Boosting customer service in field service management: top tools to empower your team
5 February 2022
Learn more about the tools you can use to empower your field service teams to boost customer service and profitability by reading our blog.
Since the pandemic, over 55% of consumers say that their expected standards for customer service have risen. In addition 82% of consumers expect to continue contacting customer service at pandemic-level rates. Plus, 86% of customers will leave a brand they trusted after just two bad experiences.
No matter how good your processes are, how skilled your technicians are or how much technology you have implemented, the only thing your customers are likely to remember is your customer service.
Customer service has become a key driver of business growth and, in a competitive market, it’s now essential to get it right.
Subsequently, field service companies must look at their current operations and consider making them more customer-centric. The first step to streamlining your processes and boosting customer satisfaction is by ensuring that employees have the right tools to do their jobs effectively.
In this article, we’ll look at the tools you can provide to two different sides of your workforce (your back-office team and your field-based engineers) to ensure you offer the best customer service.
🧑🏭 Field technicians
Your field technicians are the face of your organisation. They’re the team members your customers will interact with most frequently. While their technical skills are essential, their customer service skills are also important for your business.
After all, happy customers are more likely to return and offer referrals to friends and family and leave positive reviews. Your existing customers are your biggest asset so it’s essential to keep them happy.
According to research, 50% of customers will question the quality of the business if they see several negative reviews. So, it’s important to ensure you have plenty of satisfied customers who are telling others how satisfied they are!
Therefore, you must ensure you include more than just hammers and spanners in their toolkits. Providing training for technicians to improve their customer service skills can significantly impact the bottom line for your business.
Here’s how they should be performing…
⏳ On time and prepared for the job
Customers who have broken down equipment or need a new installation are already being impacted by downtime in their business.
Therefore, a technician who arrives late, a customer who doesn’t know what time their technician is likely to be with them, or a technician who arrives without the correct equipment or knowledge for the job can cause some serious dissatisfaction.
In fact, if you don’t provide technicians with the knowledge to do a good job, 46% of customers say they’ll abandon your business.
Technicians who are under prepared or do not have the right tools for the job will have to travel to the job more than once. Not only does this impact customer satisfaction, it also costs your business in fuel costs and lost productivity.
🧰 Top tools
Job scheduling allows back office staff to properly schedule jobs with the right technicians and ensure that they’re always prepared with the right tools. It also allows customers to be informed of when their technician is likely to arrive, preventing them from waiting around all day.
Additionally, using a mobile app, technicians are able to view their customers’ work history and booking details before arriving at each appointment, meaning they’ll never be unprepare.
Instead, each field technician can focus on delivering excellent services and getting the job done rapidly.
💰 Make payment easy
Did you know, the number of customers using mobile wallets to make payments increased from around 900 million to 1.48 billion worldwide during the pandemic?
More people than ever have realised the value and convenience that technology can provide, so businesses will need to keep up to survive in ‘the new normal’.
Making it as easy as possible for customers to pay your business significantly increases customer satisfaction. Changes to the way customers want to pay occurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but it looks like they’re here to stay.
Recent research revealed that 97% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase over lack of convenience and 83% say that convenience is more important to them than five years ago.
As you can see, it’s more important than ever to provide a convenient customer experience. Aside from creating a better customer experience, same-day payments also guarantee that you’ll always have a healthy cash flow, which will enable you to continue growing your business.
🧰 Top tools
Providing technicians with the technology they need to issue invoices and accept payments immediately after a job while they’re still on site is one of the best ways to improve customer service.
A mobile app can allow technicians to log when the job is finished and automatically create an invoice, allowing the customer to choose from a range of convenient payment methods and send the money on the same day.
🧑💼 Back office staff
Your back office staff might not be the ones visiting customers on a daily basis but, when it comes to delivering outstanding customer service, they’re just as important.
After all, they manage everything behind the scenes and ensure that technicians are fully equipped to provide the best service and complete jobs to a high standard.
Here are just some of the things you should be providing back office staff with to enhance the service they provide to customers…
⌚Accurate job scheduling
Consequently, it pays to ensure that your field technicians have everything they need to complete the job correctly the first time.
🧰 Top tools
You will need to provide back office staff with the ability to oversee all appointment and job details on a CRM system.
Having access to all customer and job information allows back office staff to:
✅ Provide accurate job scheduling
✅ Allocate stock, equipment and other assets (such as vehicles) directly to jobs
✅ Provide technicians with job updates
✅ Ensure that technicians are prepared for every job
By ensuring your engineers have the right gear every time, you significantly increase the chances of a first-time fix, which impresses your customers and frees up more time for your team to complete more appointments per day.
📱 Communication channels
Only 14% of customers are happy with current business communications, so companies that make an effort to stay in touch are likely to stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, customers now expect to be able to communicate with brands across at least 10 different channels – depending on their query. Plus, 42% of customers said that reaching customer service agents on their preferred channel was the most important attribute of customer experience.
So, you need to make sure you provide a number of channels for customers to get in touch with your team. Plus, they need to have information about the case and previous communications with customers so that they don’t have to repeat themselves every time they contact customer services.
🧰 Top tools
Field service management software can provide your back office staff with a number of tools to improve customer communications and improve the overall customer experience.
To improve customer service, back office staff can:
✅ Send emails to customers with a personalised template
✅ Pull details from a CRM in a few clicks so that all emails are personalised and accurate
✅ Send automated text messages to customers with GPS real time live tracking on the day of the appointment
Offering these steps within the customer experience will help to keep customers updated on the progress of their job and see where technicians are so they don’t have to keep calling the office for updates.
As such, you’ll have happier customers and more efficient office staff who have more time to focus on other essential tasks.
With customer expectations now more challenging to satisfy than ever before, and with so much competition in the field services industry, now is the ideal time to undergo a digital transformation and find ways to stand out from the crowd.
Not only does equipping technicians and back office staff with the right training, knowledge and tools to provide the best customer service significantly improve customer satisfaction, they also ensure that staff are as productive and efficient as possible, benefitting your business’ bottom line.
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