A Guide to Anticipating Your Customers’ Needs
27 December 2021
A survey of field service management organisations showed that 56% of respondents felt the most significant influence over their ability to manage field operations effectively was meeting customer demand.
A crucial part of successful field service management is to fulfil each individual customer’s unique requirements. However, to provide an excellent customer experience, you have to exceed their expectations too. Therefore, it’s important to anticipate your customer needs by using software features and feedback to improve communication and simplify services for your clientele.
This article will guide how you can anticipate your customers’ needs in the field service management industry and how some software can help you manage customer expectations more efficiently.
Offering Self-Service Options to Delight your Customers
Even back in 2019, research found that 88% of consumers expected an organisation to have a form of self-service portal available. This customer log-in portal could be for anything from customer service queries to appointment booking. And the fact that customers seem to prefer to help themselves first, instead of talking to a business representative, cannot be ignored.
To anticipate your customers’ needs in field service management, you should use software that allows your clientele to book appointments when it suits them. This way, they can book immediately when they need to, instead of having to wait for business hours to contact your company and organise a booking.
Digital services that provide this service, such as BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant, will also allow you to optimise your schedule. For example, the software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments and their purpose, freeing up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to error or out of date manual scheduling processes.
Your customer needs will be met quicker when using a scheduling assistant to optimise your bookings, as the company will have more availability. In addition, more free time means more ability to respond to emergency call outs, as the schedule can be flexible enough to accommodate emergent customer scenarios.
Using BigChange can also anticipate and eliminate another type of frustration that customers may have. Integrated GPS on bookings means that your clients will no longer be wondering where their technician is. They can also receive automated texts and updates on the engineers’ location, so they are never left in the dark when dealing with your company.
Go Digital with Your Documentation
In the UK, late invoice payments have risen by 23% since the start of 2020. Due to the pandemic, businesses have been struggling to ensure they’re paid on time. However, to survive post-COVID-19, companies need to figure out how to improve their payment systems to maintain good cash flow and be paid for their work.
Using a digital field service management platform allows you to go digital with any documentation related to a job. BigChange has an integrated invoicing feature to make the payment process far more straightforward.
Once a field technician has completed a job, they can fill out all relevant information on their mobile and send the customer a digital invoice right there and then. This invoice will also link up to any contact information on the platform’s integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system, meaning there will be fewer human error mistakes than if invoicing was manual and documentation was written out by hand.
Your customers can then digitally pay their invoice immediately, giving them more convenience over their payment. Not only will this ensure that your business bills are settled quickly and on time, but customers will have a smoother experience in dealing with the company and be more inclined to use your services again.
Prioritise their Health and Safety
The emergence of COVID changed customer needs. Companies could no longer rely on what was routinely ‘business as usual’ because of the essential need to protect both their workers and customers from illness.
As such, software can help alleviate any issues about health and safety for customers. For example, BigChange deployed ‘no touch’ signatures during the pandemic so that work could still be ‘signed off’ and carried out for customers without the need to physically touch items and potentially transfer germs physically.
The software allowed companies to prioritise the health of the public and ensure the needs of their customers were still being met.
Risk assessments are also a large part of anticipating the health and safety of workers and customers alike. Ensure that thorough risk assessments are carried out, and the documentation is available to customers on your self-service platform, as well as your workers on their portal.
Providing digital documentation will make sure that everyone is aware of the risks and the steps that have been taken to prevent them. If you are unsure about this process, follow these five steps for carrying out an effective risk assessment.
Stay One Step Ahead of Repeat Customers
Suppose your field services company deals with a lot of regular maintenance. In that case, you could use software to save your customers any administrative tasks — automated texts or emails could remind them it’s time to book, or could automatically schedule routine maintenance to save them spending time contacting the firm.
Not only are you anticipating customers’ needs, but you’re simultaneously providing a smoother, more frictionless experience where they have to do as little as possible to achieve an outcome.
Ask for Feedback
Finally, a way to anticipate what your customers want from you is to simply ask.
Almost two thirds (64%) of UK SMEs felt that using customer feedback surveys helped them improve their products and services.
The right marketing software can allow you to send automatic emails after an appointment or customer service enquiry. Some field management service software, such as BigChange’s platform, will have an integrated CRM where you can manage surveys and automated emails in one place. Asking directly is perhaps the most simple yet effective way to hear exactly what your clients would like from you or what you could change about how you work.
Begin a Digital Transformation of Customer Experience with BigChange
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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.
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