Businesses and manufacturers have just about mastered accessible, instantly gratifying technology. However, the same can’t seem to be said for their customer support. New devices, updates, and product features are developing at a rapid pace. With this product evolution comes a growing amount of options for customers, and thus, a growing need for customer service.
The one-click, on-demand, same-day expectations that customers have for their products now also apply to their service needs. Without proper field service management (FSM) methods, companies can become overwhelmed, disorganized, and inefficient - ultimately losing their customers to companies who have better adapted to such demands.
So, how can businesses offer perfect field service that is equally as quick, efficient, reliable and satisfying as the products they sell? Below are some key tips to creating perfect field service for customers.
Embrace Crowd Services
The Crowd Service model promotes perfect field service by helping your company build its own ecosystem of experts. The IoT and product evolution has made field service management increasingly difficult for businesses to keep up with, due to growing customer demands and a lack of technicians who are familiar with today’s smart, inter-connected technology. Today’s technology requires experts, and a lot of them. The Crowd Service models helps to expand your business’s workforce with such experts, making skilled field technicians and freelancers available to your customers no matter the time or place.
This model creates perfect field service for customers because it offers both on-location visits and immediate, real-time troubleshooting through support channels and self-service tools, which reduces both time and money. Specialists can be matched appropriately depending on the customer’s needs, increasing productivity and minimizing errors. With a vast, knowledgable and organized team, your customers can get faster, more reliable support than ever. This means more needs being met per day, saving big on operating costs, and not only meeting, but exceeding KPI goals.
Things break, and it’s okay - so long as your company’s customer service team is easy to reach. One essential key to perfect field service is easily accessible customer support and a variety of contact and repair options. Having choices when it comes to contacting service centers and technicians makes all the difference to your customer’s satisfaction. Support should be accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week via telephone, QR code scanning, email, text messaging, online chatting, or other in-app messaging systems.
Go Paperless, Stay Connected
Perfect field service can not be obtained without organization and preparedness. FSM Apps are paperless, manageable, and safe. Apps should be connected to the companies ERP so that all necessary documents and customer information is easily accessible and on hand at arrival. This allows technicians to arrive knowledgable and prepared for most any situations or questions that may arise from the customer or from themselves. Secondly, technicians should arrive with all necessary equipment, like tools and spare parts. This keeps the technician from having to come back again, whether hours or days later to fix the situation.
Perfect field service relies heavily on trust. If customers don't feel they can trust the service they are paying for, then they will likely take their money elsewhere. Keeping customers clearly informed about the status of their service - arrival time, price, etc – is is not only appreciated, but necessary. There should be no surprises. Explain malfunctions to your customers: What is broken? Why might this have happened? How will the technician will fix it? Can the customer fix it themselves? How much will it cost? How long will it take? If companies aspire to create perfect field service, then everything should be understandable, trackable and easy for the customer from the point service is requested to the fixation of the problem.
Play It Safe
Before leaving, there should always be a few strings to tie up - just to be safe! Remember to enter all new information in the FSM App. This makes for an easier visit next time, should the technician (or any other technician) have to return. For perfect field service it is also important to get any customer signatures on reports directly after matters are resolved, then reports should be directly sent to the customer’s email for their own confirmation. Feedback should be requested, entered into the FSM App, and genuinely considered before moving onto the next job. Open communication, such as discussing how the customer felt about their service, allows all parties to feel confident in themselves, each other and the company.
Perfect field service moments are core moments.