by the Internet of Things, in combination with powerful data analytics solutions and AI enable asset management and service activation. The deeper and richer insights into usage patterns and frequency of faults means field technicians can be better prepared before a field visit. Before a truck is rolled, your technician can know everything about the customer, the equipment, its status, and what repair is required.

Simply put, digital transformation in the service organization results in the Right People with the Right Parts for the Right Job.

The three pillars of field service

Training and development is a key element of this digital transformation of the service center; your  technicians will need to enhance their existing skillset with technical knowledge, service knowledge, and customer knowledge so they can excel when onsite for a customer visit.

  1. Technical Knowledge: In order to fix it right the first time, field service technicians will need instant access to service knowledge databases, and the ability to share and collaborate with technical experts and other technicians remotely.
  2. Service Knowledge: It is no longer enough to repair an asset in the field and forget about it. By creating and maintaining a proper feedback mechanism, the data gathered by field technicians is stored in a central knowledge database. This can be accessed by field technicians when resolving complex issues. Regular updates to the knowledge database empower technicians to make more informed decisions.
  3. Customer Knowledge: To deliver a truly personalized customer experience, field technicians need access to customer usage patterns and habits. Environmental factors such as humidity or usage patterns such as the frequency of opening and shutting a refrigerator door have a considerable impact on asset health and performance.

Bruviti can help at every step of your digital transformation

At Bruviti, our mission is to empower field-service organizations to diagnose problems quickly and accurately, and fix them the first time. Our AI-powered suite of products enable you to implement strategies for managing end-to-end asset lifecycle and customer experience by preventing downtime and maximizing operational efficiency.

Our AR/VR tools such as Live Help enable technical experts and field technicians to collaborate remotely to solve complex issues. Live Call annotations ensure that on-field and off-field teams are collaborating on the problem in real time for speedy diagnosis and accurate resolution.

And by using our Digital Twin technology, your field technicians can access asset information wherever they are. By creating a virtual representation of the physical asset, field technicians can better understand the exact state of the asset and take informed decisions about which parts and spares should be carried.

Contact us to learn more!