How to create a field service portal for customers (and improve satisfaction)
Having an easy-to-use field service portal can improve customer experience and boost customer satisfaction. But how should you build and implement your portal?
When it comes to managing field service appointments, customer expectations are through the roof. Because businesses like Uber and Deliveroo offer tech-savvy options for service and delivery, customers see self-service as the status quo, whether it’s for takeaway or for a utility, housing, or glass repair appointment.
This means that customers want the ability to do a lot on their own — schedule their appointments from a website or app, communicate with technicians before arrival, receive ETAs and updates, track their technician’s location on a map, offer feedback after the day of service, and more.
Initially, it may sound like a daunting task to meet all these expectations. But when you know the secret ingredients for quality last-mile customer engagement, you can deliver excellent experiences, which in turn drive high customer satisfaction. The number-one secret ingredient? An easy-to-use field service portal for customers.
If customers have to use multiple platforms and websites to handle things like scheduling, tracking, texting, and more — or, worse, if you have no self-serve portal available — their experience will be disjointed, and it will negatively impact customer satisfaction.
Here, we’ll dive into why a customer portal is a best practice, and how it can help you better connect with customers and boost your field service customer satisfaction KPIs. We’ll also go over your options for portal creation and implementation.
Why create a field service portal for customers?
The answer is pretty straightforward: When you have a field service portal that improves the customer experience, it boosts your customer satisfaction KPIs.
Some of the KPIs you’ll likely see improve include:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): We know customers now expect and demand streamlined communication workflows. So when you not only keep them in the loop, but also exceed their expectations with efficient solutions like a field service portal, they’ll remember you first when friends and family ask for recommendations.
- Customer Effort Score (CES): It’s a simple equation: when you make it easy to interact with your business, your CES improves. Offering a streamlined portal is one of the simplest ways to make a customer’s experience go smoothly and increase their willingness to use you again.
It’s clear that a field service portal is a meaningful way to improve customer experience and satisfaction. Now, let’s go over three options for creating one:
Option 1: The DIY approach
When you create your own field service portal from scratch, you have full control over how it looks and how it works, and you can bake in whatever functionality you want. However, the development and implementation costs of this option are a huge downside, especially for smaller businesses or those with tight budgets.
With a DIY approach, you can also expect a lot of trial and error as you get your portal up and running, which means diverting current resources toward both its implementation and maintenance (or hiring experts who know how to manage it). You’re also responsible for security and updates, which can be time consuming and costly.
Option 2: Use existing software
Because customers now demand streamlined service and delivery, there are many customer portal software options on the market. Unfortunately, a lot of the software available has significant disadvantages:
- Many aren’t made with field service in mind, and often have very basic functionality with little to no automation.
- Some software might not integrate with your existing tech stack (especially if it’s not made for your industry), so it could cause siloes.
- Some providers don’t offer support, leaving you on your own for setup, implementation, and customisation.
Option 3: Use specialised software
To avoid the pitfalls associated with the DIY approach and existing software options that aren’t made for field service, your front-runner for a field service portal solution is specialised software.
When you work with a customer portal software provider that knows field service inside and out, you’ll receive support for onboarding and implementation, and a wide range of integrations, SDKs, and APIs — not to mention a white-label field service portal that boosts your customer satisfaction KPIs.
At Localz, we offer all this and more. You can tailor our solutions to meet your needs with our out-of-the-box applications, or you can integrate our location and communications SDKs into your own enterprise solution.
Offering a customer portal is a crucial factor in improving your customer experience, which in turn leads to better customer satisfaction KPIs. When it comes to options for implementing a portal, your best bet is to leverage specialised field service customer portal software from a provider like Localz that offers customisable solutions and abundant support.