Field service has traditionally embraced the mobile space to deliver new levels of efficiency. Ruggedized handsets combined with a cellular connection have for some time been a feature for all manner of field service applications – whether that’s signing for a parcel, sending an SMS notification or inspecting and reporting on broken machinery.
And as enterprises, particularly those that operate in Transport & Logistics, increasingly implement mobile field service software, there’s a growing interest in how video calling can deliver further efficiencies, and in tandem resolve ever growing customer service expectations.
Smartphones, and new hardware that combines cameras with handsets or even video cameras on spectacle devices like Vidyo, have taken the capabilities of field service operatives into a new visual realm. Issues can be viewed first hand and in real time, rather than sending photos or trying to describe any given situation. Operatives can literally connect what they see with more experienced technicians back at HQ to troubleshoot, resolve problems quickly and then move on.
Video assistance firm SightCall, recently took this a step further by integrating its video calling solution with customer service software firm Zendesk. Now customer service agents can escalate any email, phone, chat or social communication into a video assistance session to better understand their customer’s issues. This all happens in-app, without the need to initiate a conversation on separate channels like Skype.
This is all made possible because technology advances like communications-as-a-platform (CPaaS) enable the simple integration of video, voice and text into mobile apps via simple APIs. With CPaaS, field service operatives can be connected to the back office seamlessly – on the job and in the moment.
Recent research commissioned by our sister company Sinch, found that 50% of enterprises think video calling has the potential to reduce costs.
Nowhere is this more relevant than in the Transport & Logistics sector (including Field Service). Out of the six industries canvassed, Transport & Logistics was found to be most likely to adopt video calling in the next 24 months, at 32% (compared to a baseline average of 20%).
For those in the sector already using video-calling, the top three answers to the question: What do you think video calling could be most useful for? had a strong bias toward customer service functions. The top answer was customer service (59%) then consultations and meetings (55%) and third, resolving support issues (52%).
It’s also interesting that 64% of respondents in the Transport & Logistics sector said that the main reason for offering video calling was to provide a more personal service to customers, with a further 39% indicating that customers now expect it.
It follows that enterprises providing customer service via video calling can not only drive operational efficiency, but also capture a point of competitive differentiation that appeals to consumers.
The Sinch report, How Consumer Demand Is Shaping The Future Of Video Calling for Enterprises can be downloaded here.