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Customer Service in the Age of Disruption

Customer Service in the Age of Disruption

The term disruption suggests an abrupt interruption to a traditional way of doing things. However, it is less about an abrupt change and more about a gradual shift. Disruptors have built businesses around detecting a need for change and introducing a solution. They determine where companies lag when it comes to innovation and satisfying customer needs and demands. Then they create a product to fill precisely this gap. And with 71 percent of customers willing to shift their brand loyalty , companies have to work harder to keep them satisfied and coming back for more. This is no different for the field service industry.This is why field service providers should be less suspicious and more embracing of disruptive tools. Here are four different customers behaviors that will become the norm. Implementing disruptive solutions will ensure you continue to wow your customers:

1. The I-want-transparency-when-it-comes-to-my-data customer

We have never before had so much and such ready access to data about ourselves and our surroundings: watches that constantly measure our vital signs and assess our health; IoT devices in our homes that measure air quality, allergens, and bacteria. And we use this data to optimize and streamline our lives: to adopt healthier behaviors, or buy an air filter.

As a result, consumer habits and behaviors are shifting.

They have begun to expect service providers to anticipate what they want and need, to have in depth knowledge of machine and devices operations and life cycles, and to offer more than before following a purchase. Analysis of vital sensor data, for example, can offer tailored service level agreements. An overview of customer device models and repair histories ensures that customers are offered appropriate upgrades and additional devices and services. With customers basing their future company loyalty on the level of customized services, analytics tools will soon no longer be a plus but rather a necessity.

This will make comprehensive analytics tools essential. Not only because they ensure the quick and efficient execution of field operations and business processes, but also because of the ever-increasing amounts of data available. With the flood of big data from IoT devices and IIoT machines and sensors, there is already too much information to process manually. And this trend will only continue.

However, customers are not willing to turn a blind eye to data manipulation and abuse. It will be essential to reach an agreement about what data will and will not be shared, and what the customer will stand to gain by providing this data. Transparency about data collection, storage, processing, and analytics will ensure that your customers trust you and your business.

2. The I-always-expect-the-best-service-technician customer

Customers want to know that the most able and capable person is on hand to assist them. However, a lack of expert personnel and the growing number of experienced technicians entering retirement are making it increasingly difficult to satisfy customer service expectations.
The solution?
To design field service software so that every technician is in fact the “best”! This means giving field service technicians access to all knowledge available. Using field service management software to pool together the expertise of your highly experienced and skilled technicians with information from machine and device manuals, and even video tutorials, will leave you with a trove of incredibly valuable insight. This knowledge can then be used to create useful checklists to guide maintenance and repair processes ensuring consistent and reliable service. This will increase first-time-fix rates, saving time and money, and also empower new and less experienced technicians to work independently. And all that means your customers consistently get the best service possible.

3. The I-want-service-now customer

One surefire way to guarantee customer DISsatisfaction is a long wait time.

A constant stream of data and automated analytics has given birth to entirely new service innovations. Predictive maintenance, the process of using data to predict breakdowns and malfunctions before they occur, is transforming how machines and devices are monitored and serviced. However, it requires access to a large and experienced workforce to avoid bottlenecks and provide quick response times. Knowing about necessary repair work while not having a reliable source of labor is not a viable and sustainable business model. That is why field service companies are turning to the crowd service models:
By pooling together all available technicians - employees, partners, subcontractors, and freelancers - and using field service software to manage scheduling, customer information, device history, inventory, and more - customers are almost guaranteed the best possible service exactly when they need it.

4. The I-want-to-solve-the-problem-right-now-on-my-own customer

49% of consumers have shown a preference for using automated channels for customer service. That is why offering solutions that empower them to cater to their own needs is a must. However, a good self-service solution should ensure shorter wait times for service and assistance. SAP Field Service Management Software, for example, lets customers scan a QR code on their device to initiate a service request. They are then guided through potential repair steps, given the option to order replacement parts, or offered an appointment with a field service agent. Since this whole process can be accomplished on their mobile devices in the field service app, customers spend less time waiting for assistance, or on phone queues, and more independence and control for your customers.

When implemented right, disruptive solutions can bring positive transformation to your business operations. And if customer satisfaction is one of your end goals, there is far more to gain from than to lose from embracing disruption.

White Paper Customer Experience with Self-Service Solutions


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