Technology has become an integral part of most jobs – and rightfully so! What better way is there to simplify responsibilities, boost efficiency, save money and have a little fun while you’re at it? Plus, the right tech gadgets could be the difference between OK and awesome customer support. Here are 5 must-have tech tools that are changing the way the field service game is played.
1. Rugged Tablets
For the field service industry technician, a tablet is a critical tool. They keep you connected to limitless information and allow for realtime processing. But a consumer-grade tablet just can’t hack the rough and tumble nature of the job. They’re too fragile! For this reason, rugged tablets are taking over and have been designed from the inside out to travel well, take on outdoor elements and breeze through dusty environments without a second thought. There are several different brands to choose from and every device features benefits like:
- Field Tested Durability
- Integrated GPS
- Weather Resistant
- Stylus Equipped
2. Rugged Smartphones
Smartphones. You can’t leave home without them – and you can’t leave the office without them either. Just like rugged tablets, field service technicians need the same durability out of their smartphones. Big brand names like Android, Kyocera, Samsung and Sony now offer smartphones that meet military standard and can survive anything from high winds and dust storms to a plunge in water or hard surface impact.
3. Mobile Payment Device
When it comes to the field service industry, the best gadgets help to streamline responsibilities. Adopting mobile payment tools will make customer service easy and can cut down on the dreaded post-job paperwork. There are several devices on the market to choose from. Many feature a small card reader that plugs directly into Android or iOS mobile devices to offer realtime, on-site payment processing. Others store customer credit card information within a secure online database. The most popular mobile payment gadgets include:
- PayPal Here
- Intuit GoPayment
- NCR Silver
4. Google Glass
While this contraption has been highly scrutinized by consumers for every-day use, google glass fits perfectly within the needs of the field service industry. Google Glass is a wearable computer that looks like a pair of glasses with an optical device mounted to the frame. Some of its most impressive features (as they relate to the field service industry) include:
- Voice Command Recording
Training videos can be shot from the technician’s point of view during real life scenarios and reviewed in the same fashion. Imagine step-by-step video directions on how to resolve an issue, available for use on-site near your line of vision without needing to lend an extra hand.
- Realtime Sharing
The ability to shoot video and share in real time will give service industry management an inside peak at how technicians are performing. This monitoring capability can boost internal knowledge, help with market research and provide continued education opportunities through review and constructive criticism.
- Google+ Connectivity
With Google Glass’s ability to connect to an individuals network, employees will be able to communicate with headquarters, hands free via video from any location for a superior level of support and remote collaboration on challenging jobs or unexpected problems.
- GPS Navigation
Google Glass also provides a GPS feature that shows navigation within an individual’s line of vision for seamless and safe direction to a customer site.
5. Google Waze
This last must-have gadget is an app instead of a device but its features win this app a place on the list. Google’s Waze application takes pressure off fleet management by providing the technician with the power to track real-time movements of traffic congestion, accidents, road hazards and weather conditions in order to determine the best route to take during a service call. Features include:
- Accident, speed trap & hazardous conditions reporting between users
- Gas station and price listings that are specific to your location
- Text message notification system to notify the customer or team of your estimated arrival time
From durability and streamlining to connectability and enhanced information sharing, these 5 tech gadgets for field service technicians are sure to fit the foundational demands of a mobile workforce while keeping the experience user-friendly and fun.
Michael Runshe is an expert in feid service management solutions and ClickSoftware implementations. He currently serves as the marketing manager for Euclides Technologies Inc. You can follow Michael’s blog posts at www.euclidestech.com/blog.