Field service calls can drain internal resources and increase the risk of a negative customer experience. Every organization, especially those that operate in the field service industry, should invest in reducing field service call volume and improving customer satisfaction. Likewise, it's time to establish a resource strategy to reduce your field service call volume, empower your customers, and increase your profitability. Read on to learn more about service calls and how to reduce field service call volume.
What is a service call?
In the field service industry, a service call refers to a call where a customer requests a field technician to inspect and repair a broken or malfunctioning appliance or piece of equipment. Typically, by the time a service call takes place, the customer is already in need of immediate service. This means there could be downtime between the time a customer initiates a service call and when the appliance or equipment is repaired to a fully functioning state.
How can service calls impact the customer experience?
Service calls are often the first interaction that a customer has with a field service company. And it’s no secret that this first impression is a crucial aspect of the customer experience. While an excellent customer call experience will build your brand's credibility and trust, a negative service call can lead to a bad customer experience and ultimately a lost customer. For instance, using negative language, paying minimal attention to details, and taking too long to respond can adversely affect your client experience and hence lead to:
- Loss of confidence in your services: Customers want you to actively listen to the issue at hand and make a plan to resolve it. Therefore, it's important to make customers feel heard and respected. For instance, if customers feel misunderstood or disrespected, they can lose confidence and become discouraged with your organization.
- Poor relationship with customers: A well-known fact in business is that gaining new clients is more expensive than keeping existing ones. You have a higher chance of keeping prospective clients with a good service call. However, a subpar service call might ruin your customer loyalty, marring your brand's reputation.
- Loss of clients: The news of a poor service call can spread rapidly, costing your business both existing and potential customers. Reviews are powerful, so you could lose numerous customers with only one negative review of your service call experience.
- Revenue loss: It's no secret that when you lose customers, you lose revenue as well. Based on the extent of your customer loss, there can be long-term impacts on your company's finances.
How can you reduce service call volume in the field service industry?
Not only are service calls often liabilities for a field service company’s customer experience, but they are also becoming outdated. Today, field service customers prefer to have more control over their experience. Instead of picking up the phone to schedule a repair or maintenance appointment, customers prefer self-service digital scheduling options since they offer greater engagement and individualized service experiences.
Moreover, digital scheduling technology empowers customers to request service directly within a software application, obviating the need to initiate a service call in the first place. Field service management software automates different field tasks such as servicing, dispatching, and scheduling. Likewise, AI-driven field service software automates these complex workflows, enabling a better customer experience. For instance, with field service software, employees at all levels of the organization can interact with customers.
Field Service Software Features to Reduce Service Call Volume
Field service software can reduce service call volume by empowering customers to schedule service appointments on-demand, as well as improving the productivity and efficiency of service workflows. Here are a few of the key features that will help you reduce call volume in your field service organization:
- Self-service customer portal: Allows customers to self-schedule service appointments, message and communicate with field technicians within the app, track technician location, and submit feedback. This greatly reduces the need for customers to initiate service calls, and also limits the need to reschedule or cancel thanks to real-time scheduling, dispatching, route optimization, and communication notifications.
- Internet of Things (IoT)-driven predictive maintenance: Predictive maintenance facilitates equipment updates and repairs before they break down, avoiding appliance downtime. In other words, it offers a better approach to monitoring maintenance or repairs before a problem actually arises. By maintaining customers' smart appliances before they break, field service organizations can reduce the need for customers to call and request service.
- Automated service scheduling, dispatching, and route optimization: Field service management software can automatically schedule and dispatch technicians for service jobs. Further, routes are optimized in real-time to ensure that technicians arrive on time for all service appointments. This prevents the need for customers to call asking for updated technician ETAs for appointments.
Other features that come with field service software include access to centralized data, sophisticated reporting, and analytics. They not only simplify your field service operations but also enhance the overall digital experience for clients.
How to choose field service software
Given the variety of vendors on the market, field services organizations (FSOs) intending to implement appliance scheduling software must do their research to select the best solution. When assessing field service solutions, consider the platform's ability to improve the following field service metrics:
- First-time fix rate: This signifies the percentage of times a field technician can resolve a service issue on the initial field service visit.
- Mean time to service (MMTS): This represents the amount of time between the initial request for a service job and the start of a service appointment itself. MMTS gauges a company's capacity for effective and timely field service scheduling.
- Mean time to repair: This details the amount of time between the initial request for a service job and when the job is fully completed. Mean time to repair is an important metric to demonstrate productivity and efficiency in the field service workflow.
With the correct technical solutions, you may increase the mobility of your field service agents, streamline operations, and get rid of the monotonous paperwork that comes with service jobs.
Get the best field service management technology today
Reducing field service call volume is easy with the right field service management software. Discover how ServicePower can help you empower your customers with a state-of-the-art customer portal and AI-driven scheduling and dispatching.
Learn why field service software needs to be included in your organization's budget.