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Customers want to get the most bang for their buck. You may think that goes without saying, but it’s more important than ever to keep that saying in mind. That’s because survey after survey has shown that customers are increasingly willing to pay more for top-notch service.
Across the business and industry spectrum, customers are realizing that being treated with cookie-cutter service approaches is not worth the amount they may be saving. Customer service and field service best practices must be implemented with this in mind.
People want to work with businesses that know who they are, remember their needs, and give them individualized service. Fortunately, with the right tech and approach, you can leverage your service teams’ abilities into a value engine for customer retention and customer base growth.
The global pandemic has resulted in a reconfiguring of priorities for many customers when it comes to field service and, by extension, customer service. For example, many companies have expressed a desire to limit in-person interactions with technicians as a top priority.
This translates to an increased desire to be empowered to address minor issues without bringing in a field service specialist and a renewed focus on successfully resolving service issues with only one visit when that visit is required.
The goals for field service teams are just as critical - effectively address customer needs, gather important data, and identify areas to improve products, services, and increase sales.
So how can your company achieve your field service goals while giving your customers their ideal field service experience?
The answer is to use the resources such as M-Connect Field Services to design and implement applications and programs that connect your field service team to your sales and customer support specialists and give a direct line to your customers.
Here are just some of the ways a customized field service platform can serve your customers while helping you achieve your goals.
The key to utilizing your field service operations to increase customer retention is accurate data collection. Seeing how your customers use the services and equipment you provide in the real world allows your team to offer new products and services that can fill gaps in their processes.
In the past, your technician would likely record data with a pen and paper. That approach carries too many unnecessary risks today. Paper is vulnerable to rain and spilled beverages. Loose sheets can get lost. Data captured is not validated in real-time and can be entered incorrectly or skipped entirely. Data cannot be collected and field devices and automatically included. Paper collected data needs to be captured to be useful for analysis purposes which introduces a time lag and introduces additional labor and cost.
In order to bring your business in line with field service operations best practices, you need to have a digital platform that is specific to your company. Creating an app to guide your field team through data collection as they serve your customers ensures that you don’t miss out on valuable information that can be leveraged towards improving processes and service, renewing contracts, and upselling.
Another benefit that comes from creating a digital resource to manage your field service operations is optimized scheduling and allocation of work orders.
When a customer requests service, your in-office team can use your custom platform to generate a work order, find the technician best suited to the job based on skills, experience, and location, and send a custom push notification to their mobile app.
This is where a customized app really shines. The technician can be contacted through your own platform instead of email or a separate instant messaging app, look through their work orders, plan their schedule, pull up work instructions or information on the task at hand, even see the latest training and tips as well as notify the customer of their estimated time of arrival without hopping between programs or devices.
That same platform can then be used to sync collected data from the service call to your backend system to allow your teams to begin analyzing data as soon as possible. This means your team is prepared to address customer needs and comments faster than ever before.
Utilizing a customized field service management platform allows your customer service and sales teams to gain immediate insights into your customers. This will enable them to more quickly identify customer needs and tailor their services and sales approach to meeting those needs.
By embracing a customer service digital transformation, you can put more power in your customers’ hands without sacrificing data collection.
By offering a customer portal option, you can give customers limited access to your field service platform. This means that, with prompts and guided walkthroughs for simple maintenance issues, your customers will be handling data collection for you while getting the service they need.
Looping customers into your field service platform also allows them to upload photographs and video recordings as necessary when a problem needs to be diagnosed remotely. Those functions simply aren’t possible without a field service management platform.
The fact is that anything that makes it easier for the customer to get the service they need will increase their loyalty to your brand and increase the likelihood that they will look to you for more equipment and services as their business grows.
Intelligent software and intelligent machines can go a long way toward giving your customers the experience they desire.
By incorporating the IoT data collection into your product offerings, you make preventative maintenance much simpler. Remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities allow your equipment to send notifications whenever they fall out of acceptable performance parameters.
This technology lets your customers and technicians spot potential problems before they get out of hand and fix them while the repairs are relatively simple.
Additionally, embracing field service best practices when designing your management platform will encourage you to codify and streamline your data collection and reporting processes. This will help you identify bottlenecks and pain points in your workflows and open the door for automation.
Any part of a workflow that involves simple, repetitive, rules-based tasks is a candidate for automation. This reduces the time it takes to complete a project while reducing the risk of human error due to fatigue or distraction. And anything that makes your field service operations faster and more accurate will be appreciated by your customers.
There are several different software options available to you. Be sure to choose one that is designed to be adaptable to available devices.
That’s one of the biggest strengths of M-Connect Field Services. Apps developed on the platform can be used on desktops, mobile devices - online and offline, your browser, and even hands-free devices like Realwear.
That means your technicians can access equipment schematics, conference with more experienced technicians who may be in another part of the country or world, and gather data as they complete service calls and inspections.
By creating a virtual home for your field service content and data gathering operations, you create a class of uniquely qualified customer service and sales reps—your field technicians.
With the limited personal contact that many customers have embraced, your technicians are the people most likely to actually speak to your customers face to face. With their knowledge of the equipment and services offered by your company and the ability to pull up relevant information through your field services platform, your field service crews will be in a great position to upsell your existing customers.
By combining efficient completion of field service tasks with strong data gathering and just a little sales training, your technicians can show that your company takes care of customers, learns about their needs, and has given thought to what products would help them accomplish their goals more effectively.
By implementing a customized field service management software solution, you can make the above scenario into a reality.
The pandemic has taken the technological revolution that has been changing the way business works and cranked it into overdrive. That need for tech solutions to the shifting of customer priorities and preferences should not be ignored.
By embracing new and evolving software and the ever-growing number of devices that can interact with those programs, you will create a company culture that has field service best practices baked into its foundations.
A customized solution using M-Connect Field Services allows you to get the most out of the data you collect from your customers while giving your field technicians a unique resource to make them as efficient and effective in their duties as possible.
Be a tech leader, and your customers will follow you to a world of satisfaction and success. Let's get started.