5 Key Field Service Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report

How future field service internet trends will impact how the service industry communicates internally and provides product support.

For the past two decades Mary Meeker has been the industry leader in global internet analysis. The former venture capitalist’s report has long been considered “the bible” of technological insight and her 2016 report was no different. Meeker’s 213 slide presentation discusses the impending shifts in this technological era and what you need to know in order to keep up with the endless innovation and uses for technology in the world today.

While construction and field service aren’t always thought of as the pinnacle of high-tech, there are several points from Meeker’s report which illuminate how businesses in these industries will need to adapt to keep up. Here are our top 5 applications for how Meeker’s Internet predictions for 2016 will impact field service.

 

1. Internet enabled products will fuel more customer centric service models

Consumers are expecting convenience in all levels of their life and because of ubiquitous computing this idea is more achievable than ever before. Today, there are 3 billion Internet users world-wide, an astounding 42% of the global population. Products that possess always-on connectivity are allowing companies to reach customers anywhere at any time and, because of this, customers are expecting more proactive, hands on engagement from their service providers.

 

Customers have been given a seemingly infinite number of options to choose for their  maintenance and service needs. Increased competition in the space means customers are less willing to deal with slow or ineffective service technicians and operations. Service organizations that do not develop an optimal user experience – driven by Internet enabled products – will be overrun by competition that has adapted to mobile and internet-enabled business processes.

2. Image Sharing will improve reliability of service providers

One of Meeker’s key points was that image sharing is growing at an incredible rate. Textual searches are declining and will continue to do so in the coming years. Furthermore, the fact that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text allows users to get more information in the a time efficient manner. Millennials and members of Generation Z are drawn to platforms that utilize image sharing such as, Snapchat and Pinterest.

As younger generations enter the workforce, service organizations open themselves up to new opportunities by embracing image sharing and becoming more visually appealing. Some examples could include:

  • Techs take before and after pictures as part of a standard inspection process.
  • Images from previous service visits are linked to the work order so techs can see what was done before.
  • Image sharing across a team of technicians to help diagnose a problem.
  • Service companies offer customer portal where customers submit an image of the problem rather than trying to describe it.[/para]

 

3. Mobile Messaging keeps everyone engaged and informed

Mobile Messaging continues to be one of the fastest growing tools in the internet world. Top apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat are seeing incredible growth. Furthermore, Facebook Messenger, in only its fourth year since its inception, became the third most utilized app in the world in the world boasting a 31% growth in unique users since 2014.

Because consumers are adopting messaging apps in their personal lives, they expect the ease-of-use and immediate access in the professional realm too. Some examples of ways field service organizations can implement messaging capabilities include:

  • Customer service instant messaging system, which customers can access through your website and speak with a real customer service representative.
  • A mobile messaging system, which connects technicians across remote locations.
  • A messaging system linking techs in the field with scheduling and back office personnel.
  • Automated personalized messages to engage and inform customers.[/para]

 

4. Voice Commands will increase human-machine interactions

While most of us only rely on <a href="http://www online project management tools.msidata.com/blog/field-service-voice-recognition-for-android” target=”_blank”>voice commands for helping us when our hands are full, Meeker believes that this action will become more prevalent as voice command accuracy, which is currently about 95%, increases its accuracy to 99% in the coming years. This jump in accuracy, according to Meeker, is a “game-changer.”  This development will create a new paradigm for human-computer interaction in which humans can command nearly all their devices by uttering small phrases.
Field service organizations will benefit from this technology as technicians are able to describe an issue and have a computer automation determine the most likely problem. Techs can activate voice commands from their mobile device or even from the machines themselves.

5. Virtual Reality will connect field to office and increase success rates

Meeker suggests that, just as television has progressed from live events to on-demand to real-live events, so will our business communications. This means that in the field, technicians can visualize the intricacies of what they’re working on with a direct link to the home office. Access to virtual reality walk-throughs and an on-demand knowledge base will improve success rates and keep everyone in the loop.

Conclusion- The time for waiting is over.

Trends like Mobile Field Service and the Internet of Things are guiding the business methodology of the future and the smartest companies are already working to get ahead of these advancements. Meeker’s yearly presentation is a predictor of tech advancements to come and a great tool for service organizations looking to stay on top of the latest tech trends that will impact their business.

Interested in learning more about how the internet of things will shift field service. Download our complete guide.

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The future of field service will be defined by IoT. Learn how it will impact industrial service businesses, how to prepare your team for the shift, and examples of companies already taking advantage of the possibilities the IoT has to offer.




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How the Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Field Service