Field service is an incredibly personal business, but not one where technicians and customers usually stop and get to know each other. Familiarity and friendship can crop up anywhere but chatty repeat customers are the exception, not the rule. Usually, customers prefer to stay out of your hair and keep interactions to "Hello, This is the problem," and "Thank you." No doubt your team technicians have become experts at shaking hands and working quietly and while this is great for a polite service, it doesn't leave the kind of lasting positive impression you'd like to build for your brand. Fortunately, there is a solution. Rather than asking your technicians to be more intrusively cheerful, you can subtly increase customer satisfaction by increasing the personalization of your services instead. Make each customer feel like asking your company for help is like calling on family, only more reliable.
The keys to this quiet customer service transformation are technology and coordination. With excellent customer record keeping, well-constructed services, and a team that is on-board with the personalization plan, you can leave each one of your customers feeling directly catered to in every way a field service business can offer.
1) Use Your Technology
The first step is to utilize innovative field-service management software. If you have been thinking about making this investment, but haven’t done it yet, maybe it’s time to make the leap. Technology solutions like ServicePower’s intelligent Customer Engagement solution allows clients to track details about each customer's service visit, whether they are a one-time work order or a regular in your territory. But you don't have to limit your use of the software to just scheduling. Real-time job status, technician location and two-way communications improve visibility throughout the service lifecycle and help the consumer to have more control over the field-service experience every step of the way.
2) Call the Customers by Name
Always make an effort to greet the customers by name. Start with "Mr. or Ms. LastName" and oblige if they ask you to call them by their first name or a nickname. This will make your interactions more personable, especially if you ensure that to introduce yourself and the teams. Call the customer by their name throughout the service and thank them by name when you're wrapping up at the end.
3) Send the Same Technicians Every Time
Once a customer has experienced and given positive feedback on one service, make a note on their file as to who they went to see. Ask your team if any one person talked most with the customer and noted this as well. If that customer ever calls up again, do your best to send the same team or the same lead technicians if teams re-arrange regularly.
Seeing a familiar face will cause the customer to feel like they have a friend in the company, someone they can count on to do the job right because the same technician serviced their house before. This not only helps to build a strong continuous customer relationship, it also puts experienced hands back into a familiar environment. When one technician works on the same house every time, they get to work with their own previous solutions and with equipment they have handled before. This leads to expertise, faster services, and incidentally technicians cleaning up their own messes if a previous solution was not ideal.
4) Make Detailed Notes for Each Customer
Every customer has different preferences, a unique home configuration, and things techs learn on-the-fly when working for customers. While little tidbits of advice like "Oh that house? Don't pet the cat, it bites." are always passed on when the opportunity strikes, it's much more useful when these helpful notes are recorded as notes in the contact information for each customer. This way, everyone can skim the notes for a repeat customer home before they arrive both to refresh their memories and introduce new technicians to the learned 'house rules'.
These notes may start being written by the office admin but soon, your field service team should be the ones punching in little tips and notes as they learn them on the job. When each home in your dispatch list comes with advice like "Always put down floor protection", "Watch Out: DIY Wiring" and "Customer likes firm handshake and to be called Joe," every team will know what to expect and be prepared for the unique circumstances of each work order before they arrive.
[Steps 5-10 To Be Continued - Mark Your Calendar, Part 2 Available on August 9!]