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We have never lived in a more connected world. Everyone and everything is ‘on’ at all times and the pace of development is not slowing down, AI/AR/VR/MR/ML, there are plenty of buzzwords out there. Everyone’s chomping at the bit to get them into the field as soon as possible so they can start to impact our bottom lines, improve our efficiency and improve our customer outcomes.
What does this mean in reality? Does AR mean we can “downskill” our field teams?
Maybe, but It’s unlikely in my opinion. Sure, it’ll help reduce errors, spread knowledge, utilise your teams better by letting them support each other remotely, but could I repair a complicated bit of machinery with no experience and an AR headset? Of course not.
Your customers are choosing ever more digital ways to interact with you. It’s likely the only actual humans they’ll talk to are your technicians. Why does this matter? Because in spite of customers choosing easy, frictionless, digital experiences, human to human interactions disproportionately affect customer sentiment and therefore loyalty and retention. We should start thinking about how we recruit and retain our teams based on their EQ, their ability to connect with other humans and build relationships. How do you give technicians more time to spend on building relationships with their customers? Utilising technology to make their lives and their jobs easier.
Technology will only solve a problem if the problem is tangible and well defined. Your technicians need to know and feel how it will help them work more smartly and your business needs to be agile enough to deploy quickly and successfully. Your field force needs to be the most engaged and Agile than they have ever been. In the emerging era of the gig economy, where employee loyalty is a thing of the past, you need to use technology smartly to drive loyalty in your field crew so they can deliver these experiences.