The focus of leading field service organizations is on the customer. These organizations know that ensuring a positive customer experience is the only real path to success. Your first step in meeting (and exceeding) customer expectations is to understand exactly what your customers want and need from you. From there, you need to evaluate the processes your organization has in place for delivering service to identify any areas where you’re falling short of your customers’ needs.
There are numerous technologies available today that can help you deliver a great customer experience. However, these solutions won’t serve you well if you don’t first align your company’s vision and processes to address what your customers truly want. From there, these technologies can enable your company to deliver on that vision by ensuring a smooth service experience for your customers.
#1: Dynamic Scheduling
From a customer perspective, there’s nothing more frustrating than a service window that is vague or incredibly broad, or a technician that is late. A dynamic scheduling solution helps accomplish the number one goal of good service: a capable technician arrives on time prepared to complete the task requested. Sending the appropriate technician to each job based on characteristics such as skill set and inventory helps to maximize first-time fix, avoiding customer frustration due to repeat trips.
The real-time visibility that dynamic scheduling provides also lays the groundwork for valuable communication with your customers. Customers value knowledge, and the ability to send them information ahead of time about what technician will be performing the work and/or real-time updates on technician arrival times can transform the way they view their service experience.
#2: Mobile Capabilities
Consumers have become accustomed to seamless, convenient service – and field service visits should be no different. Equipping your workers with a mobile solution can provide your customer a variety of benefits. First, your workers are more knowledgeable when they have easy access to customer history – this knowledge comes across as them being capable and confident. Second, your workers are more efficient when they’re not sifting through paper work orders and writing down notes – this efficiency will be appreciated by a customer whose time is precious. Finally, mobile solutions can provide further conveniences to customers, such as signing for work done and providing payment.
#3: Customer Portal
Communication preferences have changed drastically in the last few years. Chances are, you have a large percentage of customers that would prefer self-service, or the ability to request and schedule service through a dedicated portal. While you certainly won’t abandon your phone lines, offering multiple options for how to reach your company and how to request service makes customers feel in control. An added benefit is that a customer portal can take some of the burden off of your call center, which can result in labor savings.
If you aren’t already using any of these three technologies, it’s time to consider the impact they could have on your ability to deliver the kind of customer experience demanded in today’s competitive landscape. If you are already using these technologies, there are always ways to incrementally improve the value you (and your customers) are getting out of them. It also goes without saying that these certainly aren’t the only three technologies you should be investigating – they are simply a good starting point. There are countless technologies on the market today that build upon these as a foundation to help you further advance your service offerings and capabilities.