The World Cup kicked off this week in Brazil, offering another reminder of field service’s importance. The work of people in the field, after all, makes the action on the field possible. Here’s a look at how jet manufacturers are providing “A-list” service at the event, and how business leaders at home are using the latest mobile and wearable technology to improve service:

Top-Notch Service at the World Cup

VIPs who are traveling to the World Cup in Brazil, whether for business or to cheer on their favorite teams, are likely to arrive by private jet. To ensure elite customers don’t have any problems with those planes, manufacturers like Bombardier have stationed customer service teams in the Brazilian cities that are hosting matches. The teams will include technicians to handle everything from on-site repairs to parts requests.

Read more at AINonline and Corporate Jet Investor

Custom Apps for Mobile Workers

The appeal of company-developed mobile apps is that they promise to keep employees connected and productive, no matter where they work. But in spite of good intentions, these apps too often turn out to be a flop with employees. Information Age offers several tips for making a custom mobile app rollout successful:

  • Get employees involved: Don’t force a new application on employees. Instead, ask the people who will be using the app what problems it should solve. “Getting employees involved early and often increases the chances for smooth adoption of mobile apps, makes employees mobile champions, and positions IT as a business unit that drives app development based on business value,” says David Akka, managing director of Magic Software Enterprises UK.
  • Ask for feedback: During the initial rollout, companies should seek input from employees about what’s working, what’s not, and what changes would improve the user experience.
  • Don’t overreach: No application can be everything to everyone. Instead, design an app to solve specific problems or to improve a specific process.

Read more at Information Age

Salesforce Pushes Wearables at Work

There’s a lot of buzz about the potential of wearable devices in field service. Gartner estimates that smartglasses alone could increase field service profits by $1 billion annually through 2017. Many of these devices are now publicly available, but cost concerns and a lack of business-oriented applications have limited the devices’ appeal in the workplace. Salesforce is hoping to change that with Wear, a platform announced this week for its 1.5 million developers. Initially, the platform will work with six wearable devices, including Google Glass, Samsung’s Gear 2 smartwatch and Myo, a gesture-control armband. It’s good news for service leaders who are looking to the latest mobile technologies to improve efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction.

Read more at InformationWeek

Technology and Customer Service Intertwined at Walmart

The world’s largest retailer is investing heavily in technology to improve service for its millions of customers. Most of the investments are aimed at helping people find and purchase items online or in a Walmart store, but several benefit Walmart’s service and operations divisions. One example is big data analysis, which Walmart relies on to understand when and where products sell at various stores. That data, in turn, helps the company more efficiently track inventory and optimize its supply chain.

“Technology has now become the key enabler for customer service,” Karenann Terrell, Walmart’s chief information officer, tells PCMag. Ultimately, Walmart’s high-tech investments highlight how nearly every company is becoming a technology company to improve efficiency and to create a better experience for customers and employees alike.

Read more at PCMag

What Kind of Technician Are You?

Field service technicians keep the world running. But for those who don’t do the job day in and day out, here’s a short quiz to find out what type of field service work best suits your personality. Maybe it’s satellite repair in space, or kitchen equipment installation in one of the world’s best restaurants? Take ServiceMax’s short quiz to find out: How Would You Keep the World Running?