Field service management (FSM) is a crucial component of the success of many businesses. Technological advancements in FSM software are transforming workforce management, optimising operations, improving safety and meeting increased customer service expectations.
The majority of ‘End-Users’ of field service management systems operate in the Allied FM, IT and Telecom, Healthcare and Life sciences, Energy and Utilities, Oil and Gas or Manufacturing sectors (Modor Intelligence Report).
With technology continuing to evolve and changes in customer expectations, the FSM industry has already changed and adapted substantially to stay up to date with these technological advancements. However, to thrive in the market, FSM businesses must be aware of the key trends that are likely to shape the industry in 2023 and beyond and continue to undergo significant transformation to meet expectations both through their use of technology and customer service standards.
In this blog post, we will explore the top 5 key trends in field service management that are expected to shape the FSM industry in 2023 and into the future.
Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are playing an important role in field service operations and are continuing to increase in popularity in the industry, as they are helping field service teams to deliver a better customer experience and drive business success.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as recognizing speech, understanding natural language, making decisions, and solving problems. AI algorithms can also automate many manual tasks, such as dispatching, route optimization, and predictive maintenance, leading to increased efficiency and better decision-making. Additionally, AI can help improve customer experience by providing real-time updates on service status, enabling field service teams to respond more quickly and effectively to customer requests.
Machine Learning (ML) is a type of AI that enables systems to improve their performance over time, without being explicitly programmed. In field service management, ML can be used to analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns that can be used to optimize field service operations. For example, ML algorithms can be used to analyze data from equipment sensors to predict when equipment is likely to fail, enabling field service teams to address issues proactively before they become critical.
Adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the growing network of connected devices and sensors that are equipped with the ability to collect, communicate, and exchange data over the internet. The Internet of Things (IoT) is another technology that is transforming field service operations by providing real-time data from connected devices and sensors.
This data can then help field service teams to prioritize their workload and make informed decisions about which tasks to complete first. According to a 2021 report published by Technavio, access to real-time data from IoT devices and sensors allows field service operators to respond more quickly and effectively to customer requests, monitor equipment and systems in real-time, enabling proactive maintenance and reducing costs and downtime, in turn, improving customer satisfaction and leading to repeat business, making it an important trend in the industry,
As the number of connected devices continues to grow, the potential benefits of the IoT are likely to become even more pronounced, leading to greater efficiency and increased productivity across a wide range of sectors, including the FSM industry.
Mobile technology is another trend that is expected to play a significant role in field service management in 2023.
Field service teams will continue to rely on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to access information, communicate with customers, update customer data, complete tasks and manage their workloads. Mobile technology is being integrated with other technologies, including both the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), to provide field service technicians with real-time insights and decision-making tools. By combining mobile technology with these technological advancements, field service teams can operate more efficiently and more responsively, as they will be able to access information and complete tasks from anywhere.
As well as this, More organizations are adopting mobile-first field management software, which is designed to be used on mobile devices, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their field service operations.
Mobile technology also allows Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology to be used to provide field service technicians with more information and guidance in real-time, enabling them to perform their tasks more effectively and efficiently.
Location-based services are available through the use of mobile technology and are becoming increasingly popular in field service management, allowing field service teams to quickly and easily identify the nearest available technician, and track the location and status of their assets.
Additionally, the use of mobile technology can improve the overall customer experience, by providing real-time updates on the status of their service.
In a recent report by Markets and Markets, Mobile Technology was discussed as a key driver to the growth and success of the FSM sector. It was found that the implementation of mobile field service solutions enables service businesses to enhance field operations management, improve business strategies, as well as provide timely customer service. Overall, mobile technology is playing a key role in transforming the industry and as mobile technology continues to evolve, it is likely to play an even greater role in shaping the future.
Emphasis on Customer Experience
In recent years, there has been growing emphasis placed on customer experience in field service management. Nowadays, businesses aim to provide a consistent level of service and manage their brand, regardless of whether they provide their service directly or if third-party contractors are providing the services to the company’s customer base. This shift in focus is driven by the increasing importance of customer satisfaction in a competitive marketplace and the recognition that field service operations can play a crucial role in improving customer experience.
Customers expect a seamless and positive experience when interacting with field service teams, and field service management teams are leveraging technology and data to better understand customer needs and preferences and to provide personalized and efficient services by focusing on proactive communication and real-time updates. By improving employee scheduling and response times, as well as communication, and transparency, field service operations are helping to create a better customer experience overall.
In addition, field service coordination is also placing a greater emphasis on training and development for field service technicians. By providing technicians with the skills and knowledge they need to provide exceptional customer service, organizations are improving the overall customer experience.
Ultimately, the emphasis on customer experience in field service management is helping organizations to create more loyal customers, increase customer retention, and grow their businesses. By placing a greater focus on customer experience, organizations are not only improving their operations but also differentiating themselves from their competitors.
Collaboration is becoming increasingly important in field service management, with greater integration between teams, customers, and suppliers. This can help streamline work processes, improve efficiency, and improve the overall customer experience.
Collaboration can take many forms, including:
Cross-functional collaboration: Field service management teams can work more closely with other departments, such as sales, marketing, and product development, to ensure that customer needs are being met and to identify new opportunities for improvement.
Collaboration between field service technicians: By sharing best practices and knowledge, field service technicians can work more efficiently and effectively and prevent errors in scheduling, leading to improved customer experiences and employee satisfaction.
Collaboration between field service teams and customers: By establishing open lines of communication, field service teams can work more closely with customers to understand their needs and provide more personalized services.
Collaboration with suppliers and partners: By working more closely with suppliers and partners, field service teams can access a wider range of expertise, products, and services, again, leading to improved customer experiences.
Using technologies that foster a culture of collaboration, field service management teams can drive innovation, create a more engaged workforce, and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Modernising for best-practice location-based workflows
Field service operations are being shaped by several trends in 2023, with technological innovations underpinning these trends. For many businesses today, multiple disparate systems and manual paper-based processes inhibit visibility and control across projects and cost-effective management of resources.
But help is at hand! Simply Workflow, the innovative FSM platform designed by field service engineers to solve FSM challenges, is setting customers up for the future with a collaborative system that is quick to implement and simple to use. Our industry-leading cloud-based service management software uses AI algorithms and IoT to automate tasks like service dispatch, route optimization and predictive maintenance while providing real-time updates to staff. Our use of mobile technology allows for excellent route optimization, allowing our customers to identify the nearest available technician and track the location and status of their assets, improving productivity and saving costs. With health and safety compliance built-in, automated communications, and full visibility of projects with real-time dashboards and reports, we help to deliver better experiences for workers and end-customers alike.
It is clear that trends in FSM will drive improvements in cost, efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction.