Field-service retailers and other companies that deliver products and services —from packages, consumer goods, and groceries to maintenance and repairs—are at the forefront of the recent surge in popularity of digital transformation. Meanwhile, the landscape has also changed due to digitally savvy customers, who now more than ever before seeking information through new channels, expect tailored and error-free interactions, and expect a quick resolution when errors do occur.
How are forward-thinking companies trying to meet these emerging field service demands? A significant amount of evidence points towards the adoption of AI, business intelligence, IoT-powered technology, and the use of mobile devices as an effective field service tool.
Therefore, what constitutes a successful digital transformation project? Here are several underlying principles to consider:
Accessing the Necessary Information. To get a 360-degree view of your customer, you’ll need to combine transactional data and marketing data to strike the right balance. In every industry, having the right information at the right time is critical, but nowhere is it more critical than in customer-centric industries such as that of field service.
Almost 60 per cent of field service agents say they toggle between multiple windows to find the information they need for their job. Introducing an ERP platform that provides the optimal visibility of customer data eliminates this issue. Manually filling out work orders and paper reports is no longer an obstacle thanks to digital transformation. This frees up more time for your team to focus on the tasks that are required to provide excellent customer service.
Technicians can also greatly benefit from digital transformation, especially if they are provided with a mobile-optimized experience that lets them manage work orders and appointment schedules, access customer data and maps, and capture photos, videos, and voice notes with a mobile app.
Delivering Fast, Personalized Services. All businesses strive to provide the right product or service to customers at the right time. Customers benefit from this, and businesses benefit from increased revenue.
More than 75 per cent of customers believe that the experience a company provides is just as important as its products and services. Previously, service providers would show up to appointments with little knowledge of previous appointments or equipment history.
However, with the right data in hand, technicians are now fully equipped with the knowledge base of previous experiences, giving them the ability to better cater to a customer’s specific needs. All of this is achieved quickly, by having digitally transformed processes that eliminate the constant back-and-forth between the agent and the office to have the relevant data for each case.
Having AI-powered smart route planning also aids in identifying the optimal route for a technician to take before, and even during, the trip to the customer. This ensures that minimal wait time for the customer and higher overall satisfaction with the speed of your service.
Create a Memorable Digital Customer Experience. Building stronger customer relationships and consistently exceeding expectations is both a consequence and extension of the previous two points. Field-service delivery is no longer just about making a physical or practical connection between service and customers. Understanding customer needs thoroughly, sometimes even better than customers do, will provide a significant competitive advantage.
Through digital transformation, your organization can make use of IoT-powered data to remotely detect and resolve issues before they become a problem, learning about the issue before even the customer themselves. Similarly, to choose the right technician at the right time, your organization can make use of AI-enabled scheduling recommendations to ensure that the customer has the best person for their specific requirements.
All in all, digital transformation is a huge step towards bringing field service providers closer to their customers. Technology at the forefront of your service allows your organization to stand out among your competitors through more efficient service delivery, faster resolution time, and a focus on improved customer experiences.
Interested in learning more about how you can help your field service can achieve a successful digital transformation? We’ve recently collaborated with EY Malta to discuss Digitally Transforming Field Service Operations. Visit us here to view the discussion!
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