7 innovative ways to communicate with customers
The pandemic changed a lot about field service.
During times of lockdowns and high COVID transmission rates, customers had to get very comfortable adopting technologies that allowed them to order from home and have contactless experiences — whether it was takeout, groceries, home supplies, or Amazon deliveries — and their expectations around visibility and communication changed.
But even now, as most pandemic restrictions have been lifted, these customer expectations around transparency and immediacy remain.
So, how do you connect with your customers in a meaningful way that also meets their modern expectations? How do you continue to offer them the safety, privacy, and ease that they’ve grown accustomed to — and set your business apart?
Read on to learn seven innovative ways to communicate with customers, build sustainable relationships, and elevate your brand.
1. Send proactive appointment reminders.
Appointment reminders on the day of service are a great way to stay in touch with customers and ensure they’re home and available. But don’t neglect the days leading up to the day of service; these are a prime opportunity to provide appointment reminders as well as options to confirm, reschedule, or cancel services.
When you’re in communication prior to the day of service, not only can a customer better prepare for the service personnel’s arrival — for example, making room around a leaky faucet or clearing space around a car — but you’ll also increase your first-time fix rates, and better prevent last-minute cancellations.
2. Provide status alerts on the day of service.
Send customers appointment reminders on the day of service — via their preferred communication option (e.g., SMS, email, or messages via a customer portal) — that indicate the status of their service appointment and make them aware that they will be alerted when their assigned technician is en route. In addition, provide them with the ability to check their appointment status in a self-service portal to ensure fewer calls to your call centre and lower the burden on your back-office staff.
3. Offer two-way communication channels.
Two-way communication is an excellent way to engage with customers and let them know their needs are important to you — for example, a customer can send a message to their technician to let them know they’d like to mask up or that they require extra time to get to the door.
Two-way chat also allows customers to let operatives know important access information such as gate codes, which can lower no-access rates and give your techs time back in their day to serve more customers.
4. Enable real-time tracking.
The majority of customers get anxious about the day of service, and they want to be able to schedule their time around an appointment. Provide real-time tracking updates that allow them to see details such as what place they are in the queue or where their operative is on a map, as well as a link to two-way chat, and make sure they have accurate ETAs outlining when they can expect the mobile worker.
Worried about the security of sharing your service personnel’s personal information or location? With Localz, you can customise your tracking options to align with your employees’ comfort levels around privacy and safety.
5. Give transparent details.
Part of communicating with customers is being crystal clear about whom they should expect at their door. Some people are, understandably, uneasy about opening the door for a stranger, so providing technician information ahead of time can make customers feel more comfortable.
The level of detail can be everything from a photo of the operative, their vehicle license number, and credentials to certifications and a unique, one-time PIN they can provide to customers to let them know they’re legitimate. Make all this information available at your self-service portal as well, so customers have it at their fingertips.
6. Provide proof of service.
We typically think of proof of delivery as being specific to parcels, but similar technology can also be used to provide proof of service. If a customer wasn’t available for their appointment, provide digital proof of service through time-stamped and geotagged photos added by the mobile operative. Both customers and operational staff can easily access this proof of service through field service technician apps.
7. Follow best practices for feedback collection.
Feedback is one of the best ways to communicate with customers. Right at the close of an appointment, automate a feedback survey to send to the customer while their experience is top of mind. Make the questions easy to answer, and don’t ask too many, then use their insight to make changes that address their concerns and create more positive experiences.
By collecting feedback digitally, you don’t put customers on the spot in person with their mobile worker, and you can take immediate action on any complaints. Also: Let customers opt in or out of follow-up calls — Localz customer Welsh Water was able to reduce third-party follow-up calls by 83% this way.
Localz can help you engage your customers for long-term loyalty
Wondering how to build connections with customers? It all boils down to effective and innovative communication.
Customer expectations are high, so engaging with them before, on the day of, and after their appointment is important. And Localz can empower you to connect with customers in all the ways we’ve mentioned here and more.
Our modular, highly configurable solutions help you meet everyone’s needs — without rebuilding your tech stack from scratch. From self-service portals where customers can make changes to appointments and find out more about their technician to real-time tracking updates, place in queue services, two-way communication, omnichannel communication options, and simple feedback forms, Localz offers day-of-service interactions that help build meaningful relationships with your customers.