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Blog: Empowering Technicians with Remote Video Support

In April this year, Service Council hosted a very compelling webinar entitled “Empowering Technicians with Remote Video Support.” As the title implies, the webinar focused on how visual aids, specifically video support, can help field service engineers (FSEs) complete maintenance tasks more reliably, thoroughly, and quickly – on the first visit.

Service Council is grateful to SightCall for sponsoring this valuable webinar. SightCall is an enterprise-grade video cloud platform developed specifically to support and enhance service delivery. SightCall blends the digital and physical worlds into a real-time collaborative visual environment that empowers field service engineers to diagnose and resolve problems accurately, rapidly, and completely.

Ben Pinkerton, VP of Product Marketing participated on behalf of SightCall. Ben was joined by Chad Lowman, Director of Corporate Business Systems at Fike, a prominent SightCall customer. Fike, a global company with offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, specializes in safety equipment and services for explosion protection, pressure relief hazards, and fire detection. Fike proudly states, “we save lives for a living.” John Carroll and Michael Israel, CEO and COO of the Service Council, joined the panel to highlight research trends and help moderate the discussion.

John and Michael led off the discussion by sharing some of the key findings from the Service Council’s Voice of the Field Service Engineer (VoFSE) survey. A few findings specifically relevant to the topic of this webinar are:

  • A significant percentage of FSEs find it difficult to locate the information they need to diagnose and resolve problems.
  • Three of four FSEs say products are more complex today than when they first became a technician, and nine in ten say greater knowledge and technical skills are required today. 
  • However, a significant majority believe that technology tools, such as those discussed in the webinar, are instrumental in helping them do their jobs more effectively.

Of the 730 FSEs who participated in the survey, a preponderance say they joined field service because they “like fixing things.” So, tools that enhance their ability to do just that are very much appreciated.

The webinar then turned to SightCall’s customer, Chad Lowman from Fike. Chad explained that Fike is much more than just an order-to-cash business. Fike believes that securing a customer for life requires that it develop a genuine partnership with its clients, and the way to do that is through service. Chad’s overall mission at Fike is to migrate the company from on-premises solutions to an integrated Cloud platform. Part of that migration effort included implementing the new SightCall Remote Visual Assistance solution. He offered the following example of how SightCall was able to help them resolve a critical emergency customer problem just shortly after the solution had been launched:

A pharmaceutical manufacturing customer had a system problem late at night. The company was in the process of a production run and could not wait until the next morning for someone to help resolve the problem. The most qualified FSE was too far away to respond quickly. But, using SightCall’s visual support capabilities, Fike was able to remotely help the customer isolate the problem and keep running until someone could arrive.

Chad further explains that the ability to help a customer continue operating, even when a technician is not readily available, helps build trust with the customer, a trust that will continue to grow and endure throughout the customer relationship. Other SightCall advantages he cites include:

  • A reduction in technician dispatches/truck rolls because problems can be resolved remotely
  • Pre-dispatch identification of parts required, so the technician arrives with the right parts
  • Master technicians can guide less experienced technicians through diagnostics and problem resolution
  • More accurate, faster service overall
  • All of which lead to a better customer experience and greater customer satisfaction

Ben Pinkerton of SightCall picked up the conversation from there to explain a bit more about the SightCall platform and the many benefits it provides to field service organizations.

SightCall is a sophisticated visual assist and support platform that brings expertise to remote Field Service Engineers when needed. SightCall provides valuable information and knowledge to an on-site technician via a live video session. The technician can show an expert on the other end of the video feed precise visuals and details of the problem the tech is encountering. The expert and the on-site tech can then work collaboratively to diagnose and resolve the problem. The results are faster problem resolution, more accurate, long-term repairs, fewer repeat visits, superior first-time fix rates, and higher FSE utilization. Moreover, SightCall capabilities can often be employed to resolve a customer issue remotely, without requiring a dispatch, resulting in fewer on-site visits. All these results inherently lead to a more positive customer experience and higher customer satisfaction.

But it’s not just the customer and the service provider that benefit. FSEs gain significantly as well. Here are just a few examples of the benefits SightCall provides for the FSE:

  • SightCall enables On-the-Job experience. Classroom training is great and has an important role, but nothing facilitates learning and skill development like actually “doing the work.” 
  • It provides a real-time, real-life coach.
  • It shortens the time to technician effectiveness and skill development.
  • It leverages “tribal knowledge.”
  • It reduces FSE data entry and administrative time by automatically capturing and recording service data.
  • It helps improve FSE work/life balance by reducing unnecessary travel and helping techs resolve problems more quickly, and more accurately.

SightCall also includes valuable aids and tools, such as annotation capabilities, photo capture and storage, document sharing, zoom features, offline/online data capture, queue, and upload; and more.

Service Council found the webinar to be very engaging, informative, and valuable to the webinar audience. If you would like to review the webinar, you may do so here

Michael Israel recently rejoined the Service Council as the COO.  He writes on topics of service strategy, customer support, emerging technologies and field service. He can be reached at mri@servicecouncil.com.

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