Salesforce has launched a new IoT field service solution, Field Service Lightning, built for today’s connected world.
Harnessing signals from connected devices and customer data from Salesforce, Field Service Lightning is a modern approach to field service designed with mobile technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) in mind.
Salesforce has stated that with Field Service Lightning, companies can now bring together customers, connected devices, agents, dispatchers and employees in the field with one powerful service platform. This should enable a seamless customer experience from phone to field.
Salesforce has released numerous field service offerings over the years, but this is the first put together in expectation of IoT’s increased role in field service operations. The new solution will equip field service personnel with smartphone and tablet versions, allowing for a more intelligent deployment of resources.
According to Gartner there are already 6.4 billion connected things in use. That number is expected to reach 20.8 billion by 2020. Salesforce’s research found that 92 percent of service executives believe that they need to update their service models to keep up with customer needs. Because only 19 percent of those surveyed have some kind of IoT strategy in place, it’s safe to assume that the other 81 percent have not yet chosen any software to support their strategy; which is the gap Salesforce is looking to exploit.
Can IoT help with customer data?
Salesforce’s own research has found that field service agents often struggle to get hold of the necessary customer data when out on the road, and end up having to make return visits to fix problems which could be solved at the first time of asking. Over 70 percent of executives say their field service agents need to make return visits “at least sometimes”, because they don’t have right part or tool (40 percent), can’t complete the transaction onsite (35 percent) or just don’t have the right customer information (35 percent).
With mobile technology and the ever growing Internet of Things, this kind of inefficiency shouldn’t be happening.
Mike Milburn, SVP and GM, service cloud, Salesforce, said: “We are just beginning to see what customer service can look like in the era of mobile and IoT. Field Service Lightning gives companies the ability to reinvent their approach to service by connecting the phone to the field on a single platform, resulting in an amazing customer experience.”
Speaking to Internet of Business, Dave Hart, senior vice president of customer success at ServiceMax, highlighted how big an influence IoT will have on field services.
“Field service is one of the industries that is being completely disrupted by IoT. Intelligent field service management is shifting service from being a cost centre to a profit centre. And the advent of the Internet of Things is moving service from being reactive to proactive to predictive, whilst also impacting R&D design, with some products being built as ‘service ready’ from the outset.”
“The shift in approach to service combined with powerful field service management software tools, is helping to re-shape businesses globally. By giving it the real world intelligence and accurate cost control for each product sold and serviced, businesses can build visibility and accountability for every product, service call, field technician, and customer warranty contract. More importantly, unlocking service potential is an effective strategy for combating economic uncertainty.”