Steve Smith | 01.17.18
Summary >

In 2017, a majority of executives came to the glaring realization that they needed to reinvent their service models if they wanted to keep up with consumer demand for real-time communication and visibility.

But how?

The past year was filled with tumultuous technology upheavals that were nearly impossible to keep up with, let alone implement. Especially in an industry with a penchant for paper, whiteboards, and simple spreadsheet software when it comes to managing field service teams.

The good news is the future of field service management, particularly predictive field service management, is finally primed to become reality for many organizations in 2018.

Whether you are building a case for predictive field service technology or just keeping up with industry trends, check out the five biggest factors that will accelerate adoption across the industry in 2018.

1. Customers Are Demanding It

Customers are increasingly accustomed to a predictive, on-demand economy. Many, including eMarketer and McKinsey, have reported that consumers expect companies to understand their needs before they themselves express them. Further evidence mounts in the form of consumers opting for regular Amazon shipments of groceries and home goods instead of shopping in a physical store.

Of course, many organizations lag behind the Amazons of the world. According to a study conducted by a global experience management software provider, six in ten consumers report mobile experience falls short of expectation. This comes at a catastrophic cost to those who lag behind — 33 percent of 4,500 surveyed consumers report never purchasing from a brand again after an unsatisfactory experience on mobile.

2. Service Has Fallen Behind Other Sectors

The field service workforce is aging, and many huge legacy providers have struggled to keep up with economic shifts. These companies totter at the brink of extinction. The push for change will be strong from many of the biggest legacy organizations who have, in previous years, failed to modernize service.

In the race toward modernization — and differentiation, 2018 will mark a shift from selling physical products to selling experiences and outcomes, creating new revenue streams and more service jobs. Predictive field service management offers the ability to empower consumers with 24/7 access to service providers on their preferred devices no matter where they are.

3. Increasingly, Technology Providers Are Offering Plug-and-Play Options

While in previous years we have seen headlines and hype about predictive technology, more and more technology providers are coming to the table with easy-to-implement service solutions. And as tech changes slow in 2018, field service executives will be able to shift their focus on adopting — and optimizing — key predictive capabilities.

4. IoT & Machine Learning Are No Longer Hollywood Fantasy

The landscape of drones, robots, and futuristic Hollywood trends are fading as these technologies take hold on the front lines. We’re always connected—usually to three devices at any given time. With the rapid adoption of Amazon Alexa and Google Home products, sometimes we’re connected even when we unplug for the night.

At the same time, consumers have become increasingly comfortable sharing their information online. Through nearly any online platform, there is now more data available than most can handle.

And that’s where the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning come into play, interpreting our activity and predicting future interactions from staggering amounts of data, offering up a treasure trove of information to organizations who commit to providing better service.

5. Analytics and Data Are Readily Available

So, what would happen if your employees’ devices and vehicles continually collected and analyzed data from the field?

You would hold the key to overcoming unpredictable behavior, enhancing service, enforcing accountability, and optimizing planning.

Dozens of tools exist to help organizations visualize, analyze, and act on massive amounts of customer data. Organizations willing to spend time digging into it this year will yield massive gains in predictive intelligence.

The Future of Predictive Field Service Management Is Here

You may have spent 2017 marveling at the futuristic-sounding advancements in predictive field service technology — perhaps even somewhat overwhelmed by it all — but as the year draws to an end, it’s time to prepare for what lies ahead.

Predictive field service management is no longer a technology of the future. In fact, it’s the technology of 2018. It’s time to add it to your list of New Year’s resolutions. Your business will thank you for it.

For more on predictive field service, visit the field service management solutions page.