Companies know that relying on manual processes and job management just isn’t cutting it anymore. Field service management is forging a new future—fueled by technology. From estimates and dispatching to communication and invoicing, software makes the whole process easier.
Explore the trends that have emerged in 2022 and how they’ll impact the future of field service management.
5 Ways to Stay Ahead with Field Service Management Technology
Long customer service queues, disorganized job scheduling, and paper processes are par for the course for service providers ... right? Not so fast!
You can work more effectively to deliver more to your customers. Businesses like yours stay ahead of the curve with the following features and technology.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
We just can’t stress the importance of AI for successful field service management today. After all, it’s the engine that powers field service management software, enabling several features and perks.
Enjoy automatic job scheduling.
Complex algorithms work to create technician schedules, avoiding overlap and overscheduling. Thanks to scheduling functions, dispatchers save administrative time and technicians know their schedules and demands for each day, cutting down on travel.
Account for last-minute jobs.
When a request comes in at the last minute, you probably panic—and rightfully so. Who has room in their schedule? Who’s close to the job site? Field service management software eases the anxiety and can readily assign on-the-fly tasks to the right technicians based on their location, skills, and availability with minimal disruption.
Data analysis helps you work smarter.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda ... but you didn’t. If you hate trying to figure out what went wrong after the fact, it is possible to work smarter. Businesses can be proactive by using software data. Use data analysis to assess how best to approach projects before deploying technicians, rather than relying solely on how past projects performed. Bonus: You’ll even be able to deliver jobs ahead of time and boost profits.
2. Cloud-Based Apps
When you work in the cloud, information is accessible anytime, anywhere. Cloud-based apps are proliferating the field service management space.
Software and apps enable remote work.
COVID-19 made everyone go remote—even traditionally hands-on roles like field service. But we learned that not only can those roles handle this model to a certain extent, but it’s also productive and enjoyable. With cloud access to data, field service workers can continue to work from anywhere.
Tech focus equals tech workflows.
Is technology really that big of a deal, though? The pros don’t lie. Experts believe that by 2024, field service management software will grow by $3.43 billion. Workflows are increasingly becoming more technology-enabled because the strategy is more efficient, more productive, and more profitable. And let’s face it: If you hate manual processes and paper as much as we do, you’re going to love reducing your operation’s paper waste, too.
3. Predictive Maintenance
Are you still waiting by the phone for customers to request service visits? While on-the-spot jobs will always happen, technology is making it so that’s not the only way to help customers.
Predictive is better than preventive.
HVAC system going haywire? Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), field service can switch from preventive to predictive maintenance, fixing faults like this before they become bigger problems. Here’s how it works:
- Connected sensors inside machines detect irregularities and alert field service.
- Field service fixes the element that’s failing before it impacts the entire machine—and your productivity and revenue.
Sensor data identifies patterns.
Predictive maintenance is all well and good, but if the same component keeps breaking down, there’s probably a bigger issue. The data from the sensors will identify patterns, allowing you to decide: Replace the component with another brand, or go back to the drawing board?
4. Self-Service Portals
Ordering food? Use the app. Diagnosing a web problem? Ask a chatbot. Self-service solutions for individuals and businesses alike blew up during the pandemic.
They’re effective because they act as the initial point of contact between a customer and an organization, quickly capturing details about a specific problem. When you enable tools such as text-me-back widgets, the information customers provide in the self-service platform gives early insights to help you solve their problem(s). Of course, some self-service is just convenient (and in the case of COVID-19, necessary).
Mobile apps keep things moving in real time.
As a customer yourself, have you ever wanted to be able to have a direct line to a repair technician? It sure beats a silent 2-4 hour service window! Customers want to know what to expect, and a mobile app is an excellent means for both sides to communicate in real time. With it, field service workers can provide necessary updates to customers.
Cashless became the gold standard.
Money used to mean the little green pieces of paper with presidents on them, but that’s been changing for years, and the pandemic turned cashless payment into a go-to. Don’t expect that to change as mobile and online payment portals offer convenience and flexibility.
5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Some fields are just better left to practical learning rather than cracking open a book. AR and VR are opening new doors to give the next generation of field technicians what they need to be successful on the job.
Provide training and assistance for digital-native technicians.
AR and VR give technicians opportunities to get their hands dirty without worrying about mistakes or upset customers. New tools provide a completely digital, simulated repair environment for trainees. It’s risk-free, so new technicians can practice and hone their skills by taking on built-in challenges.
Find off-site guidance from experienced technicians.
If a simulated environment isn’t ideal, you could also try a technician-teacher. On-demand training is common across companies, and technicians-in-training are increasingly turning to webinar-like remote training sessions. Here, trainers draw on companion screens and have their instructions appear in the AR display for the new tech to reference.
Replace service visits.
AR and VR aren’t just training tools, though. In a pinch, technicians can also use new tools to enhance customer service, walking through problems with customers without a service visit.
Stay on Top of Field Service Management Statistics and Trends
Between technology advancements and pandemic necessities, field service management technologies are going through rapid transformation. Tools such as AI, cloud-based apps, self-service, and more are leading this evolution.
Want to up your field service management game now and into the future? Service Fusion delivers a platform to help you work effectively and efficiently for your customers. Check out our Benefits of Implementing FSM Software e-book to learn how to leverage the technology and get in touch to discuss your needs.