In an age of on-demand service, customer expectations across industries are higher than ever before. To remain competitive in any service business, companies must improve service response time and offer extended visibility into their products and services. Whether it is a salesperson updating clients on their purchase status or a technician traveling onsite to repair home equipment, field service market drivers are directly influenced by elevating customer expectations and business success depends on companies’ abilities to deliver.
In fact, 74% of consumers are at least somewhat likely to buy based on experiences alone. For field service providers, that means there is an increased desire from customers for more control over their experience and expanded visibility into the end-to-end process. When strategizing about how your businesses will redefine operational workflows, keep the following considerations in mind to align with changing customer expectations.
In today’s market, customers want to be the drivers of their curated service experiences. A majority of customers expect corporate offers to always be personalized and 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. By offering customer-centric communication tools as part of the field service experience, organizations can decrease customer effort and increase their control. Consumer portals make scheduling service visits easy for customers as they can make, reschedule and cancel appointments whenever is most convenient for them via a branded portal, instead of waiting through a lengthy time window for service.
These portals are configured for use on any mobile device and offer omnichannel opportunities for customers to report questions, log work requests and leave reviews. By empowering customers to upload relevant photos and equipment information and access their complete service history on one easy platform, business can give them the freedom to own their service journey and stay informed. Self-service is a proven necessity to providing a positive customer experience as 70% of customers now expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. Customers will continue to challenge operations and service businesses and the technology organizations use to respond to these demands is critical to business success.
Since the onset of remote work and the limitations posed to in-person service visits over the past two years, stellar remote communication channels and service options have become the norm for most customers. More individuals have been empowered to solve at-home repairs on their own with the help of technicians virtually. While remote assistance was once a simple phone or video call, today customers expect more, and companies now have the technology to offer next-level support from afar. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR)-powered tools allow technicians and other workers to connect with customers through real-time video conferencing and direct repairs.
Field service management software that is fully integrated with AI and AR technology can provide heightened service options to customers who request remote service. By offering digital platforms that implement spatial orientation and virtual markers, technicians can tap into the customer’s point of view with interactive video and deploy real-time responsive touchpoints to identify the problem and guide customers through potential solutions. The implementation of this technology into a holistic field service portfolio will set service organizations apart and equip servicers with the necessary tools to stay on the cutting-edge of technological innovation and customer expectations, especially as remote service remains a constant in today’s market.
As customers look to gain more control over their service experiences through self-service platforms and no-contact technology, it is important to offer visibility in the service process for onsite visits once they are scheduled. Field service management software streamlines technician oversight and service requests. By dispatching the most qualified technicians for every service request based on availability, skills or location, and tracking inventory necessary for each repair, field service management software helps service organizations preemptively avoid the most common customer complaint: low first-time fix rates. Additionally, once jobs are assigned, customers can review real-time traffic and GPS location data via the customer portals to track technician arrival times.
While the level of technician service onsite is imperative to customer satisfaction, the service experience extends far past the initial visit. Once the technician leaves the service site, organizations conduct work assessments and follow up for customer feedback. Proper field service management software enables technicians to own client services by simplifying and digitizing these assessments, and offers capabilities to submit repair reports and itemized service lists, empowering technicians to manage their own tasks as well as the customer experience through direct client communication through chat functions on the branded portal. This transparency into the technician’s workflow and the service process allows customers visibility on the entire service lifecycle and improve business-client relations through trusted representatives.
By implementing technology and business tactics that align with the ever-changing demands of field service customers, service providers can stay ahead of new expectations and implement foundational practices that will serve them in the coming years. Through increased connection and communication with clients, organizations can retain their customer base and solidify brand loyalty, even as the industry evolves.