Customers are becoming smarter than ever. The speed of technology advancements (both in the consumer and business worlds), channels of communication, and information have empowered customers to a level in which they not only have heightened expectations, but also choices for service. Despite this power, many service organizations still fail to deliver the value customers want and expect.

Aberdeen’s Field Service 2013: Workforce Management Guide showed that the top complaint from customers was the fact the technician could not actually resolve the issue (57% of respondents). Customers have come to grips that assets and products will fail at some point, but these customers are not willing to stand by and have productivity (and thus revenues) falter as a result of a piece of equipment not being fixed once a technician shows up on site. Top-performing organizations in this study were able to fix issues on a first-time basis 89% of the time; however, the industry average was 78% (the bottom performers achieved a 56% level of first-time fix).

Using Mobility for More Than a Fix

In order to improve the ability to resolve these issues in the field, top-performing organizations have invested in mobile tools to provide technicians with better access to information in the field. According to an Aberdeen report released in June, the integral piece of this equation is that top-performing organizations have put the right tools in the hands of technicians to better understand the part, product, asset, and customer. This allows technicians to do more than just fix a broken asset, but actually resolve an issue.

In order to move beyond leveraging mobility as another flashy piece of technology, top-performing organizations are implementing the following best practices to drive at intelligence, insight, and performance for technicians and the service organization:

  1. Implement systems and metrics to track service performance in real-time.
  2. Establish real-time tracking of service techs, service parts, and serviceable products.
  3. Create a dashboard for the service executive for field service.
  4. Integrate data between mobile devices and back-end enterprise systems in real-time.

The aforementioned best practices are just a few of the trends that have helped best-in-class organizations improve performance in first-time fix, SLA compliance, and year-over-year changes in workforce productivity. If you would like to read more of these findings, download the full report on Mobile Field Service 2013: Online and On the Move here.

ABOUT Aly Pinder

Avatar photoAs Program Director, Service Innovation & Connected Products, Aly Pinder Jr leads IDC research and analysis of the service and customer support market for the manufacturer, which includes topics such as field service, warranty operations, service parts management, and how these service areas impact the overall customer experience. Mr. Pinder Jr. is also responsible for research which aids manufacturers as they evaluate innovative technologies like 3D printing for service operations, augmented and virtual reality in field support, and the use of IoT and advanced analytics for remotely monitoring and managing assets. Mr. Pinder Jr. establishes a roadmap for the manufacturer to better understand how technology can transform service and support functions to drive exceptional customer experiences and customer value, profitable revenue growth, and improved efficiency in the field.