Beyond customer experience: How visibility benefits field staff
Businesses and households depend on field service workers to keep their homes and appliances running smoothly.
But waiting for a mobile worker to arrive can be stressful when customers are left in the dark.
Real-time communications and visibility relieve customers’ anxiety and make for a significantly better experience. These measures can also have a positive impact on technicians in the field.
Here we’ll take a look at how increased transparency makes jobs easier, faster, and more pleasant for mobile workers - without compromising control or privacy.
Why is visibility essential?
In all other areas of our lives, we’ve learned to expect visibility and control. We book a ride-share and watch the map as our driver approaches. We order a pizza and see real-time updates as the dough is being shaped. When our Amazon parcel arrives, we’re ready and waiting at the door.
Yet when it comes to service delivery, customers have to put up with a four-hour arrival window. We generally have no idea whom to expect, or if they’re running late. Too often, we feel powerless, with no way to get important information to the operative.
Service companies are increasingly equipping customers with notifications, ETA tracking and two-way chat. Many companies use Localz to automate these communications based on job status updates, or the technician’s location.
These measures require minimal effort from technicians, and help them to provide an exceptional customer experience.
Benefits for mobile field staff
1. Less multitasking on the job
We’ve seen that the “last-mile” of field service is often a gap in customer communications. Many companies fill this gap by asking technicians to phone or text the customer.
While this approach helps to reassure customers, it isn’t designed to meet the needs of busy technicians. It also means a lack of privacy, as phone numbers aren’t usually masked.
With just one click from the field operative, the customer receives a message via SMS or another convenient channel. You can choose to mask phone numbers so that all parties are protected.
Field staff love the convenience of one-click notifications:
One mobile operative in the utilities sector told us that since using the Localz app, he feels customer satisfaction has been improved, providing updates to customers has become a simple process. He loves that just with a click within the app he can let the next customer know he is on the way.
And these notifications don’t just save time in between jobs. As we’ll see, they also make things easier once the technician arrives at the property.
2. Customers are ready when you arrive
These days, we’re all spending more time at home. But life is full of distractions, and there’s no guarantee that customers will be ready and waiting for their appointment.
If a customer doesn’t know when to expect the visit, they may be in the garden when the doorbell rings. They may even have dashed to the shops.
This results in slow access - or no access - to the property. Technicians are left frustrated and unable to complete their assigned jobs for the day.
Our clients use Localz to send a reminder on the day of the appointment, so customers know when they need to be at home.
This is followed by the “On My Way” message, which includes an estimated fifteen-minute arrival window based on the location of the operative’s mobile device. The message links to a web-based customer portal, where customers can track the operative’s arrival on a live map.
You can choose to trigger an additional message when the technician is about to arrive. This doesn’t require any action from the technician, as the trigger is based on their geo-location.
These messages are a great way to provide last-minute reminders about special requirements, so that the operative can carry out their work safely.
“It was great knowing exactly when the engineer would arrive and gave us time to prepare, and also the reminder of keeping the pets away was very helpful” - End-customer feedback
In this example, you can see that Increased visibility has led to speedy access, happy customers, and a comfortable working environment for the technician.
3. Technicians can access vital information
Increased transparency doesn’t only keep customers informed. Often, your customers have helpful information that they’d like to share with technicians.
With Localz two-way chat, customers can send instructions on where to go and what to expect. They can also ask the technician to wait if they’ve headed out for a few minutes.
Technicians benefit from knowing if a customer is out, or just slow to answer the door. The tradesperson can make an informed decision about whether to wait or declare a no-access visit.
Hit some morning traffic. On our way. Should be there in twenty. Sorry!
Communications take place through the Localz platform, either via the customer portal or through SMS - so there’s no need for technicians to share their number with the customer, or vice versa.
The app also allows technicians to access crucial job information, without relying on schedulers. For each job, the mobile worker can view specific information including customer details, a route map and an ETA. And without leaving the app, technicians can navigate to the property using turn-by-turn navigation.
Customer engagement with technicians in mind
A happy mobile workforce is key to delivering an exceptional customer service. Field service tools should allow technicians to do the work they love with as little distraction as possible. Here’s how the Localz solution is designed to fit into an operative’s day.
1. Works with existing technology and processes
Localz technology is designed to respect technicians’ time, and fits easily into your current processes.
You can benefit from Localz features through the Manage My Day app, via a no-touch background app, or through integration with your existing mobile worker tools. Whatever works best for you and your field team.
The platform already plugs into top field service management platforms, so there’s no steep learning curve for staff.
2. Designed for mobile field service
Field service technicians are, by definition, mobile. That’s why we built Localz to meet the challenges of a workforce on the move.
Busy technicians can operate the Manage My Day app with one hand, and trigger “On my Way” notifications with just a click. This one small action removes the need for a phone call and increases the chance of finding happy customers on arrival.
If an engineer encounters a patchy network service, the core functionalities of the app are cached offline and will sync with the Localz platform upon reconnection. You also have the option to hold or cancel customer notifications automatically if the technician has already entered the geofence for the customer’s appointment.
3. Protects control and privacy
Increased visibility naturally raises privacy concerns for technicians. Your team will want to know who can see their location, and when?
Within the Localz app, technicians have total control over when their location is shared.
The mobile worker can toggle themselves “on” and “off” duty, which respectively enables and disables location sharing from their device. For clarity, the technician receives an alert when the app starts collecting their location.
When a technician is on duty, they can trigger “On My Way” notifications and power the real-time tracking map. Once the technician arrives at the job, the link to the map expires, so customers can no longer track the operative’s location.
Users of the office-based dashboard can only view operatives’ locations when they are “on duty,” so technicians don’t need to worry about tracking after hours or during breaks.
Customer communications can also spark fears about privacy. That’s why Localz allows number masking to protect both customers and field staff. You can also choose to route customer calls and messages to your contact centre, depending on your business needs.
The value of customer-centric service delivery
It’s clear that by putting customers first, you can also make life easier for field technicians. Operational visibility leads to reduced multitasking, increased access, and a comfortable working environment for operatives.
The Localz platform is built with your mobile workforce in mind. Tools are designed to fit into operatives’ routines and empower them to provide a better service. To find out more, check out the service delivery solution or get in touch with us today.