A Deep Dive into the Buyer Journey: How Field Service Businesses Can Create an Excellent Customer Experience
Did you know, up to 76% of customers decide to purchase from a brand based on customer experience (CX) alone? Therefore, to continue growing your customer base, you must consider how your clients will perceive your business at each stage of the buying process.
To create a superior customer experience, you should think about every touchpoint before, during, and after a sale. Being efficient at booking, job execution, and aftercare will help set you apart from your competition.
In this article, we will explain how to build strong customer relationships by optimising your schedule, driving growth and improvement, and strengthening your CX using job management technology such as BigChange.
What are the Benefits of a Customer Experience Strategy?
1. Increased Profits
Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that don’t focus on their clients’ needs. Therefore, focusing some time and energy on improving the service you provide could significantly impact your bottom line.
2. More Loyal Customers
Research has shown that customers that give companies a high CX score spend 140% more and remain loyal for up to six years. Not only will improving your customer experience reap more profit in the short term, but these loyal customers who trust your business will spend more over the course of their relationship with you.
Plus, people who have a favourable view of your business are more likely to spread the word to their social and professional circles — and Nielson research showed that 92% of customers will trust recommendations over any form of marketing. So, providing excellent customer experiences could lead to word of mouth marketing, exposing your company to a new audience that could potentially turn into sales.
3. More Streamlined Operation
77% of customers say they view companies more positively if they seek out and apply customer feedback to improve their products and services.
By improving your after-appointment customer experience you could not only gain valuable insights that can improve your entire operation but you’ll build loyalty and trust with your existing audience as they will see you value their feedback.
4th February 2022 - What are the Buyer Journey Stages in Field Services?
1. The Booking Process
Traditionally, customers would have had to pick up the phone, use a contact form or send an email to scope out booking a job with a field service provider.
However, 42% of people today vastly prefer online scheduling over picking up the phone. The first contact is crucial to get right, or you could miss out on business — solely because customers want to finalise their booking at their leisure without talking to a representative.
Customers will then speak directly to one of your back-office staff to make an appointment. However, when you require people to book appointments over the phone, they will either have to wait until business hours, or they could find themselves helpless in an emergency.
In this day and age of immediate gratification, it’s not surprising that 70% of customers have said that speed of service matters the most when dealing with a business. But, unfortunately, if you are still using out-of-date legacy systems and slow manual administration processes for bookings, that isn’t enough to provide the best customer experience.
2. On the Day of Appointment
Customers don’t appreciate having to wait around all day for their appointment because they’ve been given a vague time slot for their technician to arrive, and communication has been poor.
In contrast, when a business sends automatic updates, 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company. Therefore, providing your customers with updates about the job status and their technicians’ locations is essential to creating a superior customer experience.
3. Post-Appointment Customer Care
To provide an excellent customer experience, you have to consider how you interact with people even after completing the job.
Using traditional accounting methods might have taken a couple of weeks for a customer to receive an invoice. Drawn out payment processes could be inconvenient for your customers and detract from their overall experience, or make them consider a competitor in future who offers a more seamless payment experience.
Therefore, in order to thrive in this stage, your business needs to modernise its invoicing methods. Let’s look at how technology can transform the experience you offer your customers before, during, and after an appointment.
How to Use Technology to Enhance Customer Experience
Using a job management platform improves the customer experience at all stages of the buyer journey. Here are the top three ways you can use technology to enhance your service:
1. Creating Excellent Customer Experiences in the Booking Stage
Using a Self-Service Platform
88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. Suppose your business only enables customers to book appointments over the phone — the customer has to wait for business hours, which could clash with their own work schedule, or they might not be able to get the help they need quickly enough, leading to them using a competitor. In that case, you should consider adopting software that allows clients to manage their bookings online at their convenience.
An added advantage of using an online self-service portal is that it will send an immediate alert to your back-office staff. Your team can then use the information the customer provided to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate technician, based on factors like:
- Customer location
- Traffic information
- Vehicle type
- Job constraints
- Necessary qualifications
- Equipment needed
As such, your workers will be able to get the job done right the first time and take less time out of your customers’ busy days.
Gathering all the Information
In the field service world, high first-time fix rates are essential to a good customer experience. Companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% retain 86% of their customer base. If they achieve less than 70%, their retention rate drops by 10%.
Therefore, at the booking stage, it’s essential to gather as much information as possible about the job and the constraints that might be relevant so that your engineer can fix the customer’s issue the first time.
