Field service is generally defined as a company or business that runs the better part of its operations externally – not at headquarters or in an office. These or most frequently things like installations, in-home support, repairs, and generally any service that uses dispatching methods to organize their employees en route.
The field service industry is huge, worth nearly $2 billion in 2016, but expected to grow to nearly $4.5 billion by 2022. As this industry continues to emerge, it also continues to adapt and develop using new technology and new methods to improve and grow.
1. Emphasizing mobility
The future of the field service industry will bring a particularly strong focus to mobility – how field employees are getting around. The technology used in field services is constantly working to improve the optimization of the field employees’ routes. It is also used to ensure real-time communication between the customer and with headquarters.
This technology will ensure no moment is wasted due to lack of communication regarding where the employees are, where they will be, and where they should be. By speeding up and optimizing this information, field employees will increase the number of jobs they can complete and decrease the amount of time wasted unnecessarily.
2. Increased use of data
Collecting and using data is an overwhelming resource, but a necessary one in today’s age. Using the data collected, will help field service companies to get ahead of the game by allowing them to more easily predict certain aspects of their business. Companies will become more efficient at not only collecting the data they need to improve processes, but also at analyzing that data.
Data is great to have, but it is pretty useless if nobody is doing anything with it. Efficient collection and analyzation of data helps companies to improve their service, decrease expenses and make better predictions about their future.
3. Increased artificial intelligence
With the goal of making everything faster and more automatic, artificial intelligence will be playing a larger role in the field service industry in the coming years. Artificial intelligence can take over certain processes in a field service company’s day-to-day work, for example, dispatching can be done automatically.
In addition, artificial intelligence can be used to set predictive maintenance schedules. Increased artificial intelligence not only helps things get done more quickly, it also helps take the guesswork out of a lot of processes.
4. Improved scheduling
It can be pretty annoying to be told you will receive a house call some time between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., especially for a call that is going to take less than half an hour, which is often the case. While many field service companies have managed to cut those times down to just a few hours, it would be ideal to make that gap even smaller yet.
The future of field service will likely see this gap closed up, as processes become more automated and more predictable, and as every area of the field service industry becomes optimized for time.
5. Improved customer service experience
Research has shown that the most important thing for field service companies to pay attention to is customer service. More than 90 per cent of field service customers say that customer service is the number one factor in their choosing to stay with a certain company or brand, and 93 per cent of field service workers themselves list maintaining customer trust and loyalty as their number one concern. As such, field service companies know that they must put increased efforts into their customer service, and most technology and changes that will be introduced have at least some element of that in mind.