Magazine Article | January 28, 2013

Increase Customer Satisfaction With Enterprise Mobility

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Efrat Ravid, VP of global marketing, ClickSoftware,

With the help of mobility, customer service can become your differentiator.

Field service organizations are increasingly turning to enterprise mobility to help drive business goals. The explosion of smartphones and tablets now enables mobile workers to easily access and share information, resulting in higher productivity and decreased operational costs. But in today’s competitive market, it is extremely challenging to differentiate your business on product alone, and it is unprofitable to compete on price. Today’s savvy organizations understand that it’s remarkable service that is overwhelmingly influencing buying decisions.

Organizations that provide excellent customer service experience higher customer retention, repeat business, and referrals. Research from Aberdeen Group’s 2012 State Of Service Management report finds that organizations that satisfy 90% or more of their customers benefit from significantly higher retention and revenue rates than those who only satisfy half.

How do successful service businesses achieve results? By addressing top customer concerns and understanding what really drives customer satisfaction, including:

  • Accurately diagnosing the problem and resolving issues (or performing installs) on the first visit
  • Arriving on time for the scheduled appointment, which demonstrates respect for the customer’s time
  • Performing the service in a timely fashion.

These goals can’t be achieved by a field technician in a vacuum. Field service employees need to be connected to the entire business and have online and offline access to back office operations, asset management systems, other field and back office employees, and most importantly to customer data. In order to accomplish this circle of connectivity, field workers and managers alike need to be armed with the right mobility solutions. A mobile device alone, even if it’s a smartphone or tablet, isn’t enough. Service organizations need to adopt a strategy that includes enterprise-grade mobility to effectively leverage all the latest mobile features.

What Is Enterprise-Grade Mobility?
It’s the ability to use mobile devices for business applications. The major difference between enterprise apps and features and those geared towards consumers is connectivity. In the consumer world, each app on a device does one job, and only one job; it does not talk to other systems or applications. In the business world, especially in service organizations, the mobile device can only be truly effective if the user can access all the necessary information needed to quickly and correctly complete the job. In addition, enterprise solutions need to be intelligent and anticipate the needs of the workers and the customers, and be able to act proactively.

How Does Enterprise Mobility Drive Customer Service Goals?
The latest mobile technology, coupled with a well trained field staff, empowers field technicians to be the best brand ambassador for your organization. Enterprise mobility enables:

  • Holistic customer view at every field employee’s finger tips. Every customer receives a personal experience because the field service person has all the information and the history of the complaint or work order itself on their mobile device.
  • Immediate access: Field employees no longer need to call the office for information. They have instant access to work order info, parts availability, or even the option to call a nearby colleague if they need on-site assistance.
  • Streamlined customer facing process: Unlike paper-based models, if all the data from a job is collected and transmitted in real time, it acts to both improve the customer experience and allows that experience to be more accurately tracked and measured. For example, a customer can receive the invoice or billing information on the spot, and the field worker can activate service while on-site, or even change a customer’s package or preferences immediately through the mobile device.
  • Immediate customer feedback: Capture the customer experience from the field by allowing the customer to complete a satisfaction survey via mobile form on site.
  • Increased management visibility: The ability to access back office data, combined with real-time data and even dashboard reporting features, ensures that managers are always aware of the status of important KPIs.

All service organizations, regardless of the size or number of field technicians, reap the benefits of mobility solutions. Because customer service is the last real differentiator between you and the competition, now is the time to make customer service the top business priority.