Using a job management platform to gather information and allocate the right assets to a job means your technicians can confidently arrive for appointments with the tools they need to complete the job the first time. Not only does this provide a smoother experience for your customer, but your retention will benefit from your improved first-time fix rate.
56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. Therefore, businesses will need to modernise their schedules to meet the growing demand for quick services. By using job management software that optimises your schedule, you’ll have the resource to attend more emergency appointments and act quickly on emergent customer requests.
The best field service management platforms on the market include intelligent scheduling assistants that enable you to optimise your schedule, taking into account all appointments, their purpose, and the time they will take. The system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to manual scheduling or human error. As a result, you’ll free up more time for both back-office staff and make more profit from extra appointments.
2. Providing Stronger Experiences on the Day of Appointment
Let’s look at how you can streamline the experience on the day of the appointment:
Ensuring Parts and Equipment are Available
According to a report, a staggering 43% of small businesses fail to track their assets and inventory effectively. Using manual or paper methods for asset tracking opens your company to many risks caused by human error.
Engineers could inadvertently take spare items, or writing on forms may be illegible. Such mistakes mean items go missing easily, and replacements can be costly. A disorganised inventory could lead to a lack of necessary items and slow response times for a customer while you get parts or tools back in stock.
Instead, you can digitise your asset management, which removes the logistical headaches of managing an inventory. For example, field service management platforms like BigChange allow you to create a detailed register of equipment and parts. Then, you can track the movements of items using serial numbers, barcodes, or QR codes.
Your technicians can check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, giving you better visibility over your valuable equipment. Consequently, your customer will never suffer a wait for parts or tools that were an oversight in the planning process.
Identifying the Quickest Routes
Using software to manage your operations allows you to match the right person to the right job quicker than ever. For example, you might have a technician in a nearby location to a customer, but traffic could cause them to take longer to arrive than another available person. In such a case, the system will suggest the best worker to allocate, saving your team from having to work it out manually.
Notification Features with GPS
BigChange’s field service management software allows your customers to get notifications about their appointment status and see the live location of their technician via the GPS vehicle tracking feature. So, never again will your customers feel like they’re left in the dark about the status of a job or have to wait at home all day.
3. Implementing Excellent After-Appointment Care
We’ve seen how using online scheduling software that allows your clients to manage bookings on their own is one step towards creating an excellent customer experience. However, you can go another step further by making it simple to book repeat appointments.
BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for clients who know they have many jobs. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them in bulk, saving both you and your customers a significant amount of time and stress.
In addition to scheduled work, the software includes a feature that allows you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job should any unexpected work arise in the future. All new appointments will link to any previous jobs, meaning any relevant history is readily available for the engineer working on it.
For the average small-to-mid-sized company, it takes approximately 25 days to process an invoice manually from receipt to payment. As a result, businesses have to deal with overdue payments, processing costs, and employees wasting time on drawn-out manual methods. However, field service software with integrated payment gateways can speed up the payment process.
Integrated payment solutions allow you to send your customer an invoice online automatically. Your technicians can fill out all the necessary paperwork directly on their mobile devices and send the invoice across immediately. Customers can then view the invoice and pay online the same day using a variety of payment options, making it more convenient for the client and better for your cash flow.
Asking for Customer Feedback
As soon as your technicians have completed their jobs and marked them as complete from their mobile devices, you can automatically send digital satisfaction surveys to your customers to ensure that they’re happy.
Once you’ve gathered your satisfaction surveys, the BigChange CRM automatically stores all interactions. You can then easily access survey results in the future and use them to adjust your services based on customer feedback. This will show your audience that you value their feedback, and can adjust your service accordingly. This kind of development is great for customer retention as your loyal customers will feel valued and build more trust with the organisation.
Using Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience is Key
Using software like BigChange’s field service management system eliminates many burdensome and time-consuming processes throughout the customer journey. Subsequently, you’ll liberate more time for your staff to focus on making the customer experience the best it can be. Aside from being able to deliver superior experiences, you’ll also find that your optimised schedule enables your engineers to take on more appointments each day and boost your bottom line in the process.
Deliver a Superior Field Service Customer Experience, on BigChange
Make the change and manage your entire operation on a single platform.
BigChange gives you complete control of your admin, from quotes to invoicing and beyond. Also, with our mobile app (available on iOS and Android), you can seamlessly connect your office, field technicians and customers and provide an excellent customer experience as well as increased profitability as a result.
Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.
Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.
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