Paul Whitelam

By Paul Whitelam

May 18, 2017


May 31 is “National Autonomous Vehicles Day,” a chance for the world to show some love to the cars of the future. Autonomous vehicles are increasingly present in our day to day lives and workplaces, and will only have a further part to play in the years to come. According to the Brooking Institute, a quarter of all cars will be autonomous by 2040. And when it comes to dealing with the current “Uberized” consumer environment, machine to machine (M2M) communication gives field service firms a great chance to stay competitive.

Autonomous cars’ inevitable—and eagerly anticipated—wide-scale adoption is undoubtedly going to transform the field service industry in the years to come. Here are just three improvements both providers and consumers will see:

Faster Service

In the field service industry, businesses can save time and money, and boost productivity with optimal route guidance for their engineers out on call. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and a proliferation of devices connected to the internet, cars can benefit from connectivity-enabled data streams. Essentially, the car will know the quickest way to get to a customer, or even let the customer know that there’s an unavoidable delay. In field service, when an engineer is late knowing the reason softens the blow, improving customer satisfaction. In addition, rather than being told to wait in across an eight hour period, customers will be able to know to the minute when their car (with or without engineer) is going to arrive.

Better Service

Repetitive and time-consuming tasks are often delegated to automation, allowing humans to put their skills to better use. In the field service industry, autonomous cars will contribute here too. If field service providers send cars with the necessary equipment direct to customers for a job they can do themselves, engineers get freed up to attend issues that really require human attention. Large and challenging issues that arise will therefore get solved faster and more efficiently, optimizing the engineers’ time.

Stronger Service

Imagine an engineer leaves a vital part back at base when heading out to a job. Frustrating, right? The result will be an exasperated customer, a loss of productivity, and more time spent travelling. However, autonomous vehicles can allay many of these issues and make for a stronger end user experience. A fleet of autonomous vehicles provides fantastic backup in case of human error, ensuring that engineers can carry out a first-time fix.

Tackling customer expectation in the field service industry is no mean feat, especially with the continued increase in demand for great customer service. There are various issues to overcome before the rollout of autonomous vehicles across the board, namely addressing concerns over security and precedent. This is new territory, and providers are wary of failures propagating a lack of customer confidence.

However, with recent news announcing that autonomous vehicles are being tested on public roads, autonomous vehicles aren’t going to disappear. The benefits are exciting for everyone in the industry, as well as customers. Faster, better, and stronger experiences will come in the wake of driverless vehicles, so hands-free cars will ultimately allow for a more hands-on field service offering for consumers.

For more field service management trends and tips, visit the Field Service Matters blog.

Paul Whitelam
By Paul Whitelam

Paul Whitelam is Group VP of Product Marketing at ClickSoftware, where he works with field service management leaders across a variety of industries. Paul has more than twenty years’ experience in enterprise software, working on both the technical and business aspects of many of the areas that are fundamental to field service such as mobility and sensor technology (Nokia), data management (Endeca), and machine learning, SaaS and GIS (HERE).

Share on
Are Wearables Dead?

May 31 is “National Autonomous Vehicles Day,” a chance for the world to show some love to the cars of the future. Autonomous vehicles are increasingly present in our day to day lives and workplaces, and will only have a further part to play in th...

Learn more

Join Our Newsletter

You may also like...

Why You Should Involve Your Customers in the Service Process

With companies like Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb delivering on-demand service, customer expectations are...

Learn more
Telco Industry Falling Behind in Customer Service

There is a clear dissonance between what service organizations, such as telecommunications, are deli...

Learn more
When Great Products Aren’t Good Enough—Learning to Sell Customer Experience

The old adage “you get what you pay for” has been a way to shrug off poor product or service qua...

Learn more
The Future of Work: 3 Field Service Trends and How to Keep Up

With the 24-hour news cycle, and constant state of connection most of us now live in, it can feel li...

Learn more
Using AI to Match Skills in a Mixed-Skill Workforce

Finding the right person for the job is essential when you want to get it done the first time—and ...

Learn more
Field Service Trends: How the Gig Economy Is Reshaping Service

Picture this. A field service engineer wakes up early on a Tuesday. He brushes his teeth, and puts i...

Learn more
Chatbot Fails & What Field Service Can Learn from Them

In the past year, chatbots have exploded in popularity. E-commerce giants, customer service websites...

Learn more
Engage Your Employees Part 4: Technology to Foster Engagement

If you’ve been keeping up with our Engage Your Employees series, you know by now that employee eng...

Learn more
Three Ways Artificial Intelligence Drives Business Value

It’s not news that artificial intelligence is already improving workplace efficiency and productiv...

Learn more
Adventures in Artificial Intelligence Part 4: Human Service Tasks AI Will Replace

With companies like Forrester predicting artificial intelligence (AI) investments will jump 300% in ...

Learn more

Stay In The Loop

Receive industry updates of news, advice and analysis

Subscribe to our Newsletter