The Uberization of Field Service Operations: Is it Possible?
In the future, I predict that customers will be able to request a handyman through an app. Need a plumber? Want the HVAC repaired? Want annual maintenance on your coffee machines this afternoon instead of next week? Need a technician for an immediate repair of your store’s front door? These field service jobs all have the potential to work in an Uber-like matchmaking environment in the future.
Instead of calling the service center and having them log the call and issue a work order, you’d open an app and request a visit from someone who’s nearby and can be there in 30 minutes. And while seeing the driver’s GPS positioning on the app, you’ll know exactly when he will arrive.
It’s likely no longer a matter of if this technology becomes available. Instead, it’s a matter of when and how.
What Would an “Uberized” Field Service Operation Look Like?
Can you imagine your field service technicians and other mobile workers being similar to Uber drivers? They’d be screened, vetted, trained, equipped with a handy app, and on call to pick up work orders as customers’ needs arise. Say you’re a landscaping and tree-removal specialist and one of your customers loses a tree in a storm. It’s in her driveway and she can’t get her car out of the garage. She needs a technician immediately, so she calls you.
Once your call center verifies the customer’s address, your dispatcher would use a platform – similar to the Gomocha FMP360 platform – to alert properly trained field technicians of the location of the downed tree, and they’d use their app to respond to the request for service.
In the on-demand economy in which we currently live, it’s easy to take this scenario one step further and weave the customer into the formula for success. Customers equipped with the app could use it to signal a problem with a downed tree and the app would automatically identify the precise location of the problem. That information would be automatically communicated to the platform, and a request for service would be “broadcast” to all service technicians with the app who are available to respond.
In such a scenario, where customers and technicians alike have the app installed, once the work has been completed, customers can review and rate the technician’s efficiency and professionalism, and technicians can immediately and thoroughly provide job details and descriptions – all of which can automatically be sent to the platform for future reference.
Changing Field Service Business Models
At the heart of any Uberized service is that fact that technology allows you to track orders, service, location, delivery, ratings – and a whole lot more! – by merely using your smartphone. That is the fundamental promise of Uberization.
Moving toward an operating environment in which an Uber-like business model will ultimately be possible, structured on a platform that’s flexible and configurable and able to ultimately facilitate an Uber-like delivery system, is a smart move. Once you’re in a “future proof” environment with a solution provider who’s on the cutting edge of these technology trends, you’ll experience fewer bad days and fewer sleepless nights – regardless of whether you ultimately move to an Uber-like business model or you remain in a digital environment that offers more-traditional, customer-focused service delivery.
An Uber-Like Business Model Can Improve Efficiency
While it may be a bit premature to be writing about an Uberized field service model, we’re preparing for its eventual adoption (at least in some of the industry segments we serve). At Gomocha, we’re all about creating operating environments in which “win-win-win” scenarios are commonplace. To learn about the win-win-win scenarios that we currently offer, or to schedule a demo customized to your particular needs, contact us at 240.403.6001 or shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And in the meantime, here’s a little food for thought:
Imagine how quickly after the Uberization of Field Services is widely accepted by consumers that an Uber-like business-to-business service model will follow. Imagine, for example, a soft drink and coffee vending operator learning that a dozen machines in a conference center have malfunctioned and the conference is just about to start. He’ll use an Uber-like app to find the manufacturer’s nearest technician, who’ll respond just in time for the first coffee break. Not a life-or-death scenario, of course, but a lot of money and high customer expectations are often at stake – and the app will provide a win-win-win outcome.