How to Empower Your Employees to Satisfy Your Customers

6/14/2019 / Digital Transformation / Field Service / Katia Loboda

It’s not surprising that keeping your current customers happy is less costly than attracting new ones. More field service organizations (FSOs) are realizing the importance of delivering experiences that differentiate in today’s competitive market. Companies who aren’t investing in effective workforce management (WFM) or focusing on customer-centricity, will simply be left behind.

Smart organizations understand this. Best-in-Class service companies embrace customer-centricity and empower their workforce and field technicians to understand their customers and form relationships which generate additional benefits for the organization as a whole. These include:

  • increased customer retention
  • higher customer satisfaction rate
  • higher first-time fix rates
  • greater year-over-year increase in workforce productivity

But delivering effective services comes with its own challenges. We at Astea want to help you explore the role of effective workforce management in field service and understand common pressures, opportunities and best practices that today’s companies face. Our most recent infographic emphasizes the impact of WFM on your customer-centricity, technician productivity and bottom line.

Challenges Standing in the Way of Delivering Effective Service

Growing Complexity

Of the 148 service executives interviewed, 37% agree that the growing complexity of service offerings is their greatest challenge.

These complexities can arise from the increasing demand for personalized services from customers, expanding diversity of needs, or even from knowledge management imbalance between the customer and the service provider. To overcome increasing complexities, organizations must educate their field technicians on best practices for issue resolution.

Lack of Budget

Not having the funds to invest in service can certainly complicate and delay your efforts to exceed customer expectations.

36% of respondents lack the budget for investment in service

This issue could stem from a common misconception that companies will drive down costs by not investing in service. But in reality, this could have a direct, negative impact on your operations. The era of digital transformation has created new levels of efficiency and productivity in field service thanks to agile field service management (FSM) software and its capability to integrate with various business platforms as well as emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. By sharing all of your data and communication through one connected platform, you significantly minimize room for error and drive operational efficiency and productivity.

In fact, FSOs who aren’t investing in service can negatively impact their customer retention, service margin, and serviceable asset uptime.

Best-in-Class companies understand the importance of managing its workforce and in fact are 89% more likely than their industry peers to have a WFM solution for service in place.

Business Benefits of Effective WFM

What distinguishes top performing service organizations from all others? Recognizing the value of investing in the processes and technologies to ensure consistent customer experiences.

By investing in tools that promote customer self-service, Best-in-Class organizations allow customers to schedule appointments, receive real-time updates and technician tracking. When tedious logistics are taken out of the equation, technicians are able to focus providing excellent service to their customers, driving operational efficiency and improving customer satisfaction.

Best-in-Class See Real Returns on Their Investment

Service leaders who realize the value of investing in developing their service workforce, see real value.

Best-in-Class companies achieve 2x greater annual company revenue growth than their peers

And while their peers experience a year-over-year (YoY) decrease of 1.9%, Best-in-Class companies see a 7.2% increase in technician productivity.

Key Capabilities

When it comes to managing technicians, Best-in-Class organizations adopt a set of capabilities that allows them to outperform their industry peers.

Best-in-class are 86% more likely than all others to have formal mentoring and training programs in place for their technicians

These programs ensure that technicians are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to effectively resolve service issues the first time. By ensuring first-time fix, they reduce the need for a second truck roll, decreasing average repair time and enabling technicians to complete more work orders.

Mobile Workforce

In today’s digital world, many service organizations are challenged with managing a mobile workforce. Supervising a team of technicians while keeping track of all of their inventory and manage their routes can be very difficult and inefficient without the right tools. But field service management software simplifies all that. With Astea’s Alliance Mobile Edge, you are equipped with the capability to assign service requests, initialize business intelligence reporting and track your team’s productivity all in real time from a single platform. In the field, technicians are able to utilize their mobile device to seamlessly connect with the back office, management and dispatch, to share data and provide the best service possible to your customers.

Top performing companies empower their field technicians even further and are 86% more likely than their peers to provide their techs with access to personal and team performance dashboards. Managers utilize these dashboards to provide non-cash incentives to foster competition, recognize top performers, and provide coaching for lower performing techs. Via these dashboards, technicians are taught to self-manage by not only understanding their role but also to foster accountability between team members.

By instilling self-management in their workforce, organizations increase productivity of their field service workers and empower them to conscientiously deliver on their customer service responsibilities. This in turn enhances customer’s experiences, leading Best-in-Class organizations to enjoy a 39% greater customer retention rate than their industry peers.

Empowered Employees Deliver

If you’re not investing in effective workforce management (WFM), you simply cannot compete with today’s Best-in-Class service leaders. These organizations distinguish themselves from their industry peers by recognizing the value of investing in the people element of service delivery.

Download Astea’s new infographic “Service Workforce Management” to see how Best-in-Class companies who successfully manage their workforce achieve:

    • 2x greater annual company revenue as their peers
    • 3.4% annual growth rate
    • 92% greater annual improvement in average repair time
    • and more

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As competition continues to focus on customer-centricity, find out how Astea can help you improve customer satisfaction and differentiate as a service leader. Request a demo today to learn more!

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