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5) Preventative Maintenance Takes the Next Step Up

13th December, 2016

Preventative Maintenance Takes the Next Step Up: There has been lots of hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) and in order to gain a competitive advantage, companies now offer an incredibly improved customer service while utilising it.  Stepping into the New Year, we predict that we will start to see further real deployments of IoT in Field Service, enabling organisations to deliver more proactive services before devices fail, rather than having to react and fix problems once they have already done so.

This will be achieved by devices being able to self-diagnose problems and immediately alerting the service desk of the issue, often before the customer even realises. For example, a machine such as a drinks machine; parking meter; vending machine or self-checkout, will self-diagnose when a component is failing or when it’s running low on supplies using smart sensors. The machine will automatically send a message to the service management system within the service organisation and log this requirement.

Moving to preventative maintenance, rather than reactive, has 2 key benefits, firstly the customer does not lose sales because the machine in question is out of service. And secondly, it is far easier and more efficient for the service organisation to deliver preventative jobs. Why? Because these can be scheduled and planned in advance, rather than responding to strict SLAs; for example, if we know that a technician needs to replace a cartridge at some point within the next 2 weeks in a failing machine, we will plan that visit for the afternoon (s)he happens to be visiting a nearby location for another job. If we were to wait for that machine to fail and the customer to call in, then we would need to get a technician out immediately to replace it, which would mean them driving to the specific location that morning and having to reschedule all the jobs intended for that day.

But with an advanced field service system, such as our own, the service does not stop there. To refer back to the example then, after the requirement of the machine is logged in the system, the system will then perform scheduling in real-time to incorporate a visit from a technician when they are in the area. The system will identify if this technician has the correct parts, if not, it will reassign or it will order automatically to replenish boot stock before the visit. The visit may be imminent if the machine is about to fail or has already failed, or it could be longer if the problem is less urgent. The system will be able to send a notification straight to the field based worker’s mobile device, and if boot stock is required, the system will automatically arrange delivery.

 

Preventative Maintenance

 

Following this, once the successful visit has been made, the technician will update the system through their field service mobile app about any necessary charges, stock level adjustments and customer satisfaction levels. mplsystems provide an intelligentResponse module, which uses advanced text analytics to provide automated communication with the customer, thus meaning that they are never left waiting and that there are no agents in the system acting as bottlenecks to getting things fixed.

This way, customers can have complete end-to-end field service with minor changes on the company’s behalf.  Furthermore, as the maintenance is preventative, rather than reactive, the customer will never have to experience an out of order machine and therefore will exceed their SLAs. It also means that the customer will never need to alert the contact centre, thus alleviating the number of calls and requests that the company will have to deal with. We see companies deploying such solutions in the first half of 2017, thus being able to exceed customer expectations of response rates and completely boosting experience levels throughout the year.

📋Recommended Reading

For the rest of the 2017 Customer Service Predictions, visit our contents page here

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