How to perfect customer service for your field service management business
Providing incredible customer service goes a long way when you’re in the customer service industry. Learn how you can provide the best customer service for your field service management business to keep customers coming back for more.
- Be prepared for the day ahead
- Execute efficiently in the field on the day
- Providing great customer service after the work is done
There are a lot of field service companies that do repairs, installations, maintenance, and other services, giving customers plenty of options to choose from. With so many choices, customers are going to want to spend their time and money on the business that gets the job done on time for the right price, and also offers a positive, friendly experience before and after the service is completed.
Perfecting customer service begins at first contact. Whether they call, check out your website, send you an email, customers appreciate timely, friendly responses that help them solve problems.
With customer loyalty being one of the top drivers for business growth, the field service management companies that can perfect the customer service game will go a long way to create a loyal customer base that’s always coming back for more.
Loyal customers are not only willing to spend more money with your business in the long term, but they’re more likely to forgive mistakes if they eventually do occur — especially when great customer service is part of the equation.
According to research from Microsoft (via Hubspot), an overwhelming 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor when deciding whether or not they want to do business with a company.
The best way field service management companies can put the right foot forward when it comes to providing excellent customer service really comes down to how well organized the business is. Preparing for the day to come, executing efficiently on the day of service, and following up to see how everything went afterwards can be a winning method.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Sure. But if you don’t have the right field service management solution to help manage all the moving parts, you’re probably wasting precious human resources on repetitive administrative tasks instead of focusing on customer service.
Read the information below to learn some best practices that will set your field service management business for customer service excellence.
Be prepared for the day ahead
Ensuring your business and your team that everything is prepared and ready to go ahead of time will give your field service techs the confidence they need to provide awesome customer service.
A field service management app can help fine-tune your preparations, including scheduling and dispatching field techs, creating efficient routes that help ensure timely service, real-time communications with techs and customers, and so much more.
Get your resources in line
When all your resources are in line, your operations are mostly likely running lean and smooth. This requires the balance between how many jobs you can take on, how many employees you have available, and you have the right equipment to complete the right jobs at the right place at the right times. That’s a lot of rights to get right. Also, you don’t want to operate with too many or too few parts in your inventory.
This way, service delivery is more predictable, customers receive consistent services, and you have control over operational costs.
Schedule the right shifts for the right jobs
Scheduling is a very important part of ensuring your resources are in line with operations. Scheduling must be dynamic, thoughtful, and proactive according to the trends your business sees (adjusting for peak activity, lull times, or pairing the right staff with preferences or skill sets) so you can react to real-time changes like sudden appointment cancellations or reschedules.
Field service management applications like B2Field can help streamline scheduling and dispatching so you can react to changes quickly and update your field techs in real-time and keep the best customer service experiences rolling.
Optimizing how you handle service demand is a key aspect of improving business performance.
Taking a closer look at how the business handles and most importantly prioritizes peak times, considers and reacts to staff preferences and proficiencies to pair field techs with the jobs they prefer and are great at, how you can gain the business insight to learn how to take proactive measures to complete work in advance where possible, and documenting and schedule histories to analyze trends and improve.
Optimizing these key areas of planning can help businesses enhance customer service and satisfaction, increase service level agreement (SLA) compliance, and better manage resources and service costs.
A field service management application like B2Field helps field service companies gain the business insights they need to optimize planning to enhance capabilities. With automatic scheduling, dispatching, routing, and more, field service businesses can take the guesswork out of planning, automate many processes (that used to be manual processes), and have the reporting and analyzing capabilities to view and improve upon historical trends.
Connect with customers
Providing great two-way communications with customers is one of the most important aspects of perfecting customer service. Whether a customer has a question, concern, problem, or wants to applaud the services they received, your business must provide them access to the communication methods they prefer.
Automating communication methods where possible gives customers the insight they need to stay up to speed with the services they need to stay informed and it also gives the perception that you care, which goes a long way in your effort to provide great customer service.
Execute efficiently in the field on the day
When the foundational work of planning and scheduling is done and you have insight and control over parts availability and inventory, your team’s ready to roll.
Dispatch workers automatically
Customers demand more and more of businesses nowadays, and the organizations that can respond to their changing demands will grow their base of loyal customers through… you guessed it, great customer service.
Optimized scheduling and dispatching allows you to send the right field tech to the right appointment at the right time, and make automatic adjustments anytime a customer needs to make an adjustment.
Update customers with real-time communications
As stated before, great customer service is partly driven by facilitating incredible customer communications. Sending customers updates before, during, and after services are completed is crucial to letting them know you care.
Send them updates before a service tech is dispatched, let them know when a service tech has been dispatched and ready to head their way (bonus points for real-time ETAs and route visibility through real-time GPS maps), and follow up with them directly after an appointment to see how it went.
This strategy keeps customers close to your business and helps develop the customer loyalty that can reap long-term rewards for your field service business.
Empower field service tech with mobile tools
With smart field service management solutions like B2Field, all your field techs need is a smartphone.
They get alerts about jobs (scheduling and dispatching) including customer details when available, they have access to optimized routes via real-time GPS maps, they can access all the information they need about the job via checklists (which you can also enable to receive proof of work), and real-time communications features are built in to keep every part of the process streamlined and up-to-date.
Providing great customer service after the work is done
Keep the conversation with customers going after service delivery. With B2Field, you can enable mobile forms to send surveys to customers after service delivery to get feedback right after the job has been completed.
All data is stored automatically in the database for reporting and analysis.
Enable field techs to sell
As experts of their trade, your field techs have the experiential knowledge to know how to make recommendations for additional services and/or upsells where possible.
Your techs can especially be trusted when a job is done right the first time, so be sure to train field techs to make additional recommendations and identify cross-selling opportunities when working in the field.
Give customers the opportunity to provide instant feedback
Instant feedback is both actionable and it can help grow your marketing opportunities as you’ll want to blast every channel you have with positive feedback from real customers about the incredible customer service they received.
When your customers submit feedback you have a chance to react in the necessary manner, whether you need to provide additional support because of an issue, or thank them for the opportunity to help them.
Knowing how your business is performing from scheduling all the way through service delivery to receiving customer feedback is essential to running an optimized business.
Drilling down on the data to know how many first-time fix rates you’ve achieved, customer satisfaction by field tech, on-time appointments vs. missed appointments, average travel times by rep, and so many more KPIs by team (dispatchers, management, field techs, and more), giving you the chance to monitor and develop new strategies, improve, and perfect customer service for your business.