In the past few years, thousands of manufacturers embraced digitalization to drive efficiency and better compete in the global marketplace. This shift led to dramatic changes in how products are designed, planned, and manufactured. In the service side of the house, digitalization has presented service organizations with similar opportunities to boost operational performance, reduce costs, and adopt a more customer-centric approach that mirrors that of the wider organization.

By Andy Chinmulgund

Today, there’s an urgent, new priority in how we deliver service to customers. COVID-19 is compelling service organizations to reconfigure their operations to make them safer for both customers and field-service technicians. But it’s not as simple switching to Zoom calls for business meetings. For example, how will service organizations provide remote assistance for customers who are firing up equipment that has been idled for several months and requires special maintenance?

As our industry transitions toward recovery from the current crisis, service leaders will also face new challenges in interpersonal interaction. Technicians will be asking “is my operating environment safe?” while customers will be asking “what is your COVID-19 safety protocol?” As service groups address these concerns, intelligent remote diagnostics and new approaches to remedy service issues will become increasingly relevant.

Here’s a three-step program that will enable you to address the current ‘new normal’ and will lay the foundation for a digitally transformed service organization.

1.    It starts with data analytics

How can we reduce the need for a service visit? Analysis of operational data generated by equipment from consumer appliances to commercial/industrial equipment yields rich insights into usage patterns, service history, component failures, and warranty claims. Now is the time to assess what data you have and how it can be orchestrated to provide service insights. Read my blog to learn more about data orchestration.

2.    AI predicts and resolves service issues faster

Once your data is assembled, AI and machine-learning technologies can take the guesswork out of predicting which parts will fail and when they will need to be replaced. These accurate predictions help service groups take informed decisions that improve operational efficiencies, increase bottom-line profitability, and enable the design of new service protocols that minimize customer visits. Bruviti Smart Service  applies AI to improve fix rates on the first visit.

3.    Smart help and smarter agents

Conversational AI solutions are another ready-to-deploy asset that service groups should embrace. Chatbots that can understand questions of all kinds, discern intent, and know when to ‘up-level’ to an agent are now adept at providing troubleshooting tips so that customers can fix simple issues. These same technologies can provide contact center agents with expert guidance that can avert a service call. Bruviti Smart Support combines essential and contextually relevant information into a single window that centralizes all an agent needs to solve a customer’s issue.

As recovery begins, how will your organization adapt and thrive in tomorrow’s new service landscape? One thing is certain, digital technologies will play a central role in your transformation.