3 strategies for boosting field service customer satisfaction
These three factors often contribute to low field service customer satisfaction. Here's an overview of each challenge and how you can address them.
Customer satisfaction is a vital part of any organisation’s long-term success, and it’s especially important for those in the field service industry.
Field service customer satisfaction is not just a reflection of how a particular service appointment went — it’s also a measure of how happy someone is with your products, services, and capabilities as a whole, and their overall experience with your business. It can influence everything from customer retention and brand loyalty to reputation and referrals — all of which impact your bottom line — so it’s important to take a serious look at where your company excels at customer satisfaction, and where it’s lacking.
In this blog post, we’ll look at some common missteps that create poor customer satisfaction, three customer service strategies that can improve it, and how to track your progress over time.
Common reasons for low field service customer satisfaction
There are a few reasons why organisations experience low field service customer satisfaction. Three of the most common include poor visibility and communication, a lack of self-service customer service options, and not engaging with customers after the day of service.
Let’s dig deeper into how each of these negatively impacts your business and bottom line.
- Low visibility and lack of communication. Transparent and streamlined customer communication is the secret sauce of customer satisfaction. Just like with parcels, food delivery, or ride-sharing services, customers want detailed information about — and firsthand access to — their field service appointments.
Research shows that when customers don’t receive reminders about impending appointments, notifications about technician ETAs, and can’t view their field service tech’s location in real-time, they experience high levels of stress and anxiety. If they don’t receive information about delays and can’t communicate with their technician or repair person, they end up waiting around, frustrated, and feeling like your business doesn’t value their time.
Additionally, a lack of visibility and communication can contribute to poor first-time fix rates. Customers need to be able to communicate vital information to their technician ahead of time to ensure a smooth appointment.
- No self-service options. The radical age of Uberization has led to an environment where consumers want to have control over their experience — they don’t want to call a customer service representative for every step of the process.
When it comes to utility customer experience or telecom customer experience, for example, people want to be able to do things like schedule, reschedule, and cancel appointments on their own, and check technician ETAs and locations from a field service customer portal that’s accessible from a phone or desktop.
- No post-appointment engagement. Customers want to know that you care about their feelings and their experience. In fact, 70% of customers say they’re highly likely to purchase exclusively from brands that understand them and their needs.
When you don’t follow up after a service appointment, a customer can’t communicate how things went — whether good, bad, or somewhere in between — and you’ll never know how you can improve.
3 ways to improve field service customer satisfaction
A lack of transparency and communication, no self-service options, and no follow-up are all common factors contributing to low customer satisfaction. Fortunately, with the help of software experts, you can easily implement solutions for each challenge.
Here are three ways to improve field service customer satisfaction:
- Prioritise communication and visibility. Exceed customer expectations for communication and visibility by offering functionalities like appointment reminders, automated ETAs, real-time tracking, two-way communication, and custom notifications.
Have privacy or safety concerns about giving customers access to real-time technician tracking? Some software solutions allow you to customise your tracking settings according to your business’ preferences.
- Build a self-service customer portal. This is no longer a “nice to have” feature — it’s a necessity. 88% of customers expect brands to have an online self-service portal, so it’s vital to implement one as part of your customer self-service strategy.
Providing a comprehensive and easy-to-use customer portal that allows customers to do everything themselves demonstrates that you understand their desire to have more control over their experience — and that you respect their time.
Self-service portals also free up time for your customer service centre by reducing inbound calls; they’re available 24/7 to help customers accomplish simple tasks, so your support agents can focus on more complex and pressing matters during business hours.
Examples of customer self-service features that should be incorporated into your portal include scheduling, cancelling, and rescheduling appointments; accessing real-time updates; and accessing technician information, such as a photo and license number.
- Gather customer feedback via automated surveys. You should be jumping on any opportunity to get real-time customer feedback, but requiring technicians to ask for it in person is a recipe for awkward interactions, and may also result in less-than-honest responses.
Instead, seek out a customer feedback management solution that automatically sends out surveys immediately after appointments, promptly alerts your team about negative feedback, and enables easy KPI tracking (more on KPIs below). Localz’s Rate My Experience module offers those features and more.
It’s no surprise we’re seeing an increase in automated feedback gathering from housing, utilities, and telecom; more engagement with customers reinforces for them that your brand cares about their experience and satisfaction. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to improve and grow based on the feedback you receive.
Field service customer satisfaction KPIs
Making improvements to your field service customer experience is a positive step, but you also need to be able to measure the tangible impacts of your efforts. Let’s go over a few different customer satisfaction KPIs that you can track over time as you continue to refine your strategy.
The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is one of the most common KPIs used to measure customer satisfaction. This is calculated by asking customers to rate their satisfaction with your brand, usually on a scale of 1 to 5. You can then determine the percentage of your customers who are satisfied with your brand.
However, CSAT isn’t the only way to look at customer satisfaction. The following KPIs are also important to track:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures the likelihood of a customer recommending your brand to others.
- Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how easy or difficult it is for customers to accomplish what they set out to do, whether that’s making an appointment, finding information on your website, or getting a question answered by customer service.
By monitoring these KPIs over time, you can determine whether new initiatives and process changes are having a positive impact on customer satisfaction.
Field service customer satisfaction is essential to your organisation’s health and longevity. Unfortunately, issues around visibility, self-serve options, and follow-up often create friction and result in low levels of satisfaction.
The good news is that these challenges can all be solved with an optimised tech stack. Field service technology experts can help you implement field service tracking, field service portals, automation, streamlined communication workflows, feedback workflows, and more to give your customers a frictionless experience.
With customisable solutions, out-of-the-box applications, and options that integrate into your own enterprise solutions, Localz has everything you need to boost your field service customer satisfaction and vitalise your business for the long haul.