The State of Field Service: Moving Toward an Entirely New Business Model
by Athani Krishnaprasad, co-founder and chief strategy officer of ServiceMax

The field service industry literally keeps our world running – from manufacturing hardware and heavy equipment to healthcare technology to machines supporting global supply chains. Technicians trained to maintain and service the world’s machinery are on the job solving daily operational issues for customers before they become major problems. New technologies tapping into the latest mobile, cloud, wearable and Internet of Things innovation are driving the industry into the future and fundamentally shifting perceptions, expectations and realities of field service to businesses and their customers.

To get a better grasp of consumer perceptions of the field service industry, we conducted a first-of-its-kind survey of over four thousand consumers from different geographies and backgrounds.

Key finding: Even though the field service industry is innovating rapidly, consumer perceptions are behind the times. Businesses have the opportunity to differentiate themselves by effectively communicating the benefits of proactive and outcomes-based service models to their customers. Ultimately, this shift will elevate the function of field service and the interest of an on-demand driven customer base.

Here’s what else we found:

By the numbers

  • 55% of respondents had received some form of field service over the past year.
  • 22% of those surveyed noted a personal connection to the technician as the most important reason to select them for the job.
  • 76% of respondents pointed to the technician not having the necessary parts or technical knowledge on the job as the chief reason they were unsatisfied with their field service experience.
  • 83% of respondents who had called on a technician in the past year reported a high level of satisfaction with the resulting field service.

Under what circumstances do you request a repairman to visit your home?

Consumer behavior insights

  • When requesting field service, people generally still opt for fixing problems as they appear rather than taking proactive steps to prevent future problems — even when the latter is cheaper.
  • Younger people surveyed reported the highest level of openness toward a subscription model of service versus buying a product one-off, and embraced the notion of proactive technician outreach.
  • Broadly, more consumers approach the market to find only the cost efficient products and services they need instantly — mirroring a broader on-demand-driven customer culture.

When providing service, how could your repairman do a better job?

To read the full ‘State of Field Service’ survey results, click HERE.