As today’s manufacturers work to differentiate through services as well as products, the most forward-thinking are making huge advances in one key area – field service.   

They’re empowering technicians with the information they need to fix issues first time, every time – and, in some cases, to identify and address problems before they even become an issue for the customer. 

In this blog, we’ll explore this new kind of customer experience your field service agents can deliver, and how you can optimise your own operations along the way.


What customers expect

80% of UK consumers say experience is as important as products and services. What’s more, 74% of UK consumers say their expectations for the quality of that experience are higher than ever before.

When field service operations are disconnected and depend on legacy – maybe even paper-based – processes, delivering on customer expectations requires a supernatural level of preparation and foresight. Especially if service technicians want to achieve a consistently high first-time fix rate.

Customers want to see modern, on-demand technology applied to their technician scheduling, and nearly as many customers would be willing to pay a premium for it.


Performance and consistency

When we consider that downtime in manufacturing is a major revenue killer, ensuring your products are always running smoothly is essential. 

If a non-connected product or device breaks or falters, the time it takes for the customer to identify the issue, notify the manufacturer and have the issue resolved can be a huge source of frustration. 

By integrating a connected sensor in your products, you can remotely monitor performance and – with the help of AI – even empower the product to alert nearby field service agents if it identifies an anomaly in its own performance.

Thanks to advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI, mobile agents can even use image recognition to automatically identify the right assets and parts for repair or replacement. A great enabler of first-time fixes.

80% of technical experts across the field service management industry believe that AI enhances workforce skills and increase work efficiency.


Predictive maintenance

Of course, for all this to work seamlessly, your service agents need to be connected to the same, unified view of the customer lifecycle with anytime, mobile access. This intelligent connectivity not only empowers your agents to make smarter, more informed decisions in the field or in the contact centre, but to achieve predictive maintenance too. 

But what does predictive maintenance look like? Imagine one of your field technicians is on the road when they receive an alert on their mobile device. The AI powering one of your connected products has identified an unexpected drop in performance that, if left unattended, could result in significant downtime.

By alerting the closest technician, the issue can be resolved before the customer even notices anything is wrong. No panic, no downtime – just one happy customer.


KONE get predictive

The Finland-based KONE Corporation is a service-obsessed trailblazer. With over one billion people using its products daily, it needed a way to keep its escalators, elevators, doors, and moving walkways consistently operational.

After working with Salesforce since 2006 to manage and connect its contacts, orders and payments, KONE turned its sights towards building new, proactive apps and processes for its field services team.

Using a combination of field service management software and AI-powered automation, KONE is working towards delivering consistent predictive service. The capabilities driving this goal include:

  • Real-time monitoring for over 1.2 million escalators and elevators 

  • Instant access to customer and maintenance information for more than 20,000 technicians

  • Image-based recognition for products and parts, to instantly check against inventory and repair schedules

Speaking of its new approach, Simon Green, KONE’s director of digital platform, processes and IT, says: “The elevator is no longer the product. Today, people buy the experience. For us, that’s an opportunity.”


It’s time to optimise

If this blog has inspired you to pursue a predictive approach to your field service operations, we recommend reading our new eBook, ‘Next Level Customer Experience: Three Steps to Service Obsession’.

As well as more insights into predictive field service, you’ll find a deeper dive into the manufacturing industry, including real customer stories, stats and guidance to help you on your own journey towards service obsession.