Things to know about Service Scheduling Software in 2018

What does the term “customer service” bring to mind? It can be difficult to pin down, really. Every aspect of every business could be described — at least in a roundabout sort of way — as customer service. After all, customers drive business success, and whether your company focuses on B2B or B2C, those customers should still be at the heart of every decision. However, customer service has taken on a more specific denotation through the decades.

Traditionally, the term “customer service” would conjure images of a person sitting at customer service desk, and as technology progressed, the definition expanded to include call centers. These two examples detail the support and help aspects of customer service. And while both are still vitally important to modern businesses, technology has continued to expand. Now, in addition to the more traditional customer channels, new options including social media, email, and at-home field visits are becoming not only possible, but expected.

As such, creating a good customer experience across every channel has become a major focus for companies who want to succeed.

New Advances Make it Possible.

Just as advances in technology have created new customer service and support channels, it has also made it possible for businesses to effectively service their customer base across all channels. Through field service scheduling software, service call scheduling software, and other related customer relationship management (CRM) tools, companies are able to provide a more comprehensive and unified customer experience, no matter which channel or channels their clients frequent.

Even if you are already taking advantage of this kind of service industry scheduling software, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest developments in order to remain competitive.

What Can You Expect from Standard Service Scheduling Software in 2018?

So what are some of the latest service industry software trends, and what is the minimum feature set you should expect from your chosen CRM service scheduling solution? There are some features that should be considered an absolute minimum, and a few further features that will push the envelope even more for those organizations that prefer to do business on the cutting edge. First, here are the core service scheduling software necessities:

Mobile.

83% of mobile users now say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. It is no longer optional to provide your service reps and your customers with a mobile option, it is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, users expect full functionality across whatever device they want to use. 84% of online adults in the USA have used a self service mobile app in the past year. If you want to save time for both your customers and your field agents, a self service app is a must.

SaaS.

Service scheduling software must also cloud based. Scheduling field service appointments, and organization in general, is much simpler when your field reps can access relevant information from any device, using only a login, and coordinate with one another from the same, real-time data.

Accessibility.

Furthermore, everyone involved in providing your customers with an exceptional experience should be able to easily interact with relevant data and systems, whether in the office or on the road. This way, your customer service representatives can access customers’ past interactions, service history, and so on, allowing them to not only solve queries more quickly, but to also schedule preventative service visits.

Case management.

Customer case management automatically categorizes and organizes queries and interactions into “cases” that can then be sent with all relevant data to the best person to deal with them. Case management is an important feature in saving employees time, and giving customers better, faster service.

What Defines the best Service Scheduling Software in 2018?

If you want to really get the most out of your CRM and scheduling software however, there are some platforms that take advantage of more advanced tech to provide even better features. Here are a few of the latest features to look for in a top CRM — each of which can be found in Salesforce solutions.

Third party integration.

The ability to integrate third-party apps is paramount. At the very least it can be incredibly frustrating to have to deal with problems that arise from apps that won’t work together, but worse it can actually impede the work and cause costly delays. For those times when no third-party application is capable of addressing your service scheduling needs, CRM platforms that include app-building templates and tools make it possible for you to design a solution specifically for your business.

Tracking.

In the service business, scheduling software is useless if there is no accurate tracking. The most advanced scheduling software can allow for tracking in real time, and not just of active appointments. Managers can gain access to performance metrics and past visits, so they can keep track of how well certain employees are doing, and who needs help.

Training and easy implementation.

CRM systems are designed to make things easier for you and your employees, so if it is going to take a lot of time and resources to get your employees coached on the new setup, it is having the opposite of its intended purpose. Make sure that the interface is intuitive so that service representatives are able to get the most out of it with minimal training. The best systems will also provide built-in tutorials, coaching, and multi-channel support options to help every user get to know the new system.

Cost-effectiveness.

There was once a time when top of the line technology was only available to large companies, by virtue of the fact that they were the only ones who could afford it. Now however, small and medium sized businesses are able to gain the same advantage through these third-party hosted, cloud-based CRM platforms, which provide the same tools and scheduling software as those options that are available to businesses with big budgets.

With this now being the case, there’s no reason why an organization should have to blow its entire IT budget on an inferior solution. Do your research, shop around, and find a reliable solution that you can afford. Many CRM service scheduling options offer multiple pricing tiers, and some also allow you to pick and choose, only charging you for the services you use. And, so that you don’t have to commit to a solution without being sure, some providers also offer free trial options.

How we picture customer service and support may have changed over the decades, but the need to provide client-focused, exceptional service will always be relevant. In the age of social media, businesses are under more pressure than ever before to offer only the best service, whether in-person or online. Salesforce Service Cloud provides the best case management, scheduling software, agent productivity tools, and more to help your business provide the best customer experience possible.

With Service Cloud and Salesforce solutions, you can gain a full 360-degree view of each customer, allowing full synchronization across all departments and channels.

52% of consumers have switched providers in the past year due to poor customer service, a behavior that costs brands in the U.S. $1.6 trillion, but with the right service scheduling solution, you can help ensure that your clients remain satisfied and eager to do business with you again and again — no matter how much the world of customer service changes around you.
 

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