The communications industry is facing many challenges—from competitive threats to changing customer expectations. Many leading communication service providers (CSPs) are looking to their field service team to counteract these challenges and make them more competitive.
The emergence of a new type of digitally-enabled service professional—the digital field worker—will help to positively transform the current operations of CSPs. The digital field worker will enable CSPs to get more from current and future technology investments—helping to improve operational efficiencies, increase customer satisfaction, and develop new services.
Meet the Digital Field Worker
The baby boomers, the largest population of field service workers, are retiring at a rapid rate. They are being replaced by millennials, the first generation to be born digital with smartphones, social media, and laptops integrated into their daily lives. Millennials are motivated by technology and want to join organizations that provide modern tools to their workforce. Fortunately, CSPs have been adopting the types of modern technology that will enable the digital field worker to be more efficient and responsive to customer needs, including: The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and mobility.
Digital Field Worker, Meet Digital Technology
The entry of the digital field worker and the wider adoption of IoT, AI, ML, mobility, and other technologies will influence these three areas: predictive field service, customer experience, and new business models and services.
- Predictive Field Service: Gartner forecasts that 20.4 billion products across the globe will be connected by IoT by 2020. Predictive field service uses IoT coupled with AI, ML, and data science to increase schedule accuracy, predict when equipment should be serviced or replaced, and ultimately deliver better service to customers. The digital field worker is informed in real time via their mobile device about events before they happen, rather than sitting around idly waiting for the next call. This helps to increase resource utilization and improve customer experience.
- Customer Experience: Empowered by technology that makes their lives easier, consumers have high expectations of what constitutes an exceptional customer experience. In a connected world, consumers know that fueling the speed of service should not be a roadblock to them getting what they want and when they want it. With 68 percent of senior communications executives citing improving customer experience as their number one strategic priority, the digital field worker will play a key role in executing this strategy by leveraging the power of connectivity to deliver outstanding service to customers.
- New Business Models and Services: New business models and services will become increasingly important, as CSPs are under pressure to control costs and boost revenues. This is underscored by PwC’s research findings that more than 50 percent of revenues will be derived by digital products, services, and businesses by 2020. Tapping into the gig economy will help CSPs to staff, scale, and enter new markets—all while maintaining costs. New technologies and equipment continue to pop up, especially in smart homes, and new services to install and maintain them can develop a new stream of revenue.
Driving Growth with Digital
According to IDC, 80 percent of revenue growth will depend on digital offerings and operations. The digital field worker has the potential to be the catalyst that enables CSP field service teams to use technology to drive organization-wide success and growth—helping CSPs to differentiate themselves from other vendors by delivering exceptional customer service, creating new business opportunities to increase revenue, and becoming more efficient in their talent management operations.