How covid-19 impacts field service

How covid-19 impacts field service

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” Now, we begin every working day in what we like to call ‘the COVID War Room’. Here, my team and I assess and plan around the daily challenges brought on by the pandemic, for example, how many people we have self-isolating; the availability of the staff; the impact of government restrictions in regions covered by our networks, and having sufficient amounts of PPE. It’s a continuous chess board and we are always moving pieces around to be able to continue for each new tomorrow. ”

– John Griffin, Head of Ericsson UK & Ireland and recipient of a 2020 OBE

Field services

The COVID 19 pandemic has generated a tremendous impact on field service. Three lockdowns in the UK have severely disrupted business, with many enterprises cutting back or eliminating field service. However, essential services have kept running, which means that field service personnel in those areas have had to keep working under challenging conditions. But beyond the difficulties, there is a silver lining.

Now is an opportune time to think about how emerging practices like outcome-based service, visual assistance, and intelligent automation can do more. Innovations in these leading-edge technologies were already bringing change to field service management pre-pandemic.

The necessity caused by COVID-19 is presently accelerating the groundbreaking shift since it protects workers and allows operations to continue. And the advances made now will not go away after the pandemic is over because they increase productivity.

Outcome-based service

Service models are quickly shifting away from following specific processes and protocols to an increased focus on keeping the customer operating at any cost. Instead of selling a service or product that is designed to maintain and repair, service companies are offering to work together mutually with companies to achieve results that are attainable, measurable, and bring success.

Businesses report three benefits from changing to an outcome-based service model:

  • Efficiency improves.
  • Innovation increases.
  • Service outcomes are transformed.

Field service organizations offering outcome-based service increasingly use automated remote monitoring to ensure equipment always operates at peak performance. When easily fixed issues appear, remote experts can guide staff on-site, reducing the need for service calls.

Visual assistance

Visual assistance

The lines between field service and contact center are becoming blurred by the use of video. Agents are now coaching customers or doing remote repairs where possible, eliminating the need for a field service engineer to visit the site.

Remote technicians can offer a level of service that would not be possible without vision. They can look at customers’ home devices and suggest upgrades while walking customers through implementing or repairing their current device.

Senior personnel are using video to watch over an on-site technician’s shoulder and coach them through performing the task. Pre-pandemic, the two people would have worked together as a team on-site, but by using visual assistance, one senior engineer can oversee several technicians.

Intelligent automation

Just-in-time scheduling ensures everything is completed on time by monitoring technicians and automatically assigning tasks. If the project is rescheduled or completed early,
dispatching software can quickly fill the gap.

Dispatching software brings these benefits:

  • Real-time, intelligent automation.
  • Fully optimized workforce.
  • Easy implementation.
  • Builds practical routes.
  • Improves technician to dispatcher ratio.
  • Cuts customer missed appointments by more than 6o%.

In summary, reflect on these questions asked in the Harvard Business Review:
” Consider how you will address the post-crisis world. Can you be part of faster adoption of new technologies, new processes, etc? Can you eventually find advantage in adversity for your company, clients and society? ”

Outcome-based service, visual assistance, and intelligent automation provide feasible, long-term ways to reduce human contact while increasing customer satisfaction. These operational efficiencies won’t pass away with the disappearance of COVID 19.

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