Augmented Reality for Field Services: 5 Ways to Decrease Repeat Service Calls for Technicians
Advances in AR (augmented reality) are making it possible for businesses to be more streamlined, efficient, and productive than ever before. One area where many businesses are seeing AR have a strong positive impact on performance is with helping remote workers in field services. Employees who provide service and customer support during field visits or dispatches are responsible for preventative services, customer experience, remote diagnostics, parts management, and often need training and development and help desk support to ramp up their skills. AR, connected devices and IoT technology are enabling technicians to be significantly more effective, which helps to increase customer satisfaction while decreasing costs for the business.
Here’s how AR helps companies to decrease repeat service calls for technicians:
1. Improved Real-Time Performance
By using AR, field service technicians experience virtual tutorials and demonstrations that are overlayed onto the actual equipment they are working with. This allows technicians to interact with the inner workings of complex equipment in real-time via demonstrations that showcase exactly how a service or repair should be performed. This dramatically reduces the chance of a technician making a mistake or having to redeploy to a customer location before the job can be considered complete. The result: service calls are tremendously reduced. AR also reduces mistakes by 90 percent.
2. Live Guidance and Remote Support
When deskless workers like technicians or engineers need help, learning typically happens by reading a manual or waiting for the next classroom training, but this takes hours or even days – time that removes workers from the flow of their daily schedule, not to mention separates the training from the work to which it’s intended to be applied. Using AR, technicians who are working in the field can access high-quality live guidance and remote support on any device that they happen to be using. When there’s an issue, a technician can reach out to a subject matter expert by video, chat, shared screens, and annotations to provide detail on the problem. AR allows the field worker to share a ‘See What I See’ augmented reality-based experience so the subject matter expert can troubleshoot with the technician in real time. Together, they can solve the issue right there without the having to schedule a subsequent service call with a more skilled technician. We’ve built an ROI calculator to showcase how AR increase first-time fix rates, reduce service costs and minimize costly downtime. Try it here.
3. Digital Compliance
Compliance tasks related to installations, maintenance or inspections can include measurements, quality control steps, and work orders with customer records, audits, photos, videos. Using technology, a field technician can walk through an AR-enabled checklist while all actions are captured by phone as visual proof that the work has been completed according to safety and security standards. AR makes it possible for compliance issues to be securely resolved onsite, in real-time.
4. Faster Task Performance
According to a study by HBR and Microsoft, companies that use AR can experience 50% faster task performance. This means that not only will employees not have to make return service calls or truck rolls to complete the task, but he or she will be able to get the job done in half the time that it would take without using AR. Faster service times means that your company will be able to be more productive and increase customer satisfaction.
5. More Effective Training
In pilots with our clients, AR-based training delivers a 72% increase in learning effectiveness. This means that not only will your technicians and deskless workers have more resources to help them complete the job when they are out in the field, but they will also be much better trained. More experiential training results in fewer errors, and a more talented pool of technicians for your company. Both are highly beneficial.
Benefits of Using AR for Fewer Repeat Service Calls
There are a number of incredibly significant benefits that your company will experience when it implements AR for technicians. One of the most important of these benefits is that your service level scores will go up. This means that your company’s reputation for trust and quality will improve in your market. Having a better reputation can help you to earn more market share and get an advantage over your competitors.
Another key benefit of using AR for fewer repeat service calls is that it will allow you to save your best technicians for the tasks that are truly difficult and technically challenging. Because AR will reduce the amount of errors your average technicians make, you will not have to use your top technicians to go around fixing mistakes. You can just designate the most rewarding and challenging tasks to them from the start. This will improve efficiency.
Finally, AR greatly improves operations in dangerous or hazardous environments. This is because AR technology can be combined with robotics to enable technicians to operate robots that can go into dangerous areas and perform tasks, such as clearing downed powerlines. Object recognition, “see what I see features,” and ITSM integration for AR instruction can deliver advanced remote control.
Most companies are in proof-of-concept mode with AR. However, the companies that are taking advantage of this technology are already starting to benefit tremendously. If you would like to decrease repeat service calls for technicians, boost your company’s reputation in your market, improve your technician training, save your best technicians for the most complicated jobs, and experience a wide variety of other benefits, then you should pilot AR technology today.
You can learn more about integrating this vital technology by watching this webinar.