Resource Type: White Paper
Published by: mplsystems
Title: Seven Key Steps to Achieving Customer Service Excellence in the Service Industry
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Over the last few years we have seen major change in nature of our customers; they are now expecting, and demanding, much more from customer service. In fact, nearly 70% of customers will leave a business if they don’t receive the customer service they expect.
Customers are now demanding quicker response times, more visibility, more control and much more knowledge when speaking to the customer service team.
This white paper analyses what factors influence customer perception of the quality of service delivered, how we measure it and ways service business can improve service delivery.
Topics within the white paper include:
1. Successfully measuring service quality to continually improve customer service
Increasingly businesses are adopting analytics to gain deeper insight into operational performance and customer behaviour to improve the customer experience. However it is reported that only 20% of organisations believe they have the technology and skills to gather the necessary insights to effectively measure performance.
Big Data is a buzz word making its rounds across a variety of industries and the field service sector is no exception. Over the last 10 years, field service organisations have become overwhelmed by the relentless flow of information coming in from multiple sources, in various formats and through an array of tools.
The major challenge businesses are facing is not only how to make sense of the massive amounts of data they collect, but knowing what they need to be measuring in order to improve the customer experience, as well as operational efficiencies.
2. Providing a Consistent Level of Customer Experience Across all Channels
Traditionally the service industry has primarily used the telephone as the main channel for customers to find out the status of their service request. However today’s customers have 24:7 access to an array of channels through their mobile devices and expect to able to contact a business through their channel of choice.
A more consistent, cross-channel customer service can be created by having a solution that can manage multimedia in a single universal queue (including voice, email, click-to-chat, fax, SMS, web and social media), rather than service desk agents having to deal with piecemeal technology and legacy systems that are disparate and complex.
All these channels can be placed on the agent’s desktop allowing them to see all required customer details, despite the channel they chose to contact them via.
3. Equip all Customer facing personnel with full, consistent, up to date knowledge
Knowledge is the key to providing high levels of a personalised customer experience and it is important to share this knowledge across the business and not keep it siloed within departments. Although many companies are trying to establish ways of effectively achieving knowledge share, it is common to face difficulties in keeping this knowledge up-to-date and making available to the right person at the right time.
It is important for businesses to understand that knowledge sharing