Smart-scanning Remote Assistance: Empower Customers to Power Field Service Operations

Unsurprisingly, remote customer assistance in field service is in increasing demand in our socially distanced COVID world. Customers simply want the convenience and safety of solving problems themselves. With the pandemic forcing 88% of field service companies to severely restrict or eliminate onsite engineer visits, effective tools for helping customers remotely are now a must-have in the new norm. 

This was certainly found to be the case in a poll run during WBR’s recent European Field Service Summit, with 90% of respondents expecting the accelerated adoption of digital technologies and remote service delivery.

However, responding and provisioning remote assistance on the scale required since the pandemic hit has been a major challenge for many field service providers. Until now. 

Scandit’s barcode scanning and augmented reality software gives customers easy-to-use scanning on their own familiar smart devices. And you don’t necessarily need to deploy via a smartphone app because our software also works directly via your website. With a simple scan customers, whether for telecoms, utility, pest control or business services, can:

  • Rapidly access asset information, such as warranty and maintenance data.
  • Resolve issues with manuals and videos to install or fix things.
  • Share asset information with dispatchers to make remote fixes more accurate, or schedule a technician for a first-time fix on site.

Here are few examples of how smartphone scanning is a win-win for field service customers and providers:

Track assets quickly in real time, anywhere

Asset management is often a huge logistical headache, leading to financial losses and customer friction. Scrolling through large spreadsheets or catalogs to find the right asset and the right information is time-consuming, frustrating and costly. Particularly when something needs fixing urgently. 

With an easy-to-use scanning app or via your website, customers can instantly access asset information by simply scanning the barcode, serial number or asset tag on an item. Critical information – such as contract terms, maintenance schedules or warranty details – appears instantly on their screen. No need to call or search any further. 

It’s a win-win situation for field service companies. By scanning equipment, customers are essentially supporting effective asset tracking throughout its lifetime. Shared data tracks assets and individual parts, ensuring you keep costs under control, and that you avoid incurring extra liability or loss.

scan barcodes from packages

The right tools for DIY

Time-restricted customers aren’t prepared to wait on the phone, or explain their problem to customer services countless times. Increasingly, they are happy to fix or install an item themselves to avoid delays – as long as it doesn’t require the skills of a certified engineer.

A mobile scan of their equipment’s barcode or serial number gives them instant access to all the information they need to troubleshoot, fix or install parts on their own. No need to wait in all day for a service visit. Plus, a simple scan confirms when work has been completed. 

By adding an augmented reality (AR) overlay to your customer app, users can receive the right manual or video directly on their device screen.

An uber-style experience for customers

There are times, of course, where customers need the support of a qualified technician on site or remotely. However, the demand for a frictionless experience still applies. With our scanning technology, customers easily scan the equipment, log what is wrong, get support via remote diagnostics or schedule a visit – all via their smart device. 

When customers scan the barcode or serial number on the asset, dispatchers know exactly what device needs maintenance, and technicians can review this information to determine whether they can fix the issue remotely. 

Where an onsite visit is needed, technicians know in advance which tools and parts to take. And this knowledge saves money. The Aberdeen Group reports that a lack of customer information is the number one reason for repeat onsite visits – costing $200-$300 each time. So, when a technician has the information needed to fix it the first time, call-out costs are kept low, and everyone wins. 

customer self scanning

Integration is easy

Enhancing the remote assistance experience for customers is easy. The simplest way is with our SDK for the Web – a barcode scanner integrated into your website, with no need for an app. Customers scan barcodes via a browser on their smart device, making data capture and sharing refreshingly simple.

Our native barcode scanner SDK, integrated into an app, delivers the same high-performance scanning but adds optical character recognition (OCR) and augmented reality features. Customers have the added benefit of real-time information and instructions appearing on-screen with an AR overlay, while OCR scans serial numbers as well as barcodes.

And because Scandit’s barcode scanning works on virtually any device, you don’t even need to worry about whether customers could use it. Simply deploy and go. 

See it in action here. Or read our infographic to discover how Scandit’s smartphone-based scanning technology is a cost-effective and immediate way of enhancing your remote assistance.