How Video Can Support A More Efficient Field Service?

A good customer experience starts with not wasting a consumer’s time.

A recent report by Forrester research found that 73% of consumers said that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service, be it on a call, in a chat, or with field service interactions.

One way that businesses can value a consumer’s time is through an easier progression from self-service to live agent interaction. Click-to-call functionality embedded on a company’s web page or within an app cuts down on customer wait time and drives a more efficient escalation path.

 

Improving Field Service

The hassle of field service is legendary, largely borne of logistical challenges that make appointments an exercise in lost time for consumers. When field service is required, consumers not only must coordinate with a business on a mutually agreed upon time for service, they also must wait in a holding pattern for the arrival of the technician—often for several hours, longer if the technician is behind schedule.

When a field service technician does arrive, the consumer sits idle while the problem is diagnosed. If the right tools or expertise are not present, the consumer then must wait for the arrival of these resources or go through the process all over again with a followup appointment.

It does not typically value the consumer’s time, even if the business has a sincere commitment to delivering good customer service.

A good customer service operation “will better support customer journeys that start with an agent-assisted service interaction and end with a service call,” noted Forrester’s Kate Leggett in a recent blog post about customer care trends. “They will explore lighter-weight field service management capabilities, which give customers self-service appointment management capabilities and allow agents to efficiently dispatch technicians and manage their schedules.”

Advances in real-time communications also can help.

 

Using Video Chat for Faster Resolution

Through mobile video chat embedded directly on a company’s customer care portal, customer service agents can interact visually with a customer and better diagnose field service issues before a technician is dispatched.

This can save consumer time in several ways:

1) It eliminates unnecessary field service interactions. When customer service agents can interact visually with a consumer, there is greater scope for solving a problem without the need for field service. Agents can better determine the nature of the problem, and in some instances, they can even guide consumers through the process of resolving the problem themselves with customer service guidance over video chat.

2) Businesses can cut down on the time spent during a field service interaction if a customer service agent has already thoroughly diagnosed the problem through video. Field service technicians can arrive at an appointment with a full understanding of the problem and what steps are needed for resolution. This makes for shorter and more efficient appointments. It also ensures that the technician has the right tools for the job.

3) Field service that starts with video-based customer service interactions cut down on the need for long service appointment windows. If field service activities are well understood prior to a technician’s dispatch, there’s less chance of delays. Businesses can more accurately schedule appointments, and they can save consumers the hassle of waiting in a holding pattern while the technician arrives.

 

Embedded real-time communications also can improve field service efficiency through better knowledge sharing among technicians. Field service workers can communicate virtually with each other and share expertise. When inexperienced technicians need a hand, they can virtually engage with more seasoned employees and technical experts for faster problem resolution. This drives more efficient field operations and saves time.

A good customer experience starts with efficiency, and real-time video has the potential for greatly improving field service speed. From reducing the need for field service altogether to cutting down on appointment times, video plays a major role in saving the customer time.

This is good for the customer—and good for business.