Enhancing Customer Experience via Field Service Digital Transformation
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
By: Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Research
"Customer experience is the next competitive battleground" – this is what Dell CIO Jerry Gregorie believes in. The cut-throat marketplace, shrinking profit margins and customer loyalty are at an all-time low and companies cannot underestimate the importance of the experience which customers go through whenever they interact with your brand. Recent studies show that as many as 72% of field service organizations have put improvement in customer satisfaction as one of their major priority areas.
Great customer experiences are seamless, transparent, convenient, and relevant. Rapid advancement in digital technologies have provided field service companies with the opportunity to connect and drive engagement with their customers in ways that we have never been imagined before. And as discussed in our previous article, they can also bring a set of positive impact into your field service operation including improved customer satisfaction. While great customer experience builds loyalty and advocacy, it could eventually lead to driving revenues and reducing operational costs. In fact, a recent research suggests that maximizing the satisfaction of connected customers has the potential to lift field service company revenues by 15% while lowering the cost of service by 20%.
While there might be a number of initiatives your organization is looking into to boost customer engagement, this article attempts to decode how a field service management solution can help ensure that your customer feels empowered and connected with you at all times.
1. Convenient customer self-service
Empowering customers with a self-service option is a great way to ensure that customers no longer have to dial your contact center and wait for an available agent to have their issues resolved. The ability to make appointments, get information, and access helpdesk from the convenience of an app would offer them the desired flexibility and convenience. Additionally, by having chatbots, customers can access help whenever they want to.
Additionally, customer portals provide visibility into service history. This can be a one-stop-shop, not only for booking appointments but for service history and service-level agreements. Access to this information eliminates redundancies in problem-solving and the need for customers to follow-up for details.
2. Streamlined post-visit processes
Your company can automate the entire post-visit process with a list of services available in the customer portal. Automated invoicing, digital signatures, and offering a digital payment options help completely in eliminating the unnecessary paperwork which was previously mandatory. If they have a question or an issue, give them the ability to connect directly with agents via chat. To close the feedback loop, reach out directly via their preferred channels or deploy an automated survey on everything from issue resolution to their experience with a mobile worker. This helps improve staffing and training to better meet customer needs and address any issues head-on to maintain and build customer loyalty.
3. Consistent customer engagement
Nothing is more frustrating for customers than having to call and ask where a field worker is or why they haven’t arrived yet. Reduce this friction by sending automated updates to customers via email, SMS, or the customer portal. Customers are notified when a field worker is nearby or if there are any delays. This improves satisfaction and reduces call volume for dispatchers.
Additionally, field service management companies can stay proactive by using real-time data to understand asset condition and detect when it’s due for preventative maintenance or an upgrade. This information is used to automate timely notifications to customers across email, SMS, or the customer portal with updates and scheduling reminders. It’s helpful to customers, decreases costs, and continues engagement beyond the times when there’s a problem.
4. Automated internal processes
While this might not have a direct bearing on the customer, semi-automated or manual processes would eventually reflect on your customer satisfaction scores. If the interactions between the front stage and back stage actors and the support processes are not working seamlessly, these broken processes would eventually lead to delays in the service being provided. A good way to work on this would be to map out the customer journey and prioritize the areas for improvement which would have the maximum impact on the customer experience. Finally, developing a service design blueprint to identify automation opportunities would help your organization design experiences that could go a long way in building the customer loyalty.
A recent State of Service report suggests that four out of five service decision makers believe that emerging technology is transforming customers’ expectations from them. Even more (82%) think their company’s customer service must transform to stay competitive.
There is little doubt that customer experience management presents field service teams with opportunities to create meaningful experiences. Automation will optimize operations and, understandably, the role of employees will eventually evolve. The trick will be to strike the perfect balance that addresses the needs of customers in a convenient and timely manner.
As a field service company looking to stay competitive, it is imperative that your field service management software supports you in your endeavor by building great customer experiences. Steer’s field service management solution has been developed using the very fundamentals of design thinking methodology which keeps the customer at the very center of the technology experience. Additionally, the field service management solution is built on Steer’s No-Code Development Platform which means that it is ready not just for the business requirements today, but would also be best placed to accommodate any requirement which arises in the future.
Start with a 14-day free trial HERE to understand how Steer Platform could impact your customer experience and take your field services business to the next level. Alternatively, connect with our team for more insights on how digital transformation could impact customer experience and have you better prepared for any business challenge in the future.