Rapid technological developments in recent times have transformed many an industry, and the field service industry is one amongst the many beneficiaries of this changing landscape.
At the forefront of this movement is Augmented Reality (AR), a technology that is slowly gaining mainstream popularity owing to its wide usage in movies and other forms of entertainment. It is also the driving force behind a widespread change in the way things are done across sectors, from medicine, hospitality and even field service.
However, one of the biggest criticisms of the field service industry is its tendency to stick to old, tried and tested methods. Change is not something most tradies take kindly to.
However, with the kind of innovations being introduced by AR, it is not hard to envisage a future where field service companies have AR solutions as a staple. Here are 6 reasons why AR can change the face of the field service industry as we know it:
Remote Knowledge Sharing
In a traditional setting, your workforce can use only the knowledge and skills they have with them while working on a job. However, with the help of equipment like AR-powered glasses, technicians can access a database of knowledge and call on their more experienced peers to help them remotely resolve the problem. This eliminates the problem created by situations where technicians are not knowledgeable enough to resolve a problem, thereby, greatly increasing customer satisfaction levels.
Diagnose and Fix Problems Remotely
One common problem plaguing the field service industry is minor inconveniences wasting the time of experienced technicians. In a lot of cases, field service requests can be resolved with a few easy steps that could be carried out by the customers themselves. Using AR applications, field service technicians can connect virtually with the customer in real time to get more information about the problem, and if it is easily remediable, can also suggest a simple solution. This can save field service businesses an immense amount of time and money.
Easier Training Platform for New Technicians
AR software tools allow new technicians to get a more realistic understanding of various situations that they may face in the field and how to tackle each one of them effectively. It also makes for a great on-the-job training tool. AR has resulted in lower training costs and better-trained field service technicians.
Efficient Data Gathering and Analysis
In today’s times, data is king. And AR applications can help you gather more relevant, high-quality data, allowing you to analyse it more deeply and efficiently for insights that can help you make more rational decisions.
AR applications can help streamline and smoothen your business operations by reducing manual interactions between back-office staff and in-field technicians. The same can be said for eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth between technicians and customers. For example, simply scanning the barcode or the product code on a machine with an AR application can help a technician get access to all the information about the machine, right from its dates of manufacture and purchase to records of previous repair work.
Market Services Better
In addition to aiding field service technicians in their work, AR applications can also help them market their services to a client in a more visually appealing and simpler manner. For example, a technician can demonstrate to a customer what an appliance can do after it has been repaired compared to its current condition.AR is not the future, but the present, and with its wide range of scope and the major investments being made into its development, we can expect AR applications to truly transform the field service industry.