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Could the Future of Home Service be: “Alexa, Fix My Fridge?”

by Todd Stewart

Dispatch Insights

Imagine this — you’re sitting at home watching TV and you hear a weird noise coming from your kitchen. You open the fridge to investigate. To your dismay, the fan stopped, the light won’t turn on, and the pork tenderloin that you just bought is in jeopardy.

You have no idea why your refrigerator just broke.

Instead of googling local fridge repair companies, you say to Alexa, “Hey, Alexa? Fix my fridge.”

“Fixing your fridge…” Alexa responds. “I found the best available, most qualified, and lowest priced service provider who can fix your GE fridge, serial number XYT56732. You are available tomorrow at 3:00 PM, would you like for me to schedule the appointment?”

“Yes.”  You say.

“Okay. You are scheduled to have your fridge fixed tomorrow at 3 PM.”

Upon confirmation, you receive an email and mobile notification with a calendar link, along with an accessible customer portal where you can upload notes and photos in advance of the technician’s visit.

As voice control becomes more synonymous with our everyday lives, it’s important for field service companies to adapt their offering to better align with how customers interact with brands on a day-to-day basis.  

 

The Rise of the Smart Home

While the world of voice-activated home service isn’t all the way here yet, it’s not far off. Homeowners are increasingly adopting Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices.

According to IDC, the global market for smart home devices is expected to grow 26.9% year over year in 2019 to 832.7 million shipments. This is expected to grow more with a compound annual growth rate of 16.9% from 2019-2023. This means that 1.6 billion devices will be shipped in 2023.

So how do these smart devices relate to the home service industry?

 

The Cross-section of Smart Service & Home Service

This potential ‘smart home services revolution’ is truly exciting. Consumers are buying smart home devices now; when the connectivity catches up, the revolution will really start. Here’s how:

“Hey, Alexa? Fix my fridge.”

In the near future, every home appliance will be connected to a network of service brands ready and able to resolve their customer’s problem at a moment’s notice. All a homeowner has to do is ask the smart device to find a service provider who can fix their issue and the smart device will do so.

The idea of asking Alexa to “fix my fridge” is an amazing user experience. There is no denying that. But the act of asking is not the hard part; the act of connecting a customer to a vetted service provider who has the right skill set, availability, and for the best price is far more complex.

For this connection to work, service providers need to be on one centralized platform that connects into various smart home devices and service brands. Then, when something goes awry, either the device alerts a service provider or the homeowner schedules a service provider via their smart hub.

Dispatch is set to be the platform that powers this connection. Through our integrations with field service technologies (such as Rossware and FieldEdge) and the company’s relationship with enterprise clients, Dispatch seamlessly connects the enterprise brand, contractor, and customer with a single platform that delivers end-to-end workforce visibility and extraordinary service experiences. This will be the last link that brings the smart home and service world together.  

Alexa is a world-class assistant, but she needs help to go the extra mile.

 

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