The field service industry is ripe for the remote-first innovation accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only is purpose-built technology ready for this kind of work, but customers and field workers want it. The metaphorical stars are aligning to make it easy for companies to reap the benefits of virtual service.
One obvious caveat is that setting up your team for virtual service takes an upfront investment. However, here are four reasons why that investment is not only worth it - but it will actually pay itself back.
1. Customer satisfaction
Already familiar with remote and video communication for their social lives, the pandemic made more people comfortable with remote service in their business lives as well. This is a critical opening in the fieldwork industry, since customers are happy to communicate remotely if it solves their problem. One study found this is precisely the case in fieldwork: 41% of incomplete service requests would benefit from live video to help the customer solve the problem.
Further, a virtual option means the ability to help customers at more odd times. You may not want to send a truck out late at night, but a night-shift employee could easily hop on a video call with a customer to answer emergency questions.
2. Cost savings and revenue opportunities
The average truck roll costs $300, and ICwhatUC customers are able to eliminate 50-60% of their truck rolls by offering remote service options. That alone can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in cost savings (to say nothing of the environmental gain).
On top of cost savings, remote service also opens new revenue opportunities. With the convenience of video, companies could design a Fieldwork As A Service (FaaS) offering. This could take the form of a recurring subscription to access remote video service - or a pre-recorded library of solutions - on an ongoing basis that helps scale revenue without needing to increase headcount.
3. Employee experience
Remote service helps with employee experience because it offers significantly more flexibility and balance for employees. Instead of forcing your team to be on the road for half the day, they can accomplish the same number of (or more) service calls in a day with much more free time.
Further, remote service for simple pre-checks or assessments are quick, giving your team more time to focus on meaningful work or handling complex customer issues when they arise. All of this is part of the new era of work-life balance, which thinks more holistically about the employee experience.
4. Employee safety (and the costs that go with it)
Most accidents - and the ensuing healthcare costs - happen on the road. There’s a higher risk of car accidents, slips, falls, or dropping things when you’re on the road or at a customer’s home. With remote service, these are all but eliminated.
You reduce the amount of time you spend on the road, which means lower fuel and maintenance costs. But you also can better prepare for onsite visits, which means a lower risk of accidents or additional truck rolls that stem from not having the right equipment.
This not only ties into the employee experience, but also directly impacts the bottom line.
Take advantage of this window of opportunity
It’s rare in business that ability and demand match up so perfectly. While it’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic to get there, fieldwork businesses need to take advantage of this opportunity now that it’s here. Customers want remote service, purpose-built tools exist to power remote service and help fieldwork business scale, and fieldworkers want to make their jobs more effective with technology. It’s truly a win for everyone.