Perfecting the Field Service Customer Experience at All Stages of the Buyer Journey
18 November 2021
Did you know, up to 76% of customers decide to purchase from a brand based on customer experience 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 at every buying stage, you should think about every touchpoint before, during and after a sale. Being efficient at booking, job execution, and aftercare can set you apart from your competition.
This article will guide you on how you can build relationships, optimise your schedule, drive growth and improvement, and strengthen your customer experience on BigChange.
Delivering Great Service at First Contact
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 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 own leisure without talking to a representative.
Using a job management platform makes it easy for customers to see your availability and book jobs with you. Making the ”first contact” stage as simple and customer friendly as possible is one of the most effective strategies for creating an excellent customer experience.
A Great Customer Experience During the Booking Process
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 But, unfortunately, out-of-date legacy systems and slow manual administration processes for bookings aren’t going to cut it anymore. That’s where BigChange comes in.
Using a Self-Service Platform
88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. If your business is still using a ”contact us to book” method for customer appointments, you should consider adopting software that allows customer to manage their bookings online. Not only do self-service portals improve the customer experience, but you will likely see an increase in bookings because of the convenience it provides.
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
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% manage to retain 86% of their customer base. If they achieve less than this, their retention rate drops by 10%. Therefore, in the early stages of the booking, 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 like BigChange to gather information and allocate the right assets to a job means your technicians can confidently arrive for appointments with all the right tools to complete the job the first time. In addition, efficient information gathering creates a better customer experience because your engineers won’t have to return with parts or equipment that your staff may have missed in the initial stages of planning the job.
Currently, employees believe they spend around two hours each day on pointless administration tasks. Manual administrative processes can slow the workflow internally and make for a bad customer experience if important information is missed or bookings fall through the cracks.
With the intelligent scheduling assistant on BigChange, you can optimise your schedule and free up more time for both back-office staff and your technicians to attend additional jobs each day.
The scheduling software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments, their purpose and the time they took. The system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to manual scheduling or human error.
56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. By using software that optimises your schedule, you’ll have the resource to attend more emergency appointments and act quickly on incoming customer requests.
What Customers Expect on the Day of Service
Now, the day of the appointment has arrived. Let’s look at how you can streamline the customer experience in this part of their journey.
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 can be ineligible, and such mistakes can mean things can go missing easily and replacements can be costly. Not to mention that a lack of necessary items lead to slow response times for a customer while you get parts or tools back in stock.
Instead, you can digitise your asset management. BigChange allows you to create a detailed register of equipment and parts, and you can track the movements of items using serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes. Your technicians can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable equipment. Doing so means 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 people 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, but traffic could cause them to take longer to arrive than another available person. These scenarios are where software can help streamline the customers’ experience. BigChange can identify the quickest routes for your field service workforce and match the best person for the job based on time and travel.
Notification Features with Geolocation
On the day of an appointment, there is nothing worse for a customer than waiting at home all day because they were given a vague timeslot. Therefore, providing your clients with transparency about the job status and their technicians’ locations is essential. If a business sends automatic updates, then 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company.
BigChange’s field service management software allows your customers to get notifications about their appointment status and see the precise live location of their technician via the geolocation vehicle tracking feature. Never again will your customers feel like they’re left in the dark about the status of a job.
Excellent After-Appointment Care
Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that don’t focus on their clients’ needs.
It’s no secret that customers who are satisfied with the service they received will be more willing to purchase your service or product again. Plus, people who have a favourable view of your business are more likely to spread the word to their social circle, family and professional network, providing you with a new audience that could potentially turn into sales. So, how do you improve the after-appointment experience?
We’ve seen how using online scheduling software that allows your customers to manage bookings on their own is one step towards creating an excellent customer experience. You can go one step further to delight your customers by making it simpler than ever to book repeat appointments.
BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for customers who know they have many jobs for you. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them all in one go. So, not only have you saved your customer time and stress, but the software makes for less administrative work for your office staff simultaneously.
The software still has features that allow you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job if the customer requires more, unexpected work, in future. Fortunately, the new appointment for the additional work will also link to any previous jobs. Thus, all the relevant job history is readily available for the customer or 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, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with integrated payment gateways can speed up the payment process.
Integrated payment solutions allow you to automatically send your customer an invoice via the CRM — where all your other documents are stored — and receive the funds instantly. So once the job is complete, your customers won’t have to wait for several days to receive an invoice as they have in the past.
Instead, 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, making it more convenient for the customer, and better for your cash flow.
79% of customers say they are concerned about how companies use their data. However, unlike spreadsheets and manual paperwork, CRM systems allow you to carry out GDPR-compliant management of individuals’ data. For instance, customers can edit their contact preferences, opt-in or out to marketing, which gives them more control over what you do with their information.
Plus, many advanced CRMs include robust security features. BigChange’s system secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), the world’s most comprehensive and widely-adopted cloud platform. Your customers can then have peace of mind that their data is safe during their experience working with you, and beyond.
Asking for Customer Feedback
Though your interaction with the customer is almost over, it’s essential to understand what you could have done better. In fact, 77% of customers say they view companies more favourably if they seek out and apply customer feedback.
However, when using multiple systems, spreadsheets and physical documents to manage your operations, it can be tricky to collate customers’ opinions, much less do anything useful with the information.
That’s where CRM systems come in.
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 with the work you completed and their overall experience with your company.
Improving Your Operation
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 about the previous stages of their purchase journey.
Using software like BigChange’s field service management system eliminates many tiresome and time-consuming processes throughout the customer journey. The technology can free up your staff time to focus on more business-critical tasks to make your customer experience the best it can be at every stage of their journey with you.
Deliver Excellent Field Service Customer Experiences Effortlessly, on BigChange
Manage your entire operation on a single platform.
BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.
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 field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.
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