Perfect the Customer Experience in Field Service

From first contact to job completion, see how to improve every step of the customer experience.

Time to read: 7 minutes

When it comes to choosing a field service provider to do repairs, maintenance, or installation, customers have choices. The customer experience starts at the first contact — phone, email, chat, web, or other channel — and continues beyond the completion of the job.

According to Salesforce Snapshot Research, customers list expertise, speed, empathy, flexibility, communication, preparedness, and proactivity as the most important customer service and support qualities. Field service providers who exhibit these qualities throughout the customer journey are more likely to build long-term relationships with customers.

Customer loyalty is the foundation of business growth. Loyal customers buy more frequently, are more willing to try new offerings, and are more forgiving with mistakes. Customer service can make or break the customer experience.

To create memorable customer experiences, field service providers need to prepare before the day of service, execute efficiently on the day of service, and continue to engage with customers following service to build relationships, optimise operations, and drive growth. Along with best practices, the right field service management solution helps.

Before the day of service: Get ready

Preparation is key. Make sure you have the right team scheduled, plan appropriately, and communicate with your customers ahead of time. Lean into how to:

Align resources

Field service providers need a balance of the right number of people, with the right equipment, skills, and parts available, in the right place, at the right time. Tap into field service management to make informed decisions, so there are always enough resources in place for different priority jobs. Service delivery can then be predictable, customers can receive a consistent experience, and operational costs can be streamlined.

Schedule shifts

Scheduling involves a thoughtful and proactive approach to business and staff needs. Prioritise peak times, consider staff preferences, communicate schedules in advance, and document schedule histories. A connected field management service solution helps ensure that the right field service worker will be scheduled to deliver the requested service. As a result, organisations improve the customer experience, make better use of resources, and boost employee satisfaction and retention.

Optimise planning

Accurate planning of service demand can improve business performance — enabling organisations to enhance customer satisfaction, increase service level agreement (SLA) compliance, and manage service and resource costs. Build best practices into field service management to take the guesswork out of predicting service requirements and gain practical insights into operations from key performance indicators (KPIs).

Connect with customers

Communication helps to build customer engagement. Field service management facilitates communication by empowering customers to self-serve with chatbots and customer portals and by enabling organisations to confirm appointments with automated alerts. Ease of regular communication boosts customer experiences and frees up providers to focus on actual service delivery.

On the day of service: Execute efficiently

Set yourself and your team up for success to deliver exceptional customer service. Give them the tools they need and stay connected. Focus on how to:

Manage contractors

Third-party contractors are an integral part of field service delivery. Contractors are an extension of a brand — and customers expect the same level of service that they would receive from internal employees. Make sure contractors understand expectations and policies to deliver consistent service and ensure SLA compliance. Gain greater visibility and control into contractor services and job statuses with contractor management.

Ensure parts availability

It isn’t enough to have the right field service technician at the right time on the job. They also need the right type and number of parts at the time of service. Make sure they always have the parts they need with inventory management to avoid inconveniencing customers with a follow-up visit or delaying other service requests. A high first-time fix rate also increases overall customer satisfaction and can lead to new business opportunities.

Dispatch workers automatically

Demanding customers require sophistication in scheduling and dispatch. Optimised scheduling enables organisations to automatically schedule and dispatch the right technician to the right location at the right time and makes automatic adjustments if issues arise ― all in real time. Optimised scheduling provides measurable benefits, including improved efficiency, consistent SLA compliance, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Update customers with real-time communication

Today’s customers want transparency, timeliness, and constant communication on the channel of their choice. Keep customers in the loop every mile by providing them with automatic estimated arrival times, visibility into technician location en route, and more. Regular communication improves both customer service and the efficiency of service delivery.

Empower field service mobile workers

Give your field service technicians a connected device so they have customer information, work history, task lists, recommended next steps, schedules, and other data to perform their jobs from any location. A connected device also enables mobile workers to reach out for help if needed and enhances worker safety, as their location is tracked through GPS capabilities. A field service technician who is prepared instills more confidence in customers and boosts first-time fix rates.

Beyond the engagement: Follow up and keep the conversation going

The customer experience continues after the delivery of service. Empower your teams with opportunities to further engage customers and learn from customer feedback and every service interaction to improve scheduling and operations. Prioritise how to:

Enable sales

Field service technicians are viewed as knowledgeable as soon as they arrive at a job because they have the skills and the tools to solve the issue at hand. From the customer’s perspective, the field service technician can be trusted — especially if the problem is fully solved the first time. Delivering quality service puts the field service technician in the position of seller to recommend and cross-sell complementary services and products. This is more cost-effective than on-boarding a new seller, so be sure to train your workers to identify sales opportunities in the field.

Get instant feedback

Feedback empowers change. Use surveys to ask your customers to rate their experience immediately following the service. Follow up with a thank you and ask for more information, especially if they noted areas for improvement. Learn from this feedback and make plans on how to improve service and customer experience.

Improve scheduling

Even when customers are happy, there’s always room for improvement. Review data and KPIs to look for ways to enhance scheduling. Ask for feedback from agents, field service workers, and customers to gain qualitative insights into scheduling service. Put your learnings into action by trying out different scheduling scenarios in your field service management solution.

Report on operations

Understanding overall operations leads to better service. Get actionable insights on speed of service, first-time fix rates, customer satisfaction scores, and other KPIs. Share your results across the organisation to develop new strategies, improve efficiencies, and boost customer experience.

Improve field service delivery and increase customer satisfaction

Agile and efficient field service helps organisations to gain a competitive edge. By delivering a seamless and memorable customer experience, organisations can build customer loyalty and drive business growth. Use the infographic to guide you on how to perfect the customer experience in field service and learn more about Salesforce Field Service.

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