Customer Satisfaction Is the New Battleground in the War for Field Service Satisfaction
brought to you by WBR Insights
(Image source: careerandfrankly.com)
Why are customer satisfaction and customer experience so important in today's field service landscape?
For the answer, it's important to remember the journey commerce has taken over the centuries. In the beginning, people tended to grow or gather the things they needed, and everyone was expected to be self-sufficient to survive. From there, we began exchanging items for other items. Eventually, money and products were born from commodities - a better, faster, and more cost-effective system.
A competition for products grew, the service economy was born. You could now employ people to prepare products on your behalf and to your individual tastes. And here is where the need for customer satisfaction was born.
Customer satisfaction is now the main brand differentiator, even in an industry such as field service, and there are many ways to improve it that you may not have considered.
It's customer satisfaction which will keep your clients on board for years to come and not give them cause to start looking at other service providers. People are busy, and they'd rather not have to take time out of their day to shop around. Don't give them a reason to look elsewhere and they are more likely to maintain the status quo and keep your field service business on their books.
1. Make Customers Feel Special
Think about the way Starbucks writes your name on your coffee cup. It may seem like a small detail, but it's all part of an effort to make the customer feel unique - that's not just a coffee, it's your coffee.
In field service, you can make a similar effort by proactively engaging with your clients. After an engineer has visited, you can reach out and ask them if everything was to their liking. Not only will this communicate to the client that you care about their experience and feedback, but it will also allow you to take care of any potential issues before they develop into larger problems which could cause the client to start looking elsewhere.
2. Look at Every Touchpoint
If you'll forgive yet another analogy, imagine you're evaluating your stay in a hotel. While your room and bed are likely to form the core of your judgment, your experience stretches far beyond that. What was the check-in process like? Are the staff up to your expectations? How about the food or facilities? You can go even further and look at the reservation system and aftercare as well.
When you think about it like this, it's easy to see that there are multiple points at which your customer experience can fail to meet expectations. Are your clients happy with the way your company schedules appointments? Are communications carried out in a prompt and professional fashion? What about your engineers - do they arrive promptly and well presented? Do they keep the client informed on progress and explain what the issue was and what they did to fix it?
All these experiences, which occur outside of the core task of fixing and maintaining equipment, can have a massive impact on customer satisfaction, so make sure your teams are up to speed on every aspect of the experience and what you expect of them in that regard.
3. Use Technology
There is a ton of great technology out there which can be deployed to help your clients interact with your brand -- not just obvious channels such as social media, but IoT (Internet of Things) and AR (augmented reality) technology as well.
IoT tech can detect faults and book engineers automatically, removing the need for your client to take time out of their day to do so. When the engineer arrives on-site, they already know what the problem is and will come prepared with necessary parts and tools, which will increase incidences of first-time fixes. One of the main causes of unsatisfied field service clients is engineers failing to fix problems on the initial visit.
Augmented reality glasses can eliminate the need to send out an engineer altogether. With these devices, a client can connect to a field service support center and receive not just audio instructions, but also important information superimposed onto the environment to guide them in fixing simple issues for themselves.
Making sure your clients are satisfied is the secret to success, of that there is little doubt. However, it's often surprising how many factors get missed when considering the complete customer experience. It's only by considering every aspect of how your clients interact with your brand that you will stand the best chance of retaining their custom ad infinitum.
Customer satisfaction is set to be a hot topic at Field Service Palm Springs 2019, taking place in April at the JW Marriott Desert Springs.
Download the agenda today for more information and insights.