Remote field service became an integral part of field service in 2020, but it looks like that trend may be here to stay after the first quarter of 2021. In the early days of the pandemic, field service companies had to grapple with remote services. Those that were able to shift and adopt remote services were able to succeed in the changing landscape of field service.
However, even with the pandemic’s end in sight, it is clear that the impact of remote field service will be long lasting. In fact, before the pandemic, those businesses that invested in technology related to virtual services were considered best in class and ahead of the game.
As remote field service continues to be a trend, we have broken down the benefits of remote service for both field service workers and customers.
What are Remote Service Capabilities?
Before we can fully discuss the benefits of remote service, we must first understand remote service capabilities. Due to the rapidness in which remote service came to be, the definition of remote service capabilities is fluid and can be different across field service companies. However, the fundamental aspect of remote service remains the same, meaning that field service companies can deliver service remotely.
How is this possible? Field service work at its core is meant to be in person. But after the pandemic, it has been reported that remote services have become the primary default of delivering service by 52% of field service companies surveyed.
Remote has become the default choice for handling field service calls, as we all still navigate the pandemic, as well as better understand the digital transformation occurring within the field service industry. There are many tools that can be used to assist in remote service such as mobile apps, customer portals, video conferencing tools and more.
Businesses that continually invest in digital workforce management solutions will be the ones that thrive both during and post-pandemic. Here are some of the benefits field service companies have found when investing in remote field service.
Ability to work in zero-touch environments
The ability to deliver zero-touch service scored well in a field service news survey for both field service workers and customers. Over 61% of respondents stated that the ability to work in a zero-touch environment was a key benefit for service companies.
During a pandemic, this helped both servicers and customers feel safe, while also allowing for the job to get done. Among the many other steps field service managers have taken to keep employees and customers safe, the option of zero touch environments put both parties at ease.
Improved Claims Management
A warranty claims management system is a tool that has come in handy when dealing with remote work. A virtual claims system allows technicians and customers to configure claims and customize audits to meet the exact warranty requirements without needing face-to-face interaction.
A warranty claims management system can improve operational efficiency as well as quicken the payment process and prevent fraud. Real-time virtual claim validation reduces the time contractors spend waiting on claims status, freeing up more time for their service jobs. The process is by no means rushed, in fact, it can simultaneously identify fraudulent claims, which saves your field service company money.
Virtual claims allow for a digital trail so that nothing is lost in translation. Claims can be resolved faster, which keeps customers happy, and allows for field service technicians to do what matters most.
Allows for Faster Response Times
The use of virtual claims has actually reduced the amount of time it normally takes to respond to an incident. To retain and impress customers, having consistent forms of communication can ease clients worries, especially in a pandemic. Providing access points, like customer portals, where customers can file virtual claims or message a field service worker makes them feel more secure and valued.
With remote service, 9 out of 10 respondents saw quicker response times as a major benefit that came with remote field service. This strengthens the relationship between field service companies and customers while simultaneously keeping field service workers and customers happy.
Not to mention, the virtual experience allows for less travel times between jobs. This saves the company money, but the real win is that field service workers feel like they have more of a work-life balance, which can make them happier at work and more productive.
Increases Revenue and Lowers Service Costs
Like we mentioned above, there is a certain amount of cost effectiveness that comes with remote field service. 81% of respondents in field service news’ study shared that they felt remote service is financially viable. Some surveyors went as far as to say that their adopted remote capabilities could generate a new service revenue entirely.
Geographic location would no longer be a barrier, as field service companies could remotely troubleshoot an issue from anywhere. The same can be said for field service workers. As competition continues to increase for the best field service workers, many companies will be facing an employee shortage. Retaining and hiring field service workers and third party contractors will be of the utmost importance as demand increases but workers are scarce.
In 2021, the field service industry will continue transforming rapidly, with remote field service, intelligent workforce management and workforce flexibility at the forefront of priorities. Incorporating remote field service capabilities is not only beneficial, but it is now a requirement in order to remain competitive in the field service industry.
Learn more about how ServicePower can help you deliver dynamic field service and improved customer experience.