Economists are predicting a global recession in 2023. How should companies prepare? One response is to cut costs across the board; scaling back on discretionary expenditures, reducing headcounts, or cutting digital transformation efforts. However, chief information officers said they are evaluating ways to ramp up some tech investments and reduce others as recession fears grow, as reported by WSJ. But how should companies decide which tech to pursue?
Executives and analysts told the WSJ that businesses see more value than ever in tech that will enhance the customer experience (CX). Artificial intelligence (AI) is one type of tech that will do that — and more. However, companies in the service sector, such as the field service industry, should ensure they are investing in the right AI technology for today’s challenges.
That’s where Service Intelligence comes in. It’s AI developed specifically for service organizations — letting companies deploy the technology quickly (without the need for a team of data scientists), and empowering everyone in the organization to make more accurate decisions. This data-driven decision-making is the catalyst to enhance CX, improve profit margins, and drive revenue.
Service intelligence enables organizations to understand and manage their business more deeply. It’s business intelligence but customized specifically for service organizations – using service data that has historically been “hidden.” Here are three reasons why field service organizations should invest in AI-powered tech like Service Intelligence during this period of economic uncertainty:
Better customer service = greater market share
A study of stock performance during the 2008 recession proved companies with higher quality customer experience had an even greater market share. Decision-makers should reconsider cutting costs that could negatively impact customer experience because companies with high-quality customer experience are more likely to withstand a recession than those that don’t. AI-powered tools that enhance CX will give businesses that edge.
Service has changed and the Amazon’s of the world have heightened customer expectations about the speed at which service is expected to be delivered. Field service organizations that use AI to better understand their customers can strengthen customer engagement and improve retention. Those that embrace service intelligence will have the resources and information needed to operate at levels that go beyond customer expectations while reducing costs for both the customer and their business.
Labor challenges are not going away
Field service organizations, in particular, face the challenge of an aging workforce and the subsequent loss of knowledge, resulting in a skills gap and a shortage of experienced workers to train the younger generations. Technology is required in order to solve these issues, and waiting until the economy improves is not an option. Service intelligence not only trains and upskills employees more quickly, but it can also optimize labor costs.
Hiring and onboarding the right people and training current employees when necessary is critical to maintaining adequate cash flow. It’s often more profitable to improve your current employees’ skills than it is to hire new employees. With service intelligence, you can track the performance of your workforce (i.e. who needs training on what piece of equipment). Over time, this will allow you to identify specific areas that should be addressed through ongoing field service training. When Sysmex added Service Intelligence into the ecosystem of their service efficiency tools, the combined toolset significantly reduced employee training time. Organizations who are able to shift resources away from training and instead focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience in the field see greater cost savings and better customer relationships.
Faster and more precise decision-making
Measuring workforce performance and customer satisfaction has historically been problematic, but there are now effective ways to gain more in-depth insights into your business using the service data your organization produces every day. It all starts with establishing baseline measurements, or snapshots of your service habits and outcomes as they stand. To form these measurements, you need to take a close look at your organization’s data – but nobody has the time to sift through a large pool of numbers to spot hidden patterns.
With Service Intelligence, AI does the sifting and analyzing so that executives can easily make data-backed decisions that are aligned with their business goals, from specific field technician performance to machine usage and breakdown rates. This type of assessment can help leaders determine which practices to keep or improve on and, in turn, reduce overhead costs by enabling them to keep tabs on metrics that could potentially impact costs.
Service intelligence is the future of AI for service
Not all AI is created equal. Service Intelligence understands your specific business, and highlights areas that need improvements. Alternatively, it will show you what’s working and why. It also delivers actionable recommendations based on your business priorities and customer needs. It then presents that information in a way that details where executives should look to make improvements and what areas they should focus on in order to cut down on costs.
As we enter into this period of economic uncertainty, take advantage of the opportunity to improve service while streamlining operations. When COVID hit, companies who invested in tech or were further along in their digital transformations, were more resilient and better situated to handle challenges. Any company that invests in AI that specifically helps improve customer experience, solve industry issues, and enhance their workforce, will be better positioned while their competitors are at risk of falling behind.
Learn how Aquant’s Service Intelligence will help your organization manage costs and improve service. Get a demo of Aquant’s Service Intelligence here.