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Discrete Manufacturing: How to Go Digital with Field Service?

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Monica Barthalomeo,

April 28, 2023

Discrete Manufacturing: How to Go Digital with Field Service?

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The pandemic has ushered the manufacturing industry and the discrete manufacturing industry segment into the Digital World. In this age, only businesses with field service capabilities coupled with a dependency on digital technology endure and strive to build robust customer relationships. Also, they’re the ones that drive revenue with excellent field service without an actual on-site visit.

Over 88% of customers anticipate companies to accelerate digital initiatives. And customers appreciate and enjoy the convenience, ease, and possibilities that the digital world brought to the field service experience. If you’re looking for a way to improve your discrete manufacturing model, we’re covering the top five areas to focus on enhancing to provide a seamless experience to your customers. Let’s get started.

5 Ways to go digital with field service

Discrete Manufacturing: 5 Ways to Go Digital with Field Service

1. Rule out in-person visits with visual remote assistance.

Today, customers are demanding troubleshooting options that are remote for safety and convenience. With remote visual assistance, the service agent can determine whether the problem requires an in-person visit or can be resolved with remote assistance. And remote visual assistance wipes out the need for in-person visits, which are time-consuming.

A significant advantage of visual remote assistance is that field technicians and agents can utilize video call sessions to reach out to customers in real-time and resolve impending issues with the help of augmented reality.

For instance, service agents can guide customers to the solution remotely for simple fixes like system reboots. And for more complex issues, a field service technician can walk the customer through a step-by-step procedure to solve the problem through visual remote assistance.

Furthermore, if the solution really requires an in-person visit, the field service agent can collaborate with an experienced technician to get the issue resolved at the earliest. This process expedites the first-time visit resolution.

2. Enhance your first-time visit resolution proactively.

Modern problems require modern solutions. As technology advances, customers expect a proactive approach from businesses to guarantee a good system uptime. Therefore, you can unlock your device performance in real time by connecting all the data across customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and other relevant record systems into a single source of truth.

With data visualization tools, you can enable your team to identify potential system lags and other underlying red flags way earlier. Later, you can send automated messages to your customers to book an appointment. Also, field service agents can monitor and fix issues way ahead.

For instance, if they’re at a place for a break-fix, they can identify the last date when the asset was serviced and then conduct preventive maintenance. Also, if there’s an upcoming service request while being there, your field service agent can perform maintenance way ahead, avoiding the need for another visit.

Also, with such real-time data being available to your team, they can ensure the relevant inventory is available prior to the site visits. In other words, your team can procure relevant parts on demand by the customers, thereby reducing warehouse costs.

3. Empower your contractors to provide improved customer experience.

As a discrete manufacturing business, you’re more likely to work with many partners to support various service functions of your organization. For example, let’s assume that your company manufactures an industrial gearbox, and most likely, a partner or a contractor may handle the installation or servicing.

Ensure that all your service-related partners or contractors have access to your field service management solution to easily access your customer data and corresponding asset information.

Or, if you are not comfortable with sharing the entire data, you can create a separate contractor portal that includes relevant customer data, knowledge articles, self-service options, an easy method to connect with your business, and corresponding warranty details. You can schedule or book service visits for your customers on behalf of your contractors and streamline the entire experience for your customers.

4. Allow customers self-serve with an appointment assistance feature.

With the likes of DoorDash in the market, customers are getting accustomed to connected experiences with real-time information about the arrival of the delivery agent, company safety protocols, and employer details.

By incorporating an appointment assistant, your business can send automated updates to customers across various digital channels. Alternatively, customers can use your customer portal round the clock to access their service-level agreements and service history.

You can take the customer experience to the next level by allowing them to schedule service appointments by themselves, view knowledge articles for fixing simple processes, and make changes to their service requests if needed.

A sheer example of a simple process would be if a light is not turning on or there’s some noise coming from your business equipment, and you can have a detailed step-by-step guide regarding the same and how to reset and reboot the equipment. Doing this will save your customer an unnecessary site visit and your field service agent’s time.

5. Improve your service as per customer feedback.

Customer feedback sometimes can shed light on certain service or product aspects where your business might be lacking. Using customer feedback will only further enhance your company’s service or product delivery.

Also, every time customer leaves feedback, they want to be heard and they await the follow-up. To streamline this process, you can set up an enterprise feedback management platform to connect the dots between customer feedback to your CRM data to get a bird’s eye view of the impending issue. This will enable you to decide on the right solution and response and drive you to deliver improved services or products to your customers.

Next Steps

A robust field service management not only helps you improve your efficiency as a business but also enhances remote and real-time data collection and improves your customer experience which is a true game changer.

If you’re looking to disrupt your discrete manufacturing process with the digital, look no further. At Solunus, we dive deep into your business process requirements and develop the optimal solution to improve your efficiency and enhance your customer experience. Talk to our team to learn more about how we can help you.

About Solunus

Solunus is a leading Salesforce consulting company, based in Dallas, TX, USA. Our proven ‘needs-first’ approach coupled with our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform enables us to provide the perfect solution to help you deliver delightful services to customers and achieve rapid growth.