5 Ways Technology Will Continue to Change the Role of the Technician
As technology continues to evolve, the prospect of smarter machines is creating a paradigm of preventative, even predictive maintenance, making it so that something no longer has to break before a technician is deployed to fix it. Innovations such at the emergence of the internet-of-things, self-servicing machines, and stronger remote diagnostic and support tools in the hand of technicians will continue to sculpt their role. While there can be a wide variance in terms of responsibilities for the technician depending on their industries, some trends enabled by emerging technology are bound to become near ubiquitous going into the future.
- Improvements in how and when maintenance visits occur will lead to a more consultative, trusted role for the technician. The relationships that techs create with customers when on site are now being viewed as valuable scouting opportunities for identifying how to provide customers with even better service.
- Remote diagnostics, partnered with machines that are increasingly able to “call home” and report on their status will lead to a split between master techs and those who are sent on site to interface with customers. However, for some businesses, a high level of communication skill must be rolled in to a high level of expertise, blurring the lines between these two classes as opposed to broadening them.
- Thanks to a re-examination of scheduling best practices, a technician will be able to make more visits on a single day. By offering customers a preferred time on a day where a technician will already be in their area, as opposed to the closest possible appointment time, service operations are making it easier to get the most possible out of each field visit.
- With the predictive maintenance paradigm in place, each visit from a technician is being looked at as a chance to prevent a future problem from occurring. Assisted by technology that can include mobile checklists and diagnostic tools, a technician’s typical visit can greatly decrease the chances of actual machine downtime occurring.
- Interfacing with sales teams will allow technicians to quickly recommend follow up steps based on their interactions with customers on-site, as well as what they observe around the technology in the field. In some cases the tech will be expected to adopt upselling techniques, but in the majority, their role as trusted advisors makes them ideal support for dedicated sales teams. Training on how to identify opportunities through client feedback will play a part in maximizing this role.
It’s acknowledged by many brands that customer service is now one of the most critical differentiators for service operations. With the changes to the technician role that will be enabled by more supportive technology, their experiences will be able to improve while brands create revenue opportunities with the assistance of a new breed of communication savvy technicians.