wpowers11
Valued Contributor

 

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With all that’s happened in the past couple of years, one thing’s for sure: field service has forever changed — and, for the better. Why? Well, never have we seen service organizations innovating and accelerating the use of new operating models and advanced technologies that allowed field service to not only survive but to thrive.

Investments in automation, cloud, AI and machine learning, IoT, and other digital technologies accelerated during the pandemic, as were initiatives to support product-as-a-service (PaaS), predictive maintenance, and other outcome-based field service models. These modern tools all helped field service companies continue to serve customers and strengthen relationships, while also optimizing operations, enhancing products and services, and boosting revenue.

Now post-pandemic, the field service industry continues to grow — bolstered by the popularity of digitization, technology, and other trends taking hold worldwide. According to Facts & Factors, “the field service management market was valued at around USD 3,172.5 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 6,161.9 million, by 2028.” There are other publications putting this number over $1 billion.

Below are key field service trends we feel are helping fuel this growth in 2023.

  1. Direct-to-Home Service

Many companies pivoted to contactless options (such as self-checkout, curbside pick-up, and home delivery) to continue to service customers during the pandemic. This maximized the health and safety of employees and customers while minimizing impact on service delivery. Now many customers prefer — and even demand — these convenient options and the providers who offer them. ServiceTitan in the home services arena was a pioneer in this arena.

To meet customer expectations, manufacturers and field service companies will need to continue providing touchless and virtual services, as well as extending service direct to the home. Offering equipment/auto and tire services at home instead of at a shop is a good example of this.

Having the right infrastructure and solutions in place to seamlessly provide these services and minimize technician time on site without negatively affecting service delivery are keys to doing this successfully. This is a trend that we see continuing and maturing going forward.

  1. Enabling Mobile Technicians

We’re seeing companies invest even more to help ensure the most effective and efficient technician experience is delivered in the field. Ultimately, field service technicians are the face of your company and brand at the moment of service. Their capabilities in the field are critical to delivering on your brand promise and can make or break the customer experience.

Empowering your technicians with the customer-centric tools and resources they need to do their best work in a remote setting is a must to be efficient and deliver the personalized experiences today’s customers expect. Collaboration, connectivity, knowledge bases, AI, and AR are just some tools that enrich, guide, simplify, and speed technicians in the field — ensuring responsiveness, continuity of service, resolving issues sooner, and making them more productive and cost-effective.

Also, ensuring the back office is connected and coordinating with field technicians in real-time is vital to increasing efficiency, reducing errors, and improving customer service outcomes.

If you are already a ServiceTitan® customer, you already have all the above reality’s and tools at your disposal.

  1. Predictive Maintenance

While predictive maintenance concepts have existed for many years, the recent acceleration in sophistication, scope, and sheer ambitiousness of predictive maintenance programs is a significant trend to watch. Unplanned downtime can cost companies hundreds of thousands — even millions — of dollars. A six-hour Facebook outage in 2021 cost them nearly $100 million in revenue! And the ripple effects can be devasting to their customers.

Therefore, it’s critical to ensure all equipment functions at optimal performance levels at all times. Fueled by advancements in modern technology, predictive maintenance burst onto the scene — gaining popularity and replacing traditional break/fix and preventive service models.

Predictive maintenance leverages IoT, AI, and ML to monitor system performance for potential issues. Technicians are notified ahead of equipment failure ensuring a quick response — often before a customer even knows there’s a problem. Also, the data that is collected can be used to provide insights into how equipment works and when it might fail. This is invaluable, saving time, money, and resources. There’s a wealth of other benefits, too, including:

Reduces unplanned outages and downtime, extends machinery life

Speeds problem diagnosis and resolution

Improves service quality and customer satisfaction

Helps monetize services and create new revenue streams

The global predictive maintenance market is expected to reach US $45.5 billion by 2032. It’s a competitive advantage that every field service company should be looking into today.

  1. AI Enhanced Field Service

We’re seeing explosive growth of AI in field service and it’s absolutely transforming the way companies work. It is a trend we expect to explode in areas we’ve not even explored yet. From automating to streamlining, to connecting, to predicting, and more, AI simulates human intelligence to automate and optimize operations and enhance service delivery.

The top ways AI adds the most value for field service organizations include:

Simplifying tasks — AI automates complex, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks. It can also suggest knowledge and provide recommendations that simplify tasks, reduce guesswork and errors, and speed service.

Increasing productivity — AI allows for smarter, data-driven systems that can automatically identify the right technician to do the job, recommend the best routes, predict needed equipment and tools, suggest the next best actions, and more. All these help staff do their jobs more effectively and improve efficiency and productivity, in the field and in the office.

Enhancing operational capability — With AI you can intelligently schedule and assign work to optimize resources, automate and streamline processes to improve accuracy and reduce employee workload, and leverage real-time data to gain insights to predict and recommend actions for continuous improvement. Optimized operations reduce costs and will improve the customer experience.

