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5 ways to improve customer convenience in field service management

5 February 2022

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Find out more about how to improve customer convenience and meet changing expectations in the digital world within your field service management business.

Positive customer experiences can have a huge impact on a business’ bottom line.

According to research by Deloitte, delivering a positive customer experience can reduce the cost of serving clients by up to 33%. In addition, customers who enjoy positive experiences are likely to spend 140% more than customers who report negative experiences. 

A large part of a field service business’ day is scheduling and managing appointments. Yet, shockingly, 25% of companies currently use inefficient spreadsheets and manual data entry to create their schedules. The remaining organisations may rely on whiteboards, old technology, or other error-prone processes. 

If you haven’t yet adopted job management technology, you’ll likely find that manual methods cause slow business operations for you and create inconvenient situations for your customers.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of scheduling jobs aren’t going to cut it in the modern world. Customers are used to seamless, convenient experiences that spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems cannot provide.

This article will guide you on how to improve customer convenience in the field service management (FSM) industry using software to deliver superior, speedy services.

  1. Provide a self-service portal  

Platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber offer customers quick and convenient ways to get the services they want. 

According to statistics, 89% of customers say they expect access to a self-service portal when dealing with everyday problems. Modern consumers prefer to access a self-service portal rather than speak to a customer service agent.

These are facts that cannot be ignored. 

A self-service portal could provide access to anything from customer service queries to appointment booking.

In addition, combining services into one portal provides a seamless, more positive customer experience, which will help you to continue growing your business. Offering an easy to use platform demonstrates to your customers that you understand their need to have more control over their experience and that you respect their time. 

It also provides your back-office team and technicians with the ability to automate aspects such as further customer communications and job scheduling, which improves employee productivity across the business too. 

🧰 Top tools

Implementing job management software is a great way to provide customers with the experience they want. It provides customers with the ability to book appointments at a time that suits them, without having to wait for office hours to speak to a customer service agent.

Job management software provides the following benefits: 

  • Manage appointments by automatically sending details to back-office staff 
  • Optimise job scheduling and dispatching to streamline calendar 
  • Respond to emergency call outs 
  • Free up more appointments so customers can find something that suits them 
  1. Provide real-time tracking 

As we have already mentioned, modern technology allows customers to track deliveries or services, adding convenience to the services they use. 

Organisations that fail to modernise and adopt technology to maximise their communications with customers now risk becoming obsolete. With so many customers expecting more from their experiences, traditional methods of managing job schedules will not be convenient to customers and will not keep them coming back in the future. 

🧰 Top tools 

Live tracking is a great way to improve customer convenience. Keep customers updated in real-time with GPS tracking to keep them in the loop with exactly where their technicians are. They can go about their day safe in the knowledge they won’t miss their engineer’s visit. 

So, customers won’t have to wait at home all day with an inconvenient, vague time frame for arrival. 

Not only does this provide added convenience, it also improves customer satisfaction. In addition, you can reduce customer service enquiries because customers no longer have to call head office to find out where their service technician is.

  1. Implement digital payment methods 

In the UK, 54% of businesses are waiting on late invoices, potentially due to manual or laborious payment processes.

Manual invoicing and payment methods can lead to a number of problems, including: 

💰 Payments taking too long 

💰 An increase in outstanding invoices 

💰 Billing errors 

All of these factors can impact the profitability of your business. 

🧰 Top tools 

On the other hand, digital invoicing systems can make payment much more convenient for customers and ensure that you get paid faster. It also makes it much faster and easier for your accounts team to send the invoice out. It can even be automated. 

Digital payment methods offer a range of benefits including: 

✅ Technicians can collect payment on-site 

✅ Invoices can be automated and created in real-time 

✅ Invoice is linked to the central CRM system 

✅ Fewer human errors 

✅ Automated payment methods 

✅ Reduced paperwork 

As you can see, going digital when it comes to invoicing and payments offers a huge number of benefits. Not only do online payment methods 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. 

  1. Look after repeat customers 

Did you know that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer? 

On the other hand, your existing customers are your best asset because:

✅ They’re easy to sell to again 

✅ They’re likely to spend more 

✅ They’re your biggest advocates 

So, why wouldn’t you make it easier for them to come back to you time and time again? 

👉 You can find out more about this in our blog: How to attract new clients to your field service business and retain them. 

🧰 Top tools 

If you’re dealing with regular customers, making repeat bookings even more convenient for customers and saving their time on admin tasks is a huge part of improving customer convenience.

Using technology to make repeat bookings if you already have customer details stored in your CRM is a cost-effective way to improve customer convenience and boost your company’s bottom line. 

You can: 

📲 Send automated texts or emails to remind customers when it’s time to book 

💻 Automatically catalogue routine maintenance and repair 

🙋 Provide a smoother, more frictionless experience where customers have to do as little as possible to achieve the result they need. 

  1. Implement a job management platform 

Job management platforms are a key tool for providing greater convenience to your customers.

It’s no secret that the emergence of COVID-19 has changed customer needs for good. Businesses could no longer rely on “business as usual” due to the essential need to protect workers and customers from illness, meaning a move online. 

However, even after COVID-19, customers still expect the same level of convenience. 

🧰 Top tools 

Job management platforms allow field service management businesses to move operations online in order to provide customers with a more convenient and efficient service. 

Technology allows you to offer customers the following benefits: 

  • Self-service portal for online bookings 
  • GPS tracking for technician’s vehicles 
  • Automated text updates 
  • Automatic repeat booking 
  • Fast and simple invoicing and payment methods 
  • ‘No touch’ signatures to prioritise health and safety 

Key takeaways 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic when many businesses were forced to digitise services to not only protect staff but to protect employees too, digital tools have become an expectation and provide convenience and efficiency for customers and the businesses who serve them. 

And field service management is no different.

There’s a range of field service management software available to help you provide convenience, meet changing customer needs and increase customer satisfaction, all whilst improving your business’ bottom line.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

BigChange.com

5th February 2022

BigChange

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