We’re living in a world driven by futuristic devices and instant customer service expectations. Just look at the swift rise of Uber, Amazon Prime Now, or Facebook’s Oculus Rift. Customers have more to expect from companies. One thing is certain; field service will look much different in a few short years.
Facing all this new technology can seem daunting to field service professionals. But hey, we’re a tough lot. We can handle just about anything, right? You might be trying to convince your boss to adopt new technology. Or maybe you’re just keeping up with all the trends this year. Either way, 2017 is shaping up to be a big year in field service management. Here are 17 stats and trends to fuel an unbeatable 2017 field service strategy.
1. 76% of field service providers report they are struggling to achieve revenue growth.
Increased competition and technology expectations from customers have squeezed revenues of field service providers. The field service winners in 2017 will deliver faster resolution times. They will also deliver the right customer experience and have smarter uses for technology.
2. Maximizing satisfaction with customer journeys has the potential to lift revenue by up to 15% percent while lowering cost of serving customers by as much as 20%.
Personalization is increasingly important in our economy. Field service providers must know their customers well and provide a just-right experience. These providers will see their revenue bounce back in 2017.
3. 97% of consumers said customer service is important to their choice or loyalty to a brand.
In a world with more and more choices, the true field service differentiator is service. This means customer-centric field service organizations will pull even further ahead in 2017.
4.58% of field service pros report their top pressure is competition in product and service.
It will be more important to offer the best possible service and the most up-to-date products for field service success. With access to more information online than ever before, should customers expect any less?
5. Best-in-class field service organizations are 72% more likely than peers to utilize visual collaboration tools.
We’re facing more information than ever in field service management. The smartest field service pros will get visual with route planning, dispatch management, and more.
6. 64% of consumers have switched providers in at least one industry due to poor customer service.
According to Accenture, we’re living in an era where customer loyalty is at an all-time low. Most customers will leave after a single bad experience. It’s crucial that field service organizations focus on their tech’s role. This should grow their customer base in 2017.
7. 73% of consumers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.
Many customers still face four to eight hour service windows. To pull ahead in 2017, organizations must communicate exact customer times. And they should value customer time by resolving jobs faster.
8. 84% of millennial customers have used a self-service portal for customer service.
Millennials have come to see self-service as mandatory. Your organization should provide information to help millennials resolve their problems faster. Otherwise you’ll likely face a drop in these customers in the coming year.
9. 68% of 18 to 34-year-old consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a single poor customer service experience.
18 to 34-year-olds value experiences above products, brands, or services. Field service organizations with expert customer service will build a base of young customers next year.
10. 72% of best-in-class field service companies use customer feedback to measure service and employee performance.
Customer feedback is crucial to any business. But are you using it to get specifics about service and employee performance? Smart field service companies will be quick with this data. They will check in on techs more often with performance data.
11. 92% of executives feel they must adapt service models to keep up with customers’ needs.
Executives are feeling the heat from customers. The best among them in field service will do what they need to survive. They will adapt.
12. 52% of companies are still using manual methods to handle field service.
This number will fall in 2017 as more organizations realize the potential of automation.
13. The field service management software industry has grown 12.6% annually from 2011 to 2016.
Source, IBIS World.
Software continues to offer field service organizations help in a variety of areas. The biggest winners in 2017 will install software that can be quickly scaled. This software must also streamline their most time consuming tasks. This will free up their most talented employees and allow them to focus on the customer.
14. There will be 50 Billion internet-connected devices by 2020, a 100% increase over 2015.
Mobile will be key to field service in 2017. Customers will come to expect consumer-like experiences with their devices. The field service organizations that offer top-notch experiences will pull ahead.
15. More than 62% of field service leaders leverage some level of a BYOD (bring your own device) strategy.
Most field service organizations do their best to accommodate BYOD culture. The top players will install strategies that ensure employee devices are secure and perform well.
16. In a recent study, field service accounts receivables error rates averaged 53%, but just 14% among providers utilizing cloud-based accounts receivables software.
Organizations that use cloud-based software in key business areas should pull more cash from their customers.
17. 88% of customers use at least 1 online channel while prospecting (shopping) and 40% want more digital interaction than what companies are providing.
Customers have gone digital, but can field service keep up? Customers in 2017 will demand to have their service questions answered in their most convenient channel. This could be Twitter, on the web, or at a customer’s doorstep. No matter what, the best field service organization will be waiting with an answer.
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