In the midst of COVID, one of the most talked-about and widely leveraged digital toolsets was augmented and merged reality tools that enable remote interaction, collaboration, and service.
In a time of lockdowns and travel restrictions, software that blends two real-time video streams into an interactive environment proved incredibly useful as a business continuity measure for countless businesses, but particularly for field service organizations.
To be fair, many companies had begun using augmented reality and remote assistance technologies prior to the pandemic – but the conditions of COVID rapidly accelerated adoption by those who had not yet considered the role of remote service in their operations. I’ve written about the value proposition of augmented reality for years and am a huge proponent of the impact it can have on remote customer support and resolution, remote diagnosis to increase first-time fix, better utilization of valuable resources, as well as more rapid employee training and knowledge transfer.
What makes for the most interesting conversation today, however, and the purpose of this report is to explore the role remote service will play in a post-COVID world. The use of the technology when on-site visits are impossible or unsafe is very simple to understand and put into action. What begs a harder question is how organizations who have turned to remote assistance tools for those business continuity purposes will evolve their use of the technology and incorporate it into their overarching service strategy as we move forward. Is it a key enabler of a remote-first service strategy? Or just another tool in the arsenal to improve customer outcomes? This is the question many companies are grappling with as service conditions normalize.
To weigh in on this topic, I invited some of the service leaders I’ve talked with over the last year about their companies’ uses of remote service. On the following pages, we discuss some of the key points related to determining the fit for remote service in your business and how to maximize its potential to create efficiency gains, customer satisfaction, and competitive differentiation.