Differentiating yourself from the competition
How to offer your customers a better service.
There is an old adage that a company is only as good as its last interaction with a customer. In field services, this is particularly true. The field service landscape is constantly evolving; technology has allowed processes to become more efficient and services have grown to be quicker than ever before.
However, the key driving force behind this growth is still customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is so important, that in a 2015 survey 68% of field service companies said that it was the key performance indicator that defined their success as a company, even above profitability.
With customer satisfaction being so important, it is not enough for companies to meet the minimum standards of what a customer expects. Offering a service that’s quick, reliable and cost effective are all market norms now. As Steve Jobs once famously said, “You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better, you have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently”. In approaching customer satisfaction, it’s important to try and add additional value in ways that your competition may not have considered.
Empower the customer to make their own decisions
In field services, the key to offering a better customer service may be to empower the customer to make choices for themselves. There is a growing trend towards self-services in other markets; 50% of consumers will now try and solve product issues themselves rather than rely on customer support; 40% of customers prefer self-service to human contact. All companies may need to do to tap into this trend is provide basic information on common product fixes that allow customers to attempt to solve their own issues.
It is intimidating to potentially cut revenue generating activity by empowering customers to fix products for themselves, however, a customer is unlikely to stay with you if they feel they are getting charged for things they can fix themselves. Furthermore, if 50% of customers are going to try and fix their own product, why not create a positive impression of your company by empowering them to do so? In the long run, this may even increase revenue as customers remain with you.
Take advantage of Mobile
Empowering customers can also stretch beyond offering self-service repairs. Taking advantage of mobile technology can be a real benefit. With 70% of people in the UK owning a smart phone, ongoing customer service should take advantage of these kinds of devices. This isn’t simply offering your web services on a smaller screen, but also thinking about how you can use mobile technology to add extra value. For example, could you use a mobile phone’s camera to capture information on a product that needs repairing so that it doesn’t need to be entered manually? Could that customer then be automatically taken to an options screen where they can pick their repair time and details? This is just one example of how you could look beyond the norm to offer a good service to customers that your competition may not have considered.
Communicate with your customers
Good communication with your customers probably doesn’t seem like a radical thought, but part of offering an excellent service is to give your customers plenty of touch points with your company. Historically, organisations will try and push customers to communicate with them through the most cost effective channel. This may ensure good operation efficiency but is outdated in modern society. We live in multi-channel world and more than ever customers have numerous communication platforms available to them. Best in class organisations need to interact with their customers on their customers’ terms, not their own.
The field service landscape is certainly going to continue to evolve so the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to always be looking for new ways to offer customers a better service. As the industry grows, new ideas that were once ground-breaking will become the norm, so it is worth being the first to offer ideas rather than trying to play catch-up later on.
ByBox has a unique portfolio of services that have helped our customers stay ahead of their competition. If you have a field service problem, please contact us by filling in the form at the bottom of this page, to find out how we can help.