The Middle East’s mobile workforce, those who travel to customers to provide on-site services and resolve problems, is growing both in numbers and stature. Around 80% of service decision makers say mobile workers increase revenue streams or create all new ones. Field service is a key part of the entire service lifecycle, and the mobile workers who carry it out are the face of the brand. Here are five ways that mobile service is moving into the future:
1. Mobile service is branching out into new areas
Field service has typically played an outsized role in industries like manufacturing and telecommunications. While mobile workers might go by different titles, managing them well is increasingly important in other areas, like insurance and healthcare.
2. Connected devices are enabling predictive service
Where people once notified companies of issues with their products, connected machines are now increasingly reporting their own problems and even predicting them. In recent years, field service evolved from being reactive to preventative. Today, mobile workers can go one step further by being predictive, dispatching a technician before there’s a problem thanks to real-time information about a particular unit.
3. Artificial intelligence is transforming the playing field
Overcoming the challenges inherent in field service requires aggregating large amounts of data and performing intelligent analysis. Machine learning can deliver insights from connected devices to drive predictive service. Going forward, service organisations have a great opportunity to use this approach to get the most out of data and improve their customers’ service experience.
4. Augmented reality shows workers the information they need
Augmented reality is an emerging technology that’s improving the experience for mobile workers. Field technicians can now point a mobile device at an asset and get real-time diagnostic information as well as service guidance on their screens. AR also enables the mobile worker to collaborate with remote colleagues while they share the same visual of the problem at hand.
5. The last-mile experience will get better and better
Solutions now exist for providing customers with real-time details about technician arrival time and enabling two-way communication between customers and service companies, so that mobile workers have a good understanding of the problem even before they arrive.
Preparing for the mobile workforce of tomorrow
The mobile workforce is creating all-new revenue streams and empowering companies to build long-standing relationships with customers. Getting field service right makes companies more efficient, makes workers more effective on site, and improves customer experience. Nearly three-quarters of service decision makers are making significant investments in mobile workers, including expanding teams and improving technology. Harnessing new tools, from AI to connected devices to augmented reality to custom mobile apps, is crucial as mobile service evolves for the future.
By Thierry Nicault, EVP for EBU, MEACE, Salesforce.