Nowadays, business success and transparency go together. Due to the nature of social media and people’s appetite for information thanks to the never-ending supply of it available on the Internet, transparency is the best policy for increasing customer loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Think about it. If a customer gets to see exactly how a product is built, who built it, and what steps were taken to get to the final product, they’d feel more invested in the business’ brand and products. The clothing brand Patagonia found this to be true when they produced the Footprint Chronicles instead of a traditional CSR report to show how their jackets are made.
Customers not only appreciate transparency, they require it. Years ago, companies could get away with not providing the customer with detailed information on a service invoice. But now, even customers who are not experts feel empowered to check every detail of an invoice. So how can you increase transparency for your field service customers?
Have Transparent Workforce Management
Customers look for information online and want to be empowered to help themselves. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find a machine’s manual or not having an easy way to schedule service appointments. By providing customer self-service options, customers will get the tools to help themselves. This way, unnecessary service calls that can easily be dealt with by the customers themselves can be avoided.
For example, you could provide a field service customer self-service app, which allows customers to find the machine manual, follow a checklist to solve a problem, or make a service call. Customers will see the appointment confirmation once a time has been scheduled and can change it anytime. Customers can even do all of this by scanning a QR code, which helps them avoid feeling like they’ve sent an email appointment request to the black hole of a customer service inbox. They’ll also avoid long hold times to speak to a customer service representative.
Make Service Contract Management Better
The accuracy and transparency of service contract management is important to not only your business, but to your customers as well. Field service automation gives technicians more visibility and control of information on installed products, and allows them to view customer warranties. Within the software, technicians can lock warranty status and have immediate access to SLAs and contracts. In this way, technicians will be able to let customers know upfront if they are eligible for free service or if they will need to pay for the service, based on the level of their service contract and the status of their warranty.
Create Transparency in Field Service Repair Projects
Giving field service technicians access to field service software, allows techs to be more transparent with customers. When techs have access to the ERP and the customer’s history, they can explain what was done during the last job, while also explaining in detail what will be done during the current job. During the service appointment, they can also refer to the customer’s history to advise customers on upgrades or new products that would help their equipment run more efficiently. Using field service software, they can show customers what materials were used to fix their equipment. They can also enter allowances and mileage, and let customers know when spare parts will be delivered. This can even be done offline when the engineer is in a remote location or cannot use the customer’s Internet network.
Show Customers What They’re Paying For
With field service automation, invoicing will become similairly more transparent. Using the available information in your field service solution, your office can send a detailed service report to the customer that includes the mileage, parts, allowances, hours worked, and photos of broken parts from the service appointment. The customer can then confirm with a signature, and your field service business can send the customer the correct invoice, based on the signed-off report. If allowances and mileage can be forwarded to the customer this can similarly be shown on the invoice.
And because using a field service automation solution means that the invoice will arrive at the customer faster--in days instead of weeks--transparency increases because the memory of the service appointment will still be fresh in the customer’s mind.