There’s a lot of talk in our industry about Customer experience.
Customer experience is about how I make the experience my clients have with dealing with my business as positive as it can be; a very ‘you-centric’ view. It’s about helping customers to self-serve, to be able to interact with my business on their own terms and in their own way.
If, as a customer, I’ve bought a service contract from a company for the maintenance and repair of my washing machine, a differentiator is the ability to be able to book my service online or via an app on my phone, manage my appointment, receive real-time SMS or app updates on when my engineer’s going to arrive and get reminders of when my appointment will take place.
In our experience, getting this customer experience right is one of the most important things you can focus on as a field service business.
Most often, as a customer of this type of business, the only person I meet from your company is the engineer that arrives at my house to fix my washing machine. Or maybe I booked a service. Either way, I’m likely grumpy that my washing machine is broken in the first place or unhappy that I had to take a whole day off to wait in for a service at an unspecified time between 8am and 5pm.
As margins are eroded on the sale of goods, service is becoming a bigger source of revenue for manufacturers. The mindset and focus of a service business and that of a manufacturer are similar in some respects but there are important differences.
To provide the seamless service that allows a customer to manage their own appointments within a small window of time without adding huge cost to the business requires that a lot of business processes, data and systems are aligned to that goal. These include a focus on:
- A detailed understanding of the capacity of the engineering workforce to do work in all its different flavours
- A thorough understanding of the skill levels across the organisation
- An accurate picture of how long jobs actually take, not an organisational average, but for individual engineers
- An accurate picture of how long travel between jobs actually takes and predictions for how long it will take
- The capture of time spent by engineers that is necessary but unproductive - van checks, break times, van stock counting
- An understanding of where inventory resides and which parts are generally required for jobs
- Flexible quota management to deal with cancellations and reschedules
- Optimised routes to keep costs of shortened time slots to a minimum
- A realistic preventative maintenance/service schedule with early warning for customers to book
- Introduction of a notification capability to remind customers of appointments
- Making this notification process two-way to allow for rebooking without tying up a Contact Centre rep on the phone
- Lightweight, fast customer satisfaction surveying to help with continuous improvement and refinement of the process
By addressing some or all of these things, you are able to ensure the experience a customer has when dealing with your business is a very positive one.
We all know intuitively and through experience that when we’ve had a truly positive experience, we tell people about it. I'm more likely to buy from you again, my friends are more likely to buy from you too. It’s that simple.
And you know what, it doesn’t have to be expensive - the software to achieve all of this is affordable and available on a subscription basis and, when you work with a business that’s done it time and time again, it’s simple and fast to implement.
Customer experience is something we all have almost every day of our lives, and it’s probably the most important thing to consider when building a service business, and the software and implementation don't have to be expensive.
There’s simply no excuse for poor customer experience and it might just hand the advantage to your competitors, and it’s for this reason we create our amazing products here at Leadent Digital.
We built On My Way to allow customers to see all the information they need to know about their planned service appointment. This includes appointment address, time and delivery window, technician name and their badge ID and photograph alongside the real-time location of the service engineer shown graphically on a live map.
On My Way also lets you get direct feedback from customers who have used the service. This feedback is taken during the service transaction itself, whilst the customer is viewing and interacting with On My Way and waiting for their service engineer to arrive.
Why not take a look and speak to us for more information.