For field service businesses, customer experience has now become the most influential factor to business growth and profitability. In this age of digital transformation, your relationship with your customers is no longer a one-shot deal. In any service-related business nowadays, customers tend to choose technical service providers considering their ability to provide support over the long term. Naturally, the balance of power has shifted to the customers. Therefore, it is imperative that you put more effort into improving your customer experience. And for that purpose, you must have an effective field service management system in place. In this blog, you will find out how to create that system and how to implement it in your business in the easiest way possible. So, keep reading.
The task might sound cumbersome. But once you implement the strategy successfully, you will be surprised to find out how beneficial it could be for your business. To do that, however, you need to understand why it is so important. So, before we lay out the tricks of the trade, let’s have a look into the current market practices concerning the significance of customer experience in the field service industry.
The Importance of Customer Experience in Field Service Businesses
Companies that implement an effective customer experience strategy successfully are more likely to achieve a higher customer satisfaction rate and in turn, ensure customer retention, improve brand image, and of course, increase profit. In research conducted by American Express, it is reported that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Another research by the Temkin Group suggests that companies earning around $1 billion annually are likely to increase their profit margin by an astounding $700 million within just 3 years if they make a timely investment in improving customer experience.
Now, if you think that these strategies are only effective with billion-dollar companies, we’re afraid that you are gravely mistaken. It is even more significant for small and medium-sized companies. Especially for those looking for further business growth. If you ask why the answer is quite obvious.
A customer’s experience with a field service provider has a lasting impact on their overall impression of the company. It could both positively and negatively affect your brand image, customer retention, customer acquisition, and overall sales, depending on what kind of experience are you giving to your customers. Therefore, if you run a small or medium-sized organization, you must realize how important are these things form your business.
Besides, customer loyalty is the foundation of business growth. Loyal customers are more likely to request service more frequently, ask for recurring services, are more willing to try new goods and services, and of course, more likely to recommend your company to new customers. Therefore, if you want to increase customer loyalty, you must ensure a high-quality customer experience.
To ensure a memorable customer experience, therefore, you need to be prepared with a smart field service management strategy. Don’t worry. Neither do you have to have a degree in business management, nor do you need to invest a fortune to achieve that goal. This can be easily done following these five simple steps:
1. Create a Clear Vision of Your Customer Experience and Standardize Your Operations Accordingly
The first step to a successful customer experience strategy is to have a clear vision focused on customer experience. Create your goal, i.e., what you want to achieve through the strategy (for example, increasing first-visit resolution rate), and make sure to communicate it with your employees. The easiest way to do this is by developing a set of statements that would serve as the guiding principle.
Once you have established your core vision, standardize your operations around it. To explain, develop a standard of operations that aligns with the vision and ensure that all your employees, including the technicians as well as the office staff, carry out their duties following the set of principles. This uniformity across all your business processes will eliminate any confusion or conflict among the employees, thus helping you to achieve your goal successfully.
2. Set Up a Seamless Communication Channel for Your Customers
The more hassle your customers must face while trying to communicate with you, the less you are likely to hear from them again. Therefore, you must have a system in place that allows them to communicate with you seamlessly. Of course, you must have a phone number dedicated to receiving their calls, that will not suffice. In that case, you need to be available round the clock to answer the phone or appoint an additional employee. None of the options are feasible or cost-effective. Besides, most people these days prefer to text or email rather than talk. If you don’t have these facilities, you are surely losing a lot of business opportunities.
An even more efficient strategy to communicate seamlessly with your customers is to use field service management software. Through this remarkable technology, your customers can connect with you smoothly. They can ask for estimates or place a work order directly through your website. On the other hand, you can send them the estimate through the same platform, thanks to the prompt functionalities of this software. Once your customer approves the estimate, you can turn this into a work order and schedule a technician visit on their preferred date and time. With the software, you can also help them view the schedule, get a notification before the scheduled appointment, and monitor job progress easily.
The bottom line is that if your customers are informed every step of the job and all their queries are met satisfactorily, the overall customer experience is most likely to be a memorable one.
3. Simplify Appointments
As a field service provider, your primary job is to render timely service to your customers. To ensure that, you need to make arrangements for efficient scheduling and dispatching. Nobody wants to be stuck on the phone for 15 minutes to confirm a technician visit or text endlessly to know when a technician will be available. If you cannot provide this to your customers, chances are they will be looking for an alternative and try a competitor that gives them immediate attention.
The most effective way to avoid this issue is to use field service scheduling software. This digital tool automates your business process and helps you assign a technician to a job order with just a few clicks on your computer or smartphone. With this software, you have all your technicians’ schedules in one place. Thus, you can quickly assign a technician, let them know about the appointment, and even offer a flexible schedule to suit their convenience.
4. Give Your Customers Real-Time Progress Updates
Now, if you are using a field service management software that offers an integrated mobile app for your technicians, your job is already half done. As your technician provides you with a real-time status update, you can instantly share them with your customer. Besides, you can also share images as proof of the job completed as well as all the items and parts used in the job. This way, there will be no confusion or room for complaints as you prepare the final invoice. Remember, transparency plays an instrumental role in providing an excellent customer experience. This increases their trust in your organization, which would ensure customer loyalty in turn.
5. Take Note of Customer Feedback
With all said and done, it is still uncertain whether your customers have had an impressive experience. The only way to confirm this is by taking their feedback post-completion. Ideally, it works best if you do this in real-time. You can either send them follow-up emails or ask them to write a review on your website. If they are positive, you can also use them for marketing purposes.
In case the reviews are not as desirable as you would have expected, be sure to pay heed to your customers’ concerns. True, we all know that some of your customers could be a little unreasonable in reviewing your service. Nonetheless, it is important that you pay attention to their complaints and suggestions. This has its own advantages. You would get some valuable ideas that you can act upon to further improve your service framework. But more importantly, it would make your customers happy, for people surely love to engage with those who listen to them.
As it is obvious from this discussion, it takes a lot to ensure all these things in your business operations. But it is only hard if you are still relying on the age-old paper-based system and manually intensive processes. In this age of innovation and cutting-edge technology, you should not have to bother yourself with these tedious jobs. Instead, take advantage of automation and go paperless.
Field Promax is the best digital solution for you to ensure a smooth customer experience. This software keeps all your data in one place and does all your managerial jobs on your behalf. What’s more, you can have access to all these features and functionalities anytime, anywhere via any system or device. Don’t forget that it is also super easy to operate. So, what makes you wait any longer? Try Field Promax and go paperless today.