Over half (53%) of field service companies are concerned about replacing their workforce as people retire. For decades, knowledge was gained in siloed environments due to many field workers going to sites alone. Now as many experienced technicians think about retirement, young newcomers are ready to learn but fear being left out in the cold. Thankfully though, as challenging as the transition will be, new technology is enabling it more than ever.
Remote technology goes beyond sales
Studies are clear that customers want more technology and field workers are ready to adopt technology. But it’s more than just a sales tool. Technology can be a democratizing tool for learning, career transitions, and even extending the careers of senior technicians that can’t do in-person appointments anymore.
Purpose-built secure video platforms for field work are opening up even more opportunities for intergenerational knowledge transfer. Here are the top four:
1 - Self-service options for customers means knowledge capture for field workers
Every senior technician has seen a problem the customer could have solved by themselves with the right training. Field service companies can leverage senior technicians’ knowledge to build a video library of self-service options. Not only will this produce better customer service, it can also help younger technicians learn “on the job” in a scalable way.
2 - AI helps issue diagnosis and increases mentorship opportunities
New advancements in AI means that technology platforms are getting better at automatically diagnosing simple problems so experienced technicians don’t have to waste time. The result is two-fold: one, younger technicians learn about the simple things more quickly from the AI itself. And two, there are increased mentorship opportunities from experienced technicians because they will have more time to educate newcomers.
3 - Video onboarding resources help field workers and customers alike
Another benefit of experience is knowing what a customer or colleague needs to have ready in order for a technician to work efficiently. For example, making sure an area is unblocked or having some plastic set up to avoid dust spreading. This kind of knowledge can be captured in onboarding videos, and used as a knowledge resource for younger technicians learning on the job.
4 - An internal insights hub helps new workers get up to speed
Recording and storing customer interactions empowers companies to make the best use of their data, while enabling senior technicians to build an internal insights hub for the company. Experienced workers can use visual work platforms to offer live coaching to new workers without having to go on site, and the knowledge is easily captured for anyone else facing the same challenge in the future.
The digital workforce transition
The vast majority (80%) of field service workers want purpose-built technology. Unfortunately, only a fifth (21%) of field service companies have started adopting technology. As the waves of retirement begin - or as older workers want to continue working in a modified way - technology will be a critical component of the field work industry. But like many other innovations, this is not about replacing people. The right technology makes everyone more efficient, delivers better customer service, and helps field workers of all experience levels.