The field service industry has evolved significantly in recent years, but these changes took place faster than ever in 2020. As the entire industry grappled with a new set of circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, many unavoidable changes sped up trends that were already taking shape in the background.
But how has this new perspective impacted the way the field service industry conducts its business? From digitisation and virtual reality to a renewed focus on soft skills, we delve into the field service trends that will shape the industry in 2021 and beyond.
How the field service industry changed in 2020
The field service industry underwent a host of changes in 2020, but perhaps none were as significant as how we handle risk management. COVID-19 concerns meant that operators had to swiftly adjust to travel restrictions and safety guidelines, as protecting customers, colleagues, and themselves became especially important.
Field service companies rose to this challenge by implementing pre-screening questionnaires that evaluated how much risk an upcoming job posed to workers and clients. By reviewing previous travel and contact with others, this risk assessment helped operators make an informed choice about their wellbeing.
With safety paramount to the field service industry, ensuring all parties follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines is one trend that will undoubtedly remain imperative in the short-term.
So what’s next for the industry?
If your field service company is going to succeed in 2021 and beyond, developing a modern, customer-orientated way of doing business is critical. Consider the following emerging trends to establish a forward-thinking operation that makes sense for your customers and workers.
The digital revolution continues
Like most consumer-centric sectors, digitisation has the power to dramatically improve workflow and customer service in our industry. But there are a surprising number of companies still using outdated and ineffective tools to schedule jobs and organise teams. If this describes your business, digitising your operation should be your top concern in 2021.
Fortunately, digitisation is made easy with the FieldPulse app. Backed by a range of user-friendly features that enhance customer service and teamwork, there are handy tools for scheduling, dispatching, quoting, and invoicing. Alongside real-time data, the app ensures streamlined job management.
Predictive maintenance visits
As data-driven tools like machine learning become more accessible, field service operators can intuitively predict where maintenance is needed before a critical failure occurs. Alongside cloud-hosted applications and remote sensors, operators will have far greater power to plan their maintenance schedules, minimise downtime, and reduce costs. In this sense, the field service industry will adopt an active role in how jobs are completed.
Augmented and virtual reality
Your average tradie might not have ever imagined themselves using augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) on the job, but it’s quickly become apparent just how useful these tools will be. With both AR and VR enhancing a technician’s work environment by displaying extra information like maintenance history and vital diagnostics, this allows for faster, more effective intervention. Plus, the uptake of wearable technologies such as smart glasses ensures operators will receive an up-close look at the problem before they even have to be dispatched.
Don’t forget about soft skills
Although exciting new technology will improve consumer outcomes, this doesn’t mean traditional customer service skills are simply going to disappear. In fact, changing customer expectations means field service companies must enhance their soft skills alongside tech-focused solutions like GPS tracking and instant communication.
Nowadays, top-notch customer service is assumed rather than considered a bonus. This realisation has led many field service businesses to focus on their customer service skills more than ever before. With consumers looking for clear communication, empathy and action, companies that combine customer-centric talents with the effective use of technology are bound to experience great success.
Where is the market going?
Despite the many unprecedented hurdles emerging in 2020 due to COVID-19, the field service industry is set for exceptional growth. With the 2020 global market for Field Service Management estimated at US$3.1 billion, this is projected to reach US$7.9 billion by 2027. As these technological and customer-focused trends filter down through the industry, those who successfully invest in a digital-first approach will position themselves for a glowing future.
Partner with FieldPulse
Ensure your field service business is up-to-date by adopting these modern trends into your workflow. With FieldPulse regarded as the industry-leading field service software, you’ll stride ahead of the competition thanks to incredible CRM, job scheduling, dispatching, team management, payment processing, and more. Get in touch with our friendly customer service team to get started today.