The recent Field Service Asia 2019 Event in Singapore gathered 180-plus cross-industry customer care leaders and featured more than 60 expert speakers. We were excited to host a round-table discussion on how to improve customer satisfaction in the service industry. The event focused on several topics that are imperative to the success of field service organizations (FSO) over the next couple of years, which include:
- Delivering better customer experiences with automation
- Improving technician performance with technology
- Identifying trends that will define the field service industry and how FSOs can be ready for them
Continue reading for a brief summary of what was included in the round-table discussion.
Efficiency of Administrative Tasks
Customer satisfaction starts with properly completed administrative tasks. These tasks include:
- Updating customer profiles
- Creating work orders accurately and efficiently
- Ordering and tracking parts
- Scheduling and dispatching technicians with the skills that match job requirements
Such tasks, often thought of as mundane busywork, can make all the difference in creating a positive or negative customer experience.
To bring greater speed and accuracy to administrative tasks, FSOs need to digitize and automate these processes wherever possible.
Field service solutions that keep detailed customer profile records and have work order management features can help to slash time and labor costs associated with administrative tasks. With Astea Alliance Enterprise, for example, back-office staff will have easy access to comprehensive customer information as well as self-populating work orders that correspond to customer histories and SLAs. These features help your staff address customer concerns swiftly from a position of knowledge.
Automation technology can also improve the scheduling and dispatch process. A valuable field service solution can pair service call requirements with technician experience attributes and batch jobs based on location. This helps ensure the technician arriving to a job site has the needed skills, while location batching helps your company cut costs on fuel and schedule more jobs in the same time period.
In addition, throughout each customer interaction, your field service solution collects data to help you better predict the customer’s future preferences and service needs.
Empowering Technicians With Digital Tools In the Field
A Service Council Study found that 46% of technicians felt paperwork was the worst part of their job. This may sound like a common worker’s gripe, but inefficient paper processes are indeed a huge drain on productivity. Just like automation helps improve back-office administrative tasks, digital solutions can also improve a technician’s performance in the field.
Instead of spending their valuable time rummaging through and filling out paper worker orders, technicians can instead perform tasks seamlessly from their mobile device or tablet. With a mobile field service solution, your field workers can access and update the same documents available to office staff. What’s more, advanced solutions will enable them to reference repair scenarios, add video and photo files to job notes, and collect customer payment information while onsite.
With these tools at hand, your technicians will have the time and expertise to answer every customer question and take every care to execute jobs with the utmost professionalism.
Technology-Enabled Customer Communication
Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with enterprises without interacting with a human representative. Customers increasingly want to play a role in their service experiences, and FSOs need to get ahead of this market demand.
Field service solutions that have customer-facing apps and online portals enable the self-service that customers demand. With Alliance Enterprise online customer portals, clients can:
- Schedule maintenance
- Order parts
- View the status of warranties and maintenance contracts
In addition, with the mobile application, customers can chat with your team directly and receive live updates on their technician’s whereabouts and job statuses.
When customers can play a more active role in scheduling and the terms of service, they are more likely to be satisfied with their service experience.
Greater Customer Satisfaction — Better Business
By leveraging technology to create the conditions for greater customer satisfaction, your FSO can earn repeat business, cut costs, and capitalize on revenue opportunities.
With customers playing a more significant role in their experience via self-service features, your office team can reduce time spent on administrative tasks and focus more on personalized service and value-added tasks.
With the help of service management software, you will be able to expand revenue streams both in the field and online. Technicians armed with mobile solutions will be better able to cross-sell and upsell to customers who may benefit from additional products and services. In addition, you can direct personalized promotions directly to customer portals based on client purchase histories, preferences, and other rich customer data.
Finally, with digitally-enabled visibility of operations, your team can single out inefficiencies, optimize processes, and deliver consistent customer experiences.