With the arrival of 2020, companies feel the rising pressure to meet ever-changing customer demands. As a result, field service leaders are embracing powerful tech solutions such as artificial intelligence, cloud-based mobility, GPS fleet systems, and more, to deliver better customer service experiences and provide instantaneous, reliable service.
To benefit from managing healthy and profitable relationships over time, you must focus on providing value across every customer touchpoint. This may include website user experience to talking to customer service reps via email or phone to experiencing a service fulfillment. Every single one of these moments plays a huge role in a customer’s judgment about whether a business is living up to his/her expectations.
But what else is important when it comes to customer experience (or CX) and why is it such a relevant topic for field service companies? Salesforce Research shows that 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. In 2020, CX will overtake prices and products as a key brand differentiator and will be the driving force behind setting companies apart.
The takeaway here is that not only CX impacts client retention by over 40%, but it improves customer satisfaction and increases cross-selling opportunities in over 30% of interactions. After all, in an increasingly competitive field service market with more and more demanding customers, only companies that focus on adapting innovative technologies will stick around for the long haul. The following are 12 ways how to up your game in providing excellent customer service experiences.
- Standardize multichannel communicationThe times when you could contact a business through a single channel only are long gone. The rise of mobile-users now gives customers more and more freedom to communicate in their preferred channels. Be sure to allow your customers to reach you their way, not only to improve CX, but you also gain insight on what channels to invest more focus on in the future.
- Leverage social media to stay involvedSocial media isn’t just a place for ads and entertainment. It is also great for providing stellar customer service, which is why it’s important to be active on social media and tap into industry trending conversations — customers who experience positive social media interactions are nearly 3x more likely to recommend you.
Get visibility into customers’ history
Customers don’t want to repeat themselves if they’ve had past interactions with your business. By having historical data in your hands, you know who they are and are able to progress the conversations in the right direction. Make use of or at least consider Field Service Management software. It provides tools like customer management for you to track service locations, referral sources, and notes for meaningful follow-ups.
- Vitalize customer engagementInnovations in technology are having businesses rethink how they engage with increasingly connected customers. Armed with better access to information and choices, like product information, reviews, and competitor alternatives, consumers are raising the bar for customer engagement. By investing in smart and high-tech management solutions, establishing trust and integrity, and having seamless connections ‒ these key principles can help you develop valuable customer relationships.
- Acknowledge loyal customersWhile growing your business and gaining new customers is an exciting time, it’s also important to care for your existing customer base. By leading with appreciation and values, you get the opportunity to shape long-term customers into your most trusted brand advocates. Loyal customers already understand and appreciate your value and can refer your business to their peers. Set up a distinct customer loyalty reward group and offer discounts and promotions so customers receive the right level of attention and service.
- Provide self-service channelsBeing in the information age, most customers won’t wait for someone to give them information they can find themselves. Common trends of customer self-service include knowledge base, FAQs, or customer portals. All of these channels serve as a hub of information and help your customers do what they need to do quickly without help and they’re grateful for it.
- Ensure positive mobile CXIt’s no longer the question of whether a positive mobile experience is important or not, we know it matters. According to Google, 80% of mobile users are more likely to purchase from companies with mobile sites or apps that help them easily answer their questions. If you aren’t investing in making your mobile sites easy to navigate and customers are having a hard time figuring out what you offer, they will lose interest and you lose them.
- Deliver fast-response timeThe pressure to speed up response time remains a top customer service trend for field service businesses. For service providers, this means leaving outdated, manual processes behind and increasing productivity with service scheduling software. It can enable fast and accurate technician assignments based on tech location, availability, skills-set, and real-time status updates so you know when a tech finishes a job and can take a new assignment.
- Standardize real-time communicationExpectations for timeliness are facing sky-high standards and service leaders need to prepare for that. In the era of real-time messaging tools, customers want to know the who, what, and where to better plan out their day. This type of two-way communication via SMS/text messages between the field worker and customer is crucial in making customers feel heard and secure.
- Encourage feedbackNothing trumps efficiency more than the feedback you receive from your customers. Take this time to encourage customers for their honest feedback, good and bad ‒ and use the information as the starting point to improve service experiences and strengthen customer relationships. Consider using social media or email as a convenient way for them to leave feedback.
- Better utilization of dataAs we all know, home service businesses come with a lot of moving parts. It requires constant monitoring of daily operations. Did the tech arrive on-time? Who is available? Did the customer receive an accurate invoice? To get ahead in 2020, it’s critical for field service companies to obtain cleaner data and learn how to leverage it to make it easier for customers to do business with you.
- Embrace Field Service Management softwareNow’s the time to focus on the important instead of the urgent effectively. This is where field service management (FSM) software comes in handy. Smart automation in FSM software provides solution tools for easy scheduling and tracking job assignments, automating field-to-office processes, amplifying visibility across the entire org, and more.
If you’re well-acquainted with your customers and have put the best effort into overcoming your CX challenges, you did your job well. And if you’d like a little help on organizing your business’s processes, get a free demo with Service Fusion today.