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Implementing and integrating field service into your existing business model can have significant benefits on your overall customer satisfaction. In fact, with the prediction that by 2020, 70% of organisations will cite customer satisfaction derived from implementing field service as a primary benefit, you may be thinking how and where exactly can I achieve this…

There are generally four main areas in your business value stream where integrated Field Service can be of value:

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1. Repair

If a machine is broken or not functioning properly, a service technician makes a field visit to solve the problem. The repair may be covered by warranty or incur charges including time and parts consumed. Being able to provide a service that is timely, when the customer wants it, is cost effective and with a high rate of first-time fix, is key to competitive advantage.

2. Maintenance

Regular inspections of machinery and devices help minimise breakdowns and operational downtime. It is now typically expected that maintenance can be provided on a predictive basis where using smart IoT devices, the machines can automatically inform your business and the customer that something is likely to go wrong and maintenance is required.

3. Installation and commissioning

This is for products that will need a service technician to install it. After installation, the service technician will run a series of tests to make sure your machine is fully operational; this is the commissioning process. If you operate in the B2C world, your customers are now likely to expect that they can purchase a product and schedule the installation (at a time suitable to them) in a single unified transaction.

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4. Business consultation

A field service visit isn’t always a hands-on appointment with your machine or device. It can also involve a critical analysis of your business and customer demands. With customer experience beginning to overtake price and quality as the most important factor, it is key you are connected in a feedback loop with your customers to understand what they want and need.

Each area can be implemented in isolation, but it is worth considering that to achieve a truly end to end unified customer experience, all the first three areas; ‘maintenance’, ‘repair’ and ‘installation and commissioning’, should be implemented into your business.

Finally, at any stage of your customer’s integrated field service journey, you should ensure that your field service engineers are both empowered and enabled to a) identify and execute up-sell opportunities and b) capture customer feedback as input to your digital feedback loop.

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