Exceeding Customer Service Expectations for 2020: What You Need to Know

Last updated Aug 6, 2020 at 10:11AM | Published on Aug 4, 2020 | Blog, Field Service

If you listen to your consumers, you’ll know what they want.

This statement holds true for field service businesses. Customer service is all about decoding customers’ expectations and meeting or exceeding those expectations.

A service benchmark is created or criticized based on customers’ expectations. After all, customers only talk about a company’s service when the service either exceeds expectations or does not meet expectations. Simply meeting the service needs is doing what’s expected and doesn’t draw any positive or negative attention.

According to a salesforce consumer report, 45% of consumers say they will switch brands if a company doesn’t actively anticipate their needs.  “89 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service.” – RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report

If you see a drop in your customer ranking report, you have a clue of what’s missing – your customer’s expectations are not being met. To maintain a positive growth trajectory, it is essential to listen to your customer and anticipate their needs actively. Let’s look at the most prevalent field service expectations for 2020 and how you can fulfill and exceed these expectations.

Meet Immediate Service Requests

The field service industry is consistently being exposed to newer customer demands and expectations. Consumers today seek instant gratification for their service requests, irrespective of the sector. Convenience and immediate fulfillment of needs are becoming non-negotiable. In this time, failing to provide prompt service has a direct relation to losing customers. What can help service providers to meet it’s growing customer expectations? Technology, by enabling both businesses and consumers to have greater visibility. Because of technology, we have a thriving on-demand service industry.

The same level of visibility is looked upon by customers for field services. They want immediate break fixes, want to know the exact time the technician will arrive and want an option to pay for the services online. This level of accuracy and visibility is possible only with the right field service technology. Job scheduling software can fine-tune your resource routing and equip you to deal with the growing customer expectations.

In case of any machinery breakdown, a technician needs to reach the location as soon as possible. And providing prompt service can be an issue if the dispatcher is not aware of the team’s on-field location. With a job scheduling software, you have real-time visibility of your technician’s location and can conveniently reroute the nearest available technician to attend the emergency call. In a manual setup, rerouting a technician would mean possible cancellation of another service call. But with a job scheduling software, you have clarity of all service calls in a single interactive dashboard, with a simple drag and drop you can optimize the routes for optimum service performance. Ensuring that you meet your immediate service demands without compensating on any of your scheduled calls.

Fix the Problem Right the First Time

A significant part of customer expectations is how soon you can resolve their issues. Is one visit enough for you to fix the problem, or do your technicians need to make multiple visits to fix an issue? If the fix-times are longer, the trickle-down effect is a dissatisfied customer, which directly impacts your metrics. To uplift your customer satisfaction index, it is crucial to fix the problems the first time.

The top three essentials for a technician to fix issues right the first time are:

  1. The right skills and expertise to complete the job
  2. The right tools and equipment for the job
  3. Access to work-order information and service history

If any of the above is missing, it becomes difficult for the technician to accomplish their task. When using job scheduling software, the dispatcher has complete visibility into the technician’s skills and certifications, ensuring the right technician reaches the job location.

Once the job is assigned to the technician, they have access to the service history and inventory information to execute a well-planned repair and get the job done on the first visit. The lesser the repeat trips, the higher your customer satisfaction index.

Fulfill the Time Commitment

Managing customer expectations is an ongoing process, and giving your customer visibility into the technician’s arrival time is part of actively maintaining the customer relationship.

Field services operations are dynamic; new service requests, emergency calls, and major breakdowns with customers are under contract. Even when a technician is assigned a job, there can be changes or reroutes to accommodate any traffic delays, road mishaps, or sick days. Accommodating all the changes makes things very uncertain. If the technician doesn’t reach the service location on the committed time, it results in an unhappy customer.

With dynamic job scheduling, dispatchers can have real-time information from the field and effectively deal with uncertainties. Dispatchers have access to customers’ and technicians’ locations, including technicians who are on their way to the next service call. They can instantly identify the nearest available technician or optimize another technician’s route to reach the customer on time. A dispatcher can efficiently manage a technician’s schedule to utilize any idle time and maximize service capacity. Live traffic information and estimates arrival times, give dispatchers an indication for any prospective delays, and ensure that all service commitments are met on time with the right technicians.

Field service customers are continuously looking out for more service options, better value for their money, increased visibility, and highly efficient services. It’s time to revaluate strategies to accommodate for the changing customer needs and take measures to exceed service expectations. With the use of advanced field service technologies, field services organizations can be better equipped to meet and exceed service demands.