The looming recession, capacity challenges, rising customer demands, increasing equipment complexity – the list of hurdles service organizations are facing continues to grow. As service leaders look for ways to deliver consistent service and drive competitive differentiation, many are turning to the power of guided workflows.
Guided workflows utilize the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to guide users through a series of activities, including equipment installation, triage, diagnosis, troubleshooting and repairs. Guided workflows can also capture data, streamline administrative tasks and provide decision-making support for call center agents.
Reduced Employee Effort
The 2022 Voice of the Field Service Engineer survey found that “paperwork and administrative tasks,” and “time spent looking for information” were field service engineers’ top 2 dislikes about their job. Additionally, 83% of field service engineers agreed that more technical knowledge is needed to perform their jobs now than when they first started, while 65% agree that products have become more complex.
These results point to a glaring reality: field service engineers are frustrated by the amount of effort it takes to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. Guided workflows eliminate a large amount of employee effort by automating many administrative tasks, simplifying and streamlining service activities, and improving diagnosis. It provides a single pane of glass, eliminating the need to navigate back and forth between apps, knowledge bases and shared files to find relevant technical information, equipment history, necessary parts, work orders and more. This reduction in employ effort contributes to an increase in employee satisfaction and retention in the process.
Improved Customer Experience
Service CouncilTM has been closely tracking the parallel between customer and employee experience. Just as many best-in-class organizations are moving to an employee effort methodology, the industry has also seen an evolution of customer sentiment measurement from customer satisfaction (CSAT) to net-promoter score (NPS) to customer effort.
Guided workflows remove friction for customers both directly, by creating more self-service and remote-service opportunities, and indirectly, by empowering field service engineers of all levels to resolve issues more quickly and efficiently. They also enable a more personalized and streamlined experience, something that is both expected and valued by customers.
Reduced Training Times
Service leaders are facing a talent crisis as attracting and retaining qualified workers is becoming more and more difficult. The 2022 Voice of the Field Service Engineer survey found that over half of frontline agents either don’t plan on or are unsure if they will remain in field service. For organizations to avoid a dip in service quality, they must learn how to expedite training and empower frontline agents of all abilities and experience levels to provide exceptional service, ideally without tying up another agent in the process. According to the 2022 Voice of the Field Service Engineer, when a field service engineer is stuck trying to resolve an issue, 79% say their first is to phone a colleague. This is not only costly, but erodes efficiencies in training.
Guided workflows enable new hires to complete routine tasks without extensive training, getting them out into the field and working independently sooner. Additionally, service leaders have greater visibility into the service process, allowing them to identify where specific engineers might need additional training, or areas of training that might need improvement.
Often, frontline agents are assigned to a call or job based on their availability, not on their experience or skill set. Additionally, as organizations face higher churn rates and rely more on 3rd party contractors to meet capacity issues, this can lead to an uneven service experience for customers.
Automating service activities through guided workflows can provide a consistent service experience for all frontline agents, which means organizations can avoid dips in quality and ensure their reputation remains strong. Additionally, guided workflows create an even playing field, ensuring that every agent has access to the information needed for the job at hand, whether that is troubleshooting, parts identification or decision support. It’s a term Service Council likes to call a “technician-agnostic platform,” and one we have been evangelizing for some time.
Improved Service Efficiency
As service leaders can attest, one of the biggest hinderances to service efficiency are siloes within an organization. The larger the organizations, the deeper and more disparate those silos are.
Guided workflows address data siloes head on by giving services leaders a top-level view of their organization. Not only can they ensure that end users have access to the information needed for the task at hand, but workflows give service leaders greater visibility into existing processes, allowing them to identify redundancies, streamline service, improve automation and ensure that the entire service team is working as efficiently as possible.
More and more, service leaders are being called on to do more with less. Increase efficiency with a shrinking pool of technicians. Increase revenue while cutting costs. Further their digital journey while consolidating technology. Shift from reactive to predictive while ensuring business continuity.
Guided workflows help service leaders deliver on these seemingly impossible tasks, which is why they are moving from a “nice to have” technology to a critical piece in best-in-class organizations’ digital journey.
To learn more about how AI-powered guided workflows can drive value for your service business, listen to Episode 37 of the inService Podcast Live, “Visual & Generative AI: Is This the Year It Changes Everything?” with special guests, David Troll and Ari Rosenstein of TechSee.