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4 reasons why passive data collection is the future of field service

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Kristen Gray

It’s critical to make good use of data, but the real issue for field service organizations is data collection. Between employee time, customer time, and room for human error, it can be a difficult task. However, FSOs have a new weapon in their data collection arsenal: passive data collection.

FSOs that utilize data analytics reported an increase in SLA performance by 44%, increase in customer retention by 42%, and an increase in service profits by 18%. 

Here’s how passive data collection works and the four major benefits it delivers for businesses. 

Understanding passive data collection

Passive data collection happens when you structure work to collect data automatically. 

For example: talking to a customer. 

The manual way would be in person or over the phone. In these instances, a technician would need to be taking notes (or writing documentation later from memory). Data collection is entirely manual, takes up a lot of time, and is prone to human error. 

In contrast, the passive data collection method is talking to customers with purpose-built virtual work software that automatically records conversations. A technician can focus on helping the customer during the call knowing that data is automatically captured by technology.

The benefits of passive data collection

Both businesses and customers benefit when organizations passively collect data.

1. Improved customer satisfaction

Managers and technicians don’t often work together, which limits visibility into what’s working and what isn’t across the organization. Using data-powered virtual work software allows technicians to easily record what they are seeing and explain what the customer valued from their work. 

For example, a recorded video interaction where a customer said they loved that the technician didn’t rush through a job and took time to explain what was going on. Without this context, it might appear like a technician has completed the same jobs more slowly than their colleagues. However, with context, it’s clear that this is a commitment to customer service. 

2. Better employee performance management

With virtual work platforms enabling passive data collection, it’s easy for technicians to update their managers on sales, jobs completed, or issues that need attention. That data is then automatically stored in a dashboard for easy recall by managers, giving them additional insight into employee strengths they can use to develop personalized performance management structures.

For example, a manager might see a trend that one technician frequently notes “the customer had more questions”. A manager could use this information as a base for a learning session to ensure that all technicians know the answers to customers’ most commonly asked questions.

3. Identify workflow challenges and inefficiencies

When video passively documents both customer and team interactions, it’s much easier to identify issues that are preventing the company from performing as well as they could be - or issues costing the company money. 

For example, a manager can assess different customer videos and notice that every customer asks about pricing up front. This kind of information could lead to a more easily accessible pricing page on the company website, giving potential customers the information they need so technicians don’t need to waste time answering basic questions.

4. Improve the training process

As you gather more videos in a central dashboard, a new use case emerges: organizational knowledge. New recruits can easily get up to speed on tricky issues by watching how technicians in the past have solved problems. You can also create a repository of training videos that answer basic questions and explain basic concepts to help scale up your new hire training efforts. 

For example, a senior technician could work from home and record multiple videos explaining the finer points of handling complex (but common) customer questions. That way a new technician can learn from a senior technician even if the two don’t work together on a site.

Hop on the data train

Customer data is essential to understanding not only the customer experience but also finding new opportunities for expansion and growth. Further, data across the organization becomes even more important as companies grow and silos pop up. With the right virtual work software, you can passively collect data so you get all the insight without having to worry about the time, labor cost, or human error typically involved in data collection.

Support your customers remotely at their time of need

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In-person meter readings are too expensive. Go virtual to save time and money.

Simply put: manual meter readings are unnecessary when a customer is already on-site. At best, manually reading meters is inefficient, costly, and menial. However, they are also necessary, so they can’t be outsourced or removed entirely. Instead, technicians’ time could be better spent doing these readings without travel or having to split their attention between two tasks. 

By Kristen Gray

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