Companies that increase customer satisfaction often see improvements to other key performance metrics. More than 80% of businesses that work to drive up customer satisfaction say more revenue follows, for example. Companies with reps in the field can leverage field service software to improve client satisfaction and reap numerous other benefits, including:
- Improved customer retention and ability to cross-sell or upsell
- Better employee morale
- Enhanced word-of-mouth marketing and referrals
Discover five ways field service software helps you increase customer satisfaction below.
1. Improves Communication
Almost all consumers — 96% or so — consider leaving a business in search of better service. And one of the reasons people cite for bad service is poor communication. Most people want:
- The ability to communicate with the right person in your business to get answers and action for specific needs
- Peace of mind that the person they’re dealing with has the knowledge and resources to answer questions quickly and accurately
- To avoid multiple touchpoints, especially if they come with varied answers or changing processes
Field service software helps you address customer communication on multiple levels. First, it supports improved communication and management of your teams. When everyone on your staff is confident that the right resources have been deployed — and team members in the field are supported by software that keeps them in contact with dispatchers, supervisors and others — your business presents a confident, professional process that soothes client worries.
Second, connection to the overall business and other resources ensures field service reps can answer questions quickly. No more stepping into the van to make a call or returning to a job later with an answer; team and individual chats and other tools let everyone communicate quickly and discreetly when needed.
Finally, you can set up tablets to run field service management software, ensuring access to documents, diagrams and other resources in the field. That lets reps present visual cues to clients, enhancing their ability to teach and explain — which can be critical to those looking to close the deal or upsell.
2. Enhances Service Agreement and Contract Processes
The ability for the client to see documents right in front of them without anyone having to manage cumbersome paper processes can also positively impact customer service.
Imagine this scenario: A rep goes out to complete a job that was previously quoted. They’re equipped with preprinted contracts and service agreements containing the details, but the customer has changed their mind or there’s been a misunderstanding. What does the rep do?
In this case, they could make manual changes to the document with pen and ink, requiring the customer to initial and date them — a potentially awkward process that leaves the client feeling less-than-secure about the final outcomes. Or, if your process doesn’t allow field reps to make such calls, they may have to return to the office and come back later with a new agreement. None of these options are ideal for customer experience.
Now imagine a scenario supported by field service software. Changes can be made by the appropriate people in the office and sent to the field tablet. The customer can review them immediately and sign the agreement — faster time to close the deal and a more confident process for the customer. Everyone wins.
3. Supports More Efficient and Accurate Routing
According to PwC’s December 2021 consumer insights survey, more than 50% of consumers say efficient delivery or service is an important factor in deciding who to do business with.
Field service software makes it easy for teams to live up to these consumer demands. Here are just a few efficiency benefits you can expect after implementing such solutions:
- Faster scheduling. Not all factors that impact a customer’s experience are things the customer is aware of. Field service software with a data-backed, intelligent scheduling component lets you proactively assign (and re-assign) teams within minutes without leaving any client falling through the cracks. If an emergency comes up with one client or a job takes longer than originally planned, dispatchers or supervisors can quickly update schedules and publish them to tablets, so people in the field know exactly where they need to go next. By removing confusing rounds of phone calls and manual scheduling processes, you help ensure as many customers get great service that day or week as possible.
- Reduced drive times. Drive times can waste a lot of valuable time for field service reps. The right software helps plan job assignments to minimize drive times, saving minutes or even hours every day that can be used for revenue-generating work. That can mean fitting more customers into each day’s schedule, reducing their wait times and boosting satisfaction.
- Smarter resource allocation. Field service software with automated scheduling rules makes it easy to match resources with the right experience, skills and certifications to each job. That means the person or people who show up to complete work or make a sale are the right choices the first time.
4. Supports More Payment Options
Flexibility in payment options is a top concern for many customers today. First, they want to be able to pay via a method that works with their personal preferences. Cash, check or credit card isn’t always enough because people may want to pay via solutions such as PayPal or Apple Pay. As non-traditional payment platforms provide additional perks, such as cash back, to bring consumers into their folds, these will become increasingly common preferences.
Field service software and the use of mobile devices like tablets can make it easier to offer multiple payment arrangements. Staff can be trained to take a variety of payments via the tablet, and those payments can be recorded immediately in the software to avoid later invoicing confusion.
On top of offering multiple payment methods, field service companies may want to provide some form of credit for customers. That could include invoicing for services later to take the burden of collection off field reps. You might also offer payment arrangements, letting clients pay off more expensive services and products with monthly payments over time.
Either way, field service software can capture all the data needed to manage the billing process — including a customer’s digital signature on payment agreements. Information captured by the field service software can be integrated into accounting processes to support seamless invoicing without error-prone manual data-entry processes.
Ensuring invoices are correct is a great way to support customer satisfaction, as nothing can ruin the goodwill left by a job well done as quickly as an incorrect bill.
5. Empowers Knowledge Management
When asked what they would pay more money for when buying a good or service, consumers in a PwC survey pointed to efficiency and convenience. But almost as many people said knowledgeable, friendly service was worth a premium too.
Field service software helps you ensure each person on your team is as knowledgeable as possible. The ability to communicate information between team members was already cited, but businesses can also use software to help construct or connect teams to a robust knowledge management library. Here are just a few ways this type of resource can help increase customer satisfaction in the field:
- A customer has a question about how their new HVAC installation compares to the old model. A rep with access to manuals for models in the company’s knowledge management library can quickly look up the answer.
- An existing client questions a decision or bill, stating they feel the process or price was different in the past. A rep with access to the client’s file can quickly consult historic documents about past jobs and provide an answer or documents showing the client they have misremembered.
- A field sales rep is working on a quote for a client and runs into a less common factor on a job. They can consult other quotes that include those types of factors to see how to price or handle them.
Find out more about field service software with Visual Planning.
Manale is a passionate about digital marketing. She joined STILOG I.S.T in 2018.
She brings SEO & SEA expertise, email marketing and creative content marketing to create a great brand experience for Visual Planning customers.