For field service companies, the right technological advancements can drive efficiency and open doors to significant cost savings. Smart glasses, such as Google Glass, are the latest technology application to benefit the service industry. According to Gartner Research Director Angela McIntyre, Google Glass and other similar products will have the greatest impact on field of service industries that largely depend on a mobile workforce to complete manufacturing and repair work. Field service companies could utilize Google Glass’s many features to streamline operations and improve customer service.
Education and Training
With voice-activated video recording and live sharing capabilities, service technicians would be able to record real on-the-job scenarios to share with trainees, while still completing the job without disruptions or distractions. Additionally, these videos could be used for research purposes to identify best practices and help guide companies to improve policies.
Since Google+ is a basic feature of Google Glass, field technicians could use it to quickly communicate with dispatch from anywhere. They might also use the video chat feature of Google+ to receive instruction from company experts when encountering unexpected issues. Plus, customers could use Google Glass to video chat service engineers, giving them instant access to the information they would need to diagnose the precise problem before even arriving onsite. This means a technician would better prepare by stocking inventory with the right parts and pulling any warranties that are applicable – improving “first-time fix” rates.
Google Glass also features augmented reality where information is projected in front of you and can be, in some circumstances, superimposed on the project at hand. This capability would allow technicians to quickly and efficiently diagnose and repair issues with accurate information at their fingertips. Augmented reality has the real potential to improve productivity, cut down accidents and minimize delays.
Google Glass claims to deliver 3D directions with hands-free GPS. Street level routing means field workers would shave minutes off travel time between jobs and could reduce driving errors and missed turns. Dispatch could also be sure service engineers are receiving accurate directions to job sites.
Video chatting and collaboration could save time for more experienced, upper-level technicians, and reduce the associated expenses of sending experts to each jobsite, when a less-experienced technician could handle most of the job requirements. When an expert is needed, information could be easily shared and discussed with the expert to provide the customer with the best possible support. In this way, companies could improve their cost-effectiveness by hiring green employees and easily training them. How-to-instructions displayed with the Google Glass might even serve as an assistant to aid workers in completing tasks or procedures that they may not remember or have little experience in doing.
According to McIntyre, the field service industry could see a $1 billion increase in profits annually with the use of smart glasses. With so much revenue potential, service companies need to seriously consider how they can start implementing this latest technology advancement to streamline their operations and optimize cost savings.