Harnessing the power of AI should be an important component of your field service strategy moving forward. You already have access to the technology and tools the ServiceTitan® platform has for you.

  1. Mixed Reality Maturity

Traditionally, mixed reality (virtual reality and augmented reality) field service applications have focused on technician learning and training — replacing bulky manuals and handheld devices with immersive, wearable experiences and hands-free abilities. During the pandemic, it gained popularity because it made it possible for technicians to remotely service customers. Today, mixed reality has become a valuable and versatile tool for field service companies. We expect mixed reality to expand from core internal use cases to include customer assistance, to remote diagnostics, to guided experiences.

More and more field service companies are using mixed reality for technician collaboration and guidance to be more responsive and provide better service. Mixed reality can also be combined with AI, IoT, and digital twin solutions to help technicians safely and effectively inspect, audit, diagnose, and repair large or complex equipment virtually. For customers who are demanding more virtual services, mixed reality allows you to offer a host of remote assistance, self-service, and concierge services.

The benefits of mixed reality are exciting and include:

Onboarding and training new technicians to produce $’s quicker

Allowing more experienced technicians to share their knowledge

Accelerating first-time fixes and boosting technician efficiency

Improving employee safety

Enhancing customer experience and engagement

Soon, more than half of all field service management deployments will include augmented or virtual reality. And, when combined with data and predictive solutions, the benefits will only continue to grow.

Explore the Possibilities

Be bold and explore these possibilities. Although many of these trends were triggered by the pandemic, they continue to reshape the industry and create opportunities for field service companies to meet evolving customer demands. Technology is the common key. We here at ServiceTitan® already have the capability to be your partner on this journey.

32 Comments
ericap1026
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

This is amazing information. Does anyone have any good information on virtual diagnosis?

Miranda
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

Thank you for sharing that with us! That's some good stuff! 😄

aaronwatters
ServiceTitan Certified Provider
ServiceTitan Certified Provider

AI in 2023 is similar to the mobile app development surge in 2007, I'm excited to see the way AI develops in the trades. From lead management standpoint the technology behind call grading and CSR scoring is (and has been) a game changer.

SamKrause
New Contributor

We just signed up for a training service that uses virtual reality with 3D modeling so techs can train on virtual equipment before we have them work on that type of equipment in the field.  We probably won't be getting quest headsets anytime soon but they can use all the 3D training on a desktop.

vferrara
New Contributor III

I'm excited and nervous to see the way the AI developments will impact our businesses in the future. Its definitely exciting. 

BayleeR
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

So excited to learn and grow in this community! Thank you for sharing such valuable information! 

SallyC
New Contributor III

This is exciting stuff! So proud that our company and ServiceTitan are ahead of the curve with technology! I can't wait to see what the future holds!

mtrobert
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

AI is the wave of the future and I know we are all here for it. I am definitely loving the technician training aspects of this as well. Our techs have no time for paper manuals as stated. We find it so much easier having it all in the content portal or the knowledge base. Keep it up! Can't wait for what's instore for the future. 😁

pmora
New Contributor III

It's amazing the strides that technology has taken in HVAC.  I'm excited to see what comes next.

ldoyle_m
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

Great info.  Excited to share it with the team.

RandiThompson
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

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AlexDukhin
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

Thank you!

KhianaKlatt
Valued Contributor II

Your articles are always so informative!

JessicaSmith
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

This industry is moving so fast! If you don't adopt new things, you'll be left behind!

mirdesch
Contributor II

We love the contactless/online shopping that has grown since the pandemic. Thank you for the great read!

AnnaDonaldson
New Contributor II

Here for the Scavenger Hunt! 

cec2019
New Contributor II

Great information!!

bethatki
New Contributor III

I am very fascinated with AI. Great post!! The pool industry has a long way to go.

Steveng
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

Been using Chat GPT and have been blown away at the opportunities opening up in this arena.  Great info, also, I am here for the scavenger hunt.  haha.  Great post tho!

tylerb_s
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

I'm looking forward to seeing how AI continues to transform ServiceTitan and our industry!

anthonym1
New Contributor III

Thank you for sharing this!

UniverseSeanR
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

Looking Forward to great things in 2023 !!!!!

sbafile
New Contributor

Thank You!

qualityi
New Contributor II

All good stuff!

katrinaC
New Contributor III

Good stuff. Thank you!

tadams_g
New Contributor

I would be interested in hearing from someone that is using virtual technologies to make their techs more efficient and customers more accessible.  

alishaea
New Contributor II

Thank you for sharing!

lindsey_4
New Contributor II

I love learning all the way we can streamline things with technology! 

Rome
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator
ServiceTitan Certified Administrator

AI for the trades is exactly what it is! If we just have faith in our minds and put it into the system, it works FOR us!!! Let's gooo!!!

joeladmi
New Contributor II

The trades are slow to adopt technology. If you don't, it will be at your own peril.

Nwoodard0923
New Contributor III

Love it!

krista-gac
Contributor II

Awesome READ! Thank you for putting together!