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From costly to cost-effective: AI-powered field service a game-changer for telecoms

A telecom worker in a hard hat checking wires atop a utility poll.
Data and AI can increase efficiency for telecom field service departments. [Studio Science | Adobe]

How intelligence can transform field service departments in the communications industry with personalized experiences and streamlined processes.

Field service departments play an integral role in the success of any communications service provider. They also face challenges such as limited resources, supply-chain issues, inefficient processes, and rising overall costs that hit the bottom line. Contributing to these challenges are things like infrastructure needs, siloed systems, the need to obtain highly trained field technicians, and high-tech equipment. 

Effective telecom field service, however, is critical to overall business success, with the ability to build strong customer relationships and satisfaction – not to mention the potential for revenue creation. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now a powerful tool in optimizing your field service department, a technology that can give technicians the ability to take personalized experiences to the next level, more effectively resolve issues, and assist in cross-selling or upselling opportunities. 

What the next generation of telecom service looks like

How communications service providers are giving customers what they want by embracing data and AI.

High-quality telecom field service leads to happy customers 

Efficient and productive field service management is a necessary cost saver, but it also sets the table for satisfied customers. In fact, 94% of customers say quality service influences repeat buying decisions. 

A field-service app with built-in AI can give the technician a complete view of the customer to understand and proactively address their needs and potential concerns. AI can create a pre-work summary from customer data to arm a technician with useful insights before they even arrive on site. It can provide a customer’s history of past issues, use patterns, and purchasing tendencies, all valuable data that can create a better customer experience.

The technology also can connect technicians to live asset data on the go, giving them access to real-time information about the equipment needed for a particular job, network performance at the site, and maintenance history, eliminating the need for unnecessary truck rolls and reducing travel time. It facilitates faster issue resolution and ensures the job gets done the first time by capturing key information to identify the right resource with the right skills and right tools – both a cost saver and a huge factor in customer satisfaction.

AI can also play a role after the field visit is complete. Field notes from previous visits can be fed into AI as unstructured data to identify future opportunities. For example, if a specific model of modem is frequently dropping connections, and technicians have identified a simple fix that can be initiated by the user, AI can create a remote troubleshooting guide. It can contain step-by-step, self-service flows using virtual reality and AI-powered recognition to help the customer fix the problem on their own. 

Using data and AI to enhance productivity and efficiency

AI can significantly improve the productivity of frontline field service teams, as well. By analyzing vast amounts of data, AI algorithms can generate case summaries, personalized recommendations, and work summaries for technicians. This enables field service management to make informed decisions, prioritize tasks effectively, and optimize workflow. 

You can optimize complex schedules with a click of a button while ensuring that the right mobile worker with the right skill set shows up for the right jobs on the most efficient route. It can also use historical data to forecast service needs down the line. This is especially useful in the communications industry due to the costly nature of truck rolls, expensive hardware and repair equipment, and the specific skill sets of telecom technicians needed for certain jobs. 

Complete view of the customer provides better sales opportunities

Effective field service sales is also a critical component to growth, according to 86% of decision makers at companies with field service. Just like with any sales agent, having a comprehensive view of the customer is critical. That’s especially true in the field, where a mobile app is the single source for all critical data and insights. 

AI can make recommendations for upgrades, replacements, or maintenance plans from customer data. To take it a step further, AI can create sales prompts and personalized marketing materials to help a technician feel more confident in a sales environment. 

For example, a technician is called out to a household experiencing slow and intermittent internet. After the technician has repaired any problems, AI can provide them with prompts for easy upsell opportunities like a higher speed plan. Or AI can determine whether a fiber connection is available in their neighborhood and offer customized subscription plans. 

AI is a built-in telecom field service assistant

We’ve long realized that every successful customer interaction in the field can be the difference between a happy customer and one at risk of churn – while also having the potential to increase revenue. Now, the ability of AI-enabled functionalities to help create personalized, data-driven experiences for the customer and greater productivity and efficiency for the technician is a game changer for telecom field service. 

Your technicians will be empowered with the information they need for not only a speedy resolution but also a personalized experience that increases customer satisfaction and creates revenue opportunities. 

Position your telecom for the future

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