The evolution of IoT, connected home devices, drones and wearable tech is changing how businesses deliver their services, particularly in the home services industry. There is no doubt that in today’s world, technology is ever changing; this has an impact on how customers and business interact with each other. New connected home devices and other technologies have the potential to allow this industry to improve customer experience with proactive monitoring, enhanced troubleshooting capabilities, and incident resolution. Now, let’s look at how the introduction of these technologies affects the delivery of home services.
A typical service call:
With most home service organizations, there are typically two types of service calls:
1) the provisioning or service call, which involves a company delivering and installing a new product. In this scenario, it usually involves a sales resource selling the product and an installation service. The technician executes the delivery of the product to the home and then installs the product. It could be windows and doors, roofing, a new deck, an appliance, or a home entertainment system.
2) the repair or service assurance call, which is initiated by the customer calling into a call centre. An agent engages in some basic troubleshooting which results in an appointment for a technician visit to resolve the issue. The technician visits the home and, in the ideal situation, resolves or repairs the issue. Repairs can range from a leak in your roof, malfunctioning appliances, or a problem with your HVAC system.
With the latest developments in connected home devices:
“Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Total spending on endpoints and services will reach almost $2 trillion in 2017.”
Consumer Applications to Represent 63 Percent of Total IoT Applications in 2017
“2018 onwards, cross-industry devices, such as those targeted at smart buildings (including LED lighting, HVAC and physical security systems) will take the lead as connectivity is driven into higher-volume, lower cost devices.” Gartner Inc.
What tomorrow’s service call could look like:
With the introduction of IoT and connected home devices – which include but are not limited to thermostats, home entertainment systems, lighting, home security and appliances – these smart systems have the capability to notify the home service companies with a service contract when an incident requiring a service call arises. Through their field service management application that is connected to the smart device notification, the home service company contacts the customer and arranges a service call before the customer feels the impact.
When the home service technician shows up for the scheduled appointment, he or she is already aware of the issue and has the diagnostic data attached to the service order via the field service management mobile client. Depending on the type of device being serviced, drones or wearable tech may further assist the technician in diagnosing the issue and resolving it quickly. By leveraging these technologies, home service companies know the issue, proactively address the customer’s need for service, and increase the effectiveness of the technician’s ability to resolve the issue on the first visit. The result is the delivery of better service and an improved customer experience.
The challenges ahead
The latest annual digital transformation report conducted by IDC Canada, SAP Canada indicates that most Canadian companies from enterprise to small businesses are aware of the need for initiating digital transformation efforts, but have yet to act. Some of the major reasons include cost of infrastructure and the effort of internal resources required for a successful implementation. There is no doubt these initiatives will be a key factor in maintaining a competitive edge over competitors, thus the need to execute on them is pressing.
The question becomes how to implement these new technologies, then when.
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