Service appointments have always been a tricky issue for field service management firms. The need to log customer complaints, schedule appointment, assign technicians, and ensure work gets done at the agreed-upon time has been traditional pain points. These tasks take up a lot of effort and time and have been traditional cost-centers. An effective solution is however now at hand, thanks to Artificial Intelligence(AI).
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) is now mainstream. It finds application in a wide range of industries, and field service is one area where its transformative impact is all set to create a big positive disruption. AI, backed by supporting technologies such as Augmented Reality and IoT will drive more proactive device maintenance, service, and repair, among other things.
AI sensors deployed on machines emit loads of vital information related to the state of the machinery or the installation. The alerts and information offer stakeholders timely alerts and enable them to take proactive action. For instance, AI could detect when a part is about to fail, when there is a deviance from the norm, or when fuel is running low. Such timely cues delivered on the smartphone of the responsible person as a push notification enables proactive radiation.
Such informed scheduling ensures field service repairs and maintenance take place at the required time, rather than on hunches, or guesstimates. The enterprises owning the machinery can save money otherwise spent on wasteful service. The field service company can deploy their workforce to where it is really needed, improving both customer satisfaction and enriching the job of the workforce.
Many customers dread the thoughts of contacting customer support. The long wait to get to a free technician, the tele-agent who takes the call simply being unaware or incapable to handle the issue on hand, and more, are all common pain points which lead to poor customer satisfaction, leave alone the degraded quality of issue resolution.
AI-powered chatbots enable dealing with customers who initiate a request instantly. Chatbots powered by smart algorithm troubleshoot issues with customers and determine all the necessary information before dispatching a technician if required. Chatbots are intelligent enough to understand if a customer requires assistance in resolving an issue or simply wants more information about a certain piece of equipment. Chatbots are also equipped with logistic regression capabilities to walk customers through solving equipment problems step by step, doing aware with the need to schedule an appointment altogether.
AI-based systems enable the field service company to match the urgency of the service requirement and schedule appointments in a more optimal way. It not only spares the human time required for undertaking the usually convoluted scheduling task but also infuses the accuracy of the process.
A well-integrated AI-powered system automates scheduling. Intelligent algorithms collate data from the sensors, match it to the profile of the field service technician most competent to make the fix, and schedule a service at the earliest or optimal opportunity. All these could potentially take place without any human intervention, allowing enterprises to allocate their workforce to their core revenue-generating tasks. Timely alerts notify stakeholders and users of such happenings, allowing them to remain in control, or make any required interventions.
AI also offers better resolution, making the service appointment fruitful and effective.
When a service request is initiated, AI-powered heuristic search function capabilities determine available technicians, competent and knowledgeable enough to service the request in the best possible way. Search algorithms consolidate relevant details, including device history, prior appointments, customer background, and more, and offer it to the technicians on a platter, allowing for far easier and speedier resolution.
Augmented Reality (AR) provides unprecedented visibility to work sites. AR applications allow technicians to look into machines without disassembling them, enabling pinpointing the malfunctioning part more easily and faster. With the system equipped with augmented reality capabilities, the technician could also work by collaborating live with other technicians or even AI-based knowledge repositories, to effect a thorough fix, without having to follow up and make a second visit.
For the field service agency, such first-time fix and speedy resolution enable more appointment per technicians, improving profitability apart from customer delight.
IoT and AI-powered technologies accelerate expectations regarding service appointment and resolutions and also enable companies to act proactively. It offers an effective resolution to traditional pain points such as long wait time, the opaqueness of the process, uncertainty of when a technician would make a visit when an issue will be rectified, and more. It even does away with the need for an appointment at times. Further innovations in technology will enable field service companies to further leverage the increased connectivity and automation on offer, to offer real-time resolutions and take customer satisfaction to newer heights.
The unbridled efficiency and quality improvements facilitated by AI allow field service agencies to do more with less while delighting the customer at the same time. However, any AI-based system is only as good as the information and algorithms fed into it. As such, it is imperative for enterprises to partner with a strong and robust tech partner who know their job and have a good history of collaborating with live businesses to roll out practical and workable projects.
Ashmitha works with ReachOut Suite as a creative writer. She collaborates with the Digital Marketing team to deliver engaging, informative, and SEO friendly business collaterals. Being passionate about writing, Ashmitha frequently engages in blogging and creating fiction. Besides writing, Ashmitha indulges in exploring effective content marketing strategies.
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