Would it not be fantastic to be able to increase knowledge sharing between your service technicians whilst at the same time raising your customer service levels? Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Guides are two field service applications that connects Augmented Reality (AR) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). They combine the human with the digitalised to help you to deliver a first class customer centred service.
There is IoT and then there is Industrial IoT. IoT (Internet of Things) is the ability for many common devices at home and at work with the ability to communicate with other devices and services over Internet. Examples of IoT devices are trip tracking, smart home lighting and home automation systems. Industrial IoT is the professional version of IoT where devices used in production and business scenarious are connected to secure cloud services. An example when Industrial IoT (IIoT) is is used is when products are connected to a monitoring system that is tracking its performance and immediately indicates when there is a potential issue. IIoT enables service organisations to be more proactive and be able to send out a service technician when a product is in need of service, even before down-time for the customer is a fact. The device might even be able to tell you exactly what the problem is - the main challange though is how you can ensure that your staff has enough competens to quickly resolve this specific issue?
Mixed reality is the new tool in the technicians toolbox
Service technicians cannot know everything. The more advanced products you sell, the harder it can be for even the most experienced personnel to keep their skills up to date. There is a need for continuous training in order to give your customers a service with the same high quality as your products. There are two applications that can be particularly useful for achieving this: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Guides are both additions to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service application. They offer Mixed Reality, which is not only a virtual overlay but also anchors virtual objects to the real world that you then can interact with. By also presenting IIoT information from the product itself as part of the Mixed Reality, the apps gives your service technician the tools and knowledge necessary to carry out the work. Let us take a closer look at exactly what the two field service apps offer.
Learning by doing with Guides
Dynamics 365 Guides enables your staff to get to know a product or practice repairing a specific fault whilst in an office environment. The relevant instructions and documentation for a chosen product appear in the AR-headset, called HoloLens 2, worn by the field service technician. For a repair they will receive step by step instructions on what to loosen, tighten, remove and swap with which tool.
If placed in front of an actual faulty product a QR code can be read and which will bring up the correct virtual instruction. This can be combined with the real time IIoT information from the sensors on the product. This extended knowledge will help-out when resolving the issue. Does the product report an improvement after an initial fix? What else needs to be done? By combining IIoT monitoring and Dynamics 365 Guides continuously helps the technician to swiftly resolve the issue.
Remote Assist with HoloLens 2
Remote Assist is for situations when your service technician needs a colleague’s or expert’s opinion. Using the same headset as for Guides, HoloLens 2, the technician can invite another person into the virtual room, to see what the headset wearer sees. The two can share a document, such as a diagram, on-screen and discuss solutions. Where Guides are for training and resolving issues on your own, Remote Assist is for sharing knowledge and get active help from another person. A problem can be solved on the first visit, even when the service technician on-site requires further assistance, ensuring a satisfied customer.
Real time information with a high-tech solution
Instead of a printed manual stored away in a filing cabinet, anyone with a HoloLens 2 can make use of virtual instructions that are always up to date. You could even let customers buy Guides together with your product in order to make certain repairs or maintenance themselves.
Remote Assist can also be used with an iOS or Android device (phone or tablet) instead of a headset, but with similar functionality - sharing the latest information in real time for remote assistance from an expert. Regardless if your products are IIoT-enabled or not, you will be able to give your employees the experience of working with high-tech solutions and maybe even nudge your customer into a more digital way of working.
A happy customer is a loyal customer
Sharing information and skills between colleagues is great way for competency development. Solving problems efficiently is great for customer satisfaction. If you are confident that issues will be resolved on the first visit it also helps you plan for a more efficient scheduling and fleet routing. Closing a work order on the first visit means higher customer satisfaction because it shows that you value their time. And a happy customer, is a loyal customer.
At Stratiteq we help businesses connect people with the latest technology from Microsoft. We call this approach Connected Services. With Microsoft's services or a mix of other services, you can get a better overview of your customers and potential customers as well as a more efficient way of doing data analysis and convert into concrete action proposals. Contact us to discuss how we can help you and your company take the next step in the digitalisation and developing your service organisation.