There is no mistake that good field service management is essential to many businesses today. Many companies will continue with their FSM even though it might have some shortcomings. One thing that you can’t afford not to have is good customer service by your field service management. So, does your FSM provide good customer service?
Customer service is based on giving your customer the best service possible, one of the key features is not making them wait a whole day for a technician to call. The ability to allow your customer to choose the best time to fit their preferences is a key benefit in your offering package and may be the key element in selling your service as it offers the customer unparalleled service.
Many organisations offer appointment booking options for their clients but the ability to do so is wired deep into the infrastructure of the technology used. If your resource planning and field service management software does not support this functionality, offering customer appointment bookings will be impossible and may lead to greater overheads in managing the schedule and overlooking all the complexity (dependencies) in the schedule. It can also lead to errors and double bookings.
In today’s world we anticipate most of our customers to be connected to the internet one way or another. The ability to connect via the web to your service provider is expected and considered as a basic service. Customers expect to be able to get online access to their account, order service, report faults, call for maintenance and view payment and other historical transactions processed.
The ability to allow a customer to request service is again wired into your field force management software. Customers are requested to choose the service and provide details that will be used in order to allocate the best resource for an on site visit.
Not all solutions come with a portal but having an API that allows you to connect your existing portal to your FSM system is critical. If your FSM doesn’t have the API for the job then you won’t be able to offer the complete self-service solution to your clients and at some point there will be a need for a phone call and your customer service team will have to deal with the request.
When provided with a promise or assurance, a customer expects a service within a specific time. Every service organization is ultimately built on the people providing the service. Of course, people can be inherently unreliable for a variety of reasons. People get sick, or stuck in traffic or an accident may cause a failure to deliver the service on time .
Solutions that keep track of promises and make sure no event has gone unnoticed provide a great level of security for the service provider and great customer service. Sometimes just a phone call in advance, reporting that there is an unforeseen issue that will cause the service to be delayed or even canceled is better than just not showing up for an appointment.
Dealing with these events in an automated way, searching for alternative solutions or calling on reserve resources is another level altogether. This type of functionality allows you to take your service to another level. You are now not only identifying issues but also resolving them in real-time.
Sometimes appointments are met but the resource has arrived unprepared, missing tools or parts for the job or even facing unforeseen issues such as finding more issues that require a return visit.
A good system will allow you to request a return visit directly from the mobile device (technician) and communicate with the client face to face regarding the best time to come back to complete the job.
The customer already wasted time waiting for the service call and has just realised that this has now got to be rescheduled. Give them a high level of customer service with the reassurance that the service will be re-booked without them having to call the office again and wait online, and then wait for the return service on another day It’s a great way to mitigate potential issues with clients and overcome potential dissatisfaction.
Real time notifications
Customers need to know about the service, if there are any problems, remind them someone will call in tomorrow making sure they remember and will be there to answer the door. They also need to know how far the technician is from them in a best estimate. It normally doesn’t change how long they have to wait but is more about managing expectations. Customer love to feel important and that you are being very transparent with them, keeping them informed every step of the way. It should also reduce the number of phone calls you get, inquiring about the progress of a job or resource.
It also provides a way for you to make sure your customer is indeed expecting you. Customers that log in and check arrival time or have been notified by SMS or email are most likely to be ready for you and therefore you’re not wasting your time waiting at the door or having to schedule a return visit because they’re not in.
Why audit? Because customer want to know that you are accountable for your actions and will take responsibility to fix any issues with the process and compensate them when it is due to lack of service or when bad service is provided.
If you do not fully audit your transactions and manage your data accurately and efficiently it’s embarrassing, it’s like you are standing naked in front of a customer unable to explain what happened and how you are working to fix the problem.