It’s acutely clear that times are tough for field service companies. Swift operational adaptations in a COVID-centric world are the name of the game.
It’s likely to be those accelerating digitally that will win the biggest slice of the global Field Service Management market, expected to reach US$7.9 Billion by 2027 (Global Newswire).
Such increasing demand is forcing field service companies to change the way they operate by tackling challenges head on – like keeping employees and customers safe, or tracking assets in use, while maintaining levels of service and satisfaction.
Here we show how enhancing remote assistance with easy-to-use smartphone scanning and augmented reality on everyday smartphones can:
- Empower customers to do simple fixes and installations themselves.
- Track assets in the field in real time.
- Boost customer satisfaction through more efficient remote diagnostics.
- Increase the efficiency of service agents and technicians.
1. Adapt easily to the new normal with remote assistance
The unfolding pandemic has meant that traditional field service workflows, heavily reliant on onsite visits, must become digital for field service companies to survive in the new norm.
Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA)
Because of the restriction of onsite visits, all field service organizations are having to rethink and adapt operations to remedy key pain points:
- Delivering high standards of service and satisfaction while keeping customers safe – minimizing onsite visits is a key focal point.
- Meeting the growing demand for the convenience and safety of remote assistance – giving customers more self-service power adds complexity to the field management process and leads to frustration if it’s not seamless.
- Maintaining control of assets and equipment if customers are empowered to do more – financial loss and manual data processing are a real drain on field service organisations.
- Guaranteeing first-time fix rates – ensuring real-time data is captured so dispatchers and technicians have all the right equipment to fix the job, first time, everytime.
Why smartphone scanning is smart work in the field
One cost-effective and immediate way of addressing these challenges is remote assistance using Scandit’s mobile computer vision software. With a simple scan on a customer’s own smartphone, they can access all the information they need about a product, including instructions on how to troubleshoot and fix the issue on their own. And you don’t even need to deploy via a smartphone app, because our scanning software works directly via your website.
In return, field service companies benefit enormously from the superior data capture such a digital tool facilitates. A greater connected service through real-time data tracks assets anywhere and anytime, saving money and resources across the full field service management cycle.
90% of respondents to a survey conducted for the WBR Field Service Virtual Conference expect accelerated adoption of digital technologies and remote service delivery as the “new normal” for the future. And “remote” was the number one topic at the conference.
2. Enable customers to drive your operational efficiency
In an increasingly digital world, Uber-like, real-time services are the expected norm. This was echoed in a recent poll at the WBR Field Service Virtual Summit where 50% of respondents envision offering more services to help clients better use their equipment.
Customers no longer have the patience to browse through catalogs to identify devices, search through manuals or call customers service multiple times to get basic data or schedule a service. They expect a seamless, easy-to-use solution, otherwise they will become frustrated. Giving customers the right high-performing digital tool is therefore vital.
Scandit’s barcode scanning and augmented reality software gives customers
easy-to-use scanning on their own familiar smart devices. And by encouraging customers to use this technology, you can make things easier for your employees too. With a simple scan of the barcode or serial number on equipment, customers can help you to:
Maximize service agent efficiency. Customers can check basic asset information, such as maintenance schedules and service requirements, without having to contact service agents.
Increase first-time fix rates. Scheduling a service by scanning a serial number ensures technicians have the right parts ready to complete the job quickly and accurately, first time around.
Turn a Customer’s Smartphone into a Reliable Remote Assistant
3. Track assets easily through customer smartphone data collection
In a study of 8,000 customer journeys, 89% of field service organizations regard collecting equipment and service data as a high or critical priority. Yet 52% still use manual processes for the bulk of their field service tasks.
Forrester & ReachOutSuite
Giving customers the power to do more remotely is great for customer satisfaction and employee efficiency. But what happens if customers don’t record what they’ve done?
Where you rely on manual processes, this is a very real risk. After all, no one wants to spend time entering a complex serial number. Very quickly, you could lose track of your assets, resulting in time, and money, wasted on fixes where technicians don’t have the right information or the right parts to fix issues first time.
Thankfully, with mobile scanning you can solve this problem. Using an app powered by Scandit’s barcode scanning, customers can quickly capture and share asset data with a simple scan. Technicians and call center staff then have access to accurate and real-time asset data – including any customer activity – enabling them to better serve your customers all the time, every time.
4. Shift from first-time to zero-time fix rates
Enabling customers to do more through remote assistance is critical to satisfy the increasing demand for rapid, easy-to-use self-service technology. And this trend is creating a new way of thinking about, and measuring operational efficiency. Forget first-time fix rates. Instead, think in terms of ‘zero-time fix rates’, where customers fix issues themselves, when a certified technician isn’t required.
But, for this to work, the technology must be right. If tools are too hard to use, or don’t offer the right support, it will put extra strain on the first-line and customer service agents. In addition to managing the customer’s initial request, they may well find themselves supporting customer use of the self-service tools too.
A Scandit-powered self-service app on a smart device gives customers fast and accurate scanning performance, enabling them to:
- Rapidly and easily access product-specific details, such as warranty or maintenance schedules with a simple scan of a barcode.
- Get troubleshooting and installation guides on their smartphone screens, with the addition of AR functionality.
- Connect easily with call centers and technicians to activate remote diagnostics and support when required.
- Self-schedule remote support or a technician visit.
With Scandit, smart devices can scan all major barcode types, including 1D and 2D barcode symbologies – unlike other solutions. This will become increasingly essential as legislation shifts towards making the origin of goods traceable by adding DataMatrix codes on product packaging.
5. Integrate Immediately into field service operations
Enhancing your customer remote assistance offering with scanning is easy. The simplest way is with the Scandit 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 delivers the same high-performance scanning but the option to add optical character recognition (OCR) and augmented reality (AR) features. Using this, integrated into an app, customers get the added benefit of real-time information and instructions appearing on-screen with an AR overlay. Plus, OCR allows users to scan serial numbers as well as barcodes.
Performance is the key factor underpinning the quality customer self-service experiences. Scandit’s enterprise-grade scanning software is compatible with over 20,000 smart devices, and is fast and accurate – with the unmatched ability to scan in bad light, at any angle and even with damaged or obscured labels.
Because Scandit’s barcode scanning works on virtually any device, you don’t ever need to worry about whether customers could use it. Simply deploy and go.