How the Best-in-Class Use Augmented Reality for Field Service

1/17/2019 / Digital Transformation / Workforce Trends / Emily Hackman

In this Aberdeen report offered by Astea, see how best-in-class service companies use augmented reality to get new technicians — and especially contract technicians — onboarded and providing consistent service delivery faster.

Are you struggling with technician turnover? If so, you’re not alone. The service management industry has a major workforce problem.

Not only are service companies struggling with high technician turnover (at an alarming rate of 32%), but more and more service technicians are contracted (on average 27% of the technician workforce) so there are challenges with consistent service delivery as new technicians get up-to-speed.

Negative Impacts of Field Technician Turnover

With high turnover comes low ratings: specifically, key field service productivity metrics such as first-time fix rate. Service organizations with higher-than-average turnover see a 14% lower first-time fix rate compared to firms with lower turnover. High-turnover companies also see customer retention at a mere 60%, compared to 72% for those with lower-than-average turnover.

High workforce turnover also leads to inconsistency in service delivery. In the baby boomer generation, technicians stayed at the same job an average of ten or more years. This means field service companies were confident that the majority of their field service agents were knowledgeable, competent, and able to abide by the appropriate standards and practices.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in January 2018 the median tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 was 10.1 years — more than three times that of workers ages 25 to 34, whose average tenure was 2.8 years.

There are many differences between the workplace characteristics of baby boomers and millennials. In fact, last year we hosted a webinar and created an infographic on how service organizations can attract and retain millennial talent.


Since it’s harder to retain younger field service technicians, more and more service companies are outsourcing work to contract, third-party, or contingent workers. Relying on short-term labor has negative impacts as well and certainly many challenges. Yet having an agile workforce enables field service organizations to increase their overall geographic coverage, increase their flexibility to meet demand fluctuations, and to reduce labor costs. In fact, Astea’s field service management software integrates with online marketplaces for contract technicians.

The Challenges of High Turnover and Increasing Reliance on Contract Technicians can be Solved with Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) has been used successfully by best-in-class field service companies to get new, and especially contract technicians, on-boarded, trained, and providing the appropriate standards in service faster.

Notably, AR-powered knowledge sharing is being employed by 25% of Best-in-Class firms.

AR helps organizations harness the tribal knowledge of their retiring workers and share it with new technicians, whether they be full-time employees or contract workers. An expert’s time can be managed much more effectively by no longer having to be on site and by being available on-demand. Additionally, aging technicians who may not want or be able to be on site can use augmented reality to advise new technicians, save time, and improve workforce effectiveness.

Astea is happy to offer you the Aberdeen report “How the Best-in-Class Use Augmented Reality for Superior Service Management” so that you can learn:

  • How AR-powered training easily captures knowledge from retiring techs
  • Why 67% of AR users are leveraging IoT data for remote repairs
  • What kinds of devices are most popular for AR deployments
  • The positive impact to SLA compliance, customer retention and satisfaction, that AR first-movers are experiencing

Download Whitepaper

Astea understands how critical Augmented Reality can be to helping you overcome workforce challenges. Click here to learn how our field service software offers seamless access to Augmented Reality.

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