By Paul Whitelam, Group VP of Product Marketing at ClickSoftware
The last 12 months proved an exciting and transformative year for the field service industry. Similar to almost every other industry segment, customer experience continued to prevail as the ultimate business differentiator, driving innovation at warp speed. A recent Gartner report finds that “Customer experience can be the multiplier or rate limiter of business results.” This brief quote summarizes what the next few years are likely to reflect in the field service management (FSM) space.
Service departments at organizations globally are increasingly using field service as a means to delight customers—a KPI (key performance indicator) that’s difficult to achieve based on the limited interaction field service companies have with customers. Forward-thinking companies understand the critical nature of customer experience, and 70 percent cite customer satisfaction as a primary benefit from implementing FSM tools by 2020, up from approximately 50 percent today.
A look ahead
While the critical importance of field service is often hidden behind a curtain of more exciting (and visible) business initiatives, pulling back that curtain reveals innovation at its finest, and field service leaders are stepping up. The Gartner report finds that more FSM software vendors are incorporating technology such as artificial intelligence, as well as support for augmented reality and video into their solutions. The rate of adoption of cloud-based solutions is accelerating and support for Internet of Things (IoT) enablement has increased. Taking into consideration what we already know, it’s safe to forecast what’s to come in FSM.