Overcoming Resistance to Touchless Service – Virtual Expertise Software Is Here To Stay
Reader’s note: this is part 2 of a series. To read part 1, click here: Using Touchless Service Delivery To Remove Friction.
Virtual expertise software was a relatively new concept before Covid-19. There seemed to be a lot of interest and buzz around the promise of this technology. However, the adoption rate was relatively low within the field service industry. The resistance was the result of several factors.
First, many FSOs took a “wait and see” approach to approving software rollouts since it was such a new technology. Second, virtual expertise software was perceived as a tool used only among techs. It was usually only used when an tech experienced unique issues, requiring support from a remote expert. Finally, many FSOs were not mentally ready to use virtual expertise software directly with customers.
Establishing a New Service Standard
As we all know, COVID-19 severely disrupted normal business operations. Shelter in place orders, lockdowns, and quarantine restrictions have required FSOs to rethink their service delivery models. Because of AR technology, FSOs have been able to pivot gracefully to virtual support.
Virtual expertise software is now becoming a necessity for FSOs. The data supports this claim. According to Marc Guthrie, COO of Help Lightning, usage of virtual expertise software has increased nearly five-fold (450%) since March 2020. Also, the company has found a 40% more in customers.
The Results Speak For Themselves
The results of using virtual expertise software in support of touchless service delivery speak for themselves. Early adopters of Help Lightning found they could reduce truck rolls by an average of 15%. They also improved their first-time fix rate and total resolution times by 20% and 30%, respectively.
And these performance improvements can be significantly higher. Truck rolls can be replaced by remote support sessions. Minimum travel time means customers can experience less downtime. The first-time fix rate increases because the tech can quickly add other experts to their support session.
Faster Customer Support without Physical Contact
Virtual expertise software enabled Cox Communications to increase new installations during the pandemic. Cox had limited ability to deploy its field techs. The company needed a solution that provided “virtual on-site support” without entering the customer’s home.
Now, Cox technicians can troubleshoot customer issues remotely. They send a text to the customer’s smartphone that connects them to a virtual support session. Customers follow the technician’s remote guidance and instructions. The tech can then help them to troubleshoot and install equipment without actually being there. This allowed Cox to provide faster and better service to their customers.
The Future of Service is Touchless
The world as we know it, pre-COVID-19, is gone. After a vaccine is deployed, we expect these new business practices will remain in place. Leaders appreciate the value these new practices have on their costs.
Virtual meetings, work from home, telehealth technology, curbside pickup, and touchless delivery is now considered the new normal. These practices will likely remain in place for years to come.
Virtual expertise software is having a similar impact on field service. “For example, field service leaders were hesitant about using virtual expertise software. Now, they are seeing significant improvements,” notes Help Lightning’s Marc Guthrie. “The message,” he says, “is that this isn’t going to change. FSOs will not return to their old way of doing things”.
Planning For A Successful Implementation
Fortunately, a roll out of virtual expertise software requires very little prep work. These applications are relatively easy to implement. Because of this, Cox Communications rolled-out Help Lightning to over 5,000 technicians within 2 weeks. A successful implementation is a function of having a few things in place, including:
- Executive buy-in
- A program leader or Champion
- A compelling message to the workforce about why and how to use the application. They have to know what’s in it for them.
- Basic training and coaching
There is not a whole lot of technical set-up or integration involved. It’s simply a matter of incorporating the tool into the existing service delivery process.
Learn more about Help Lightning. Schedule a free demo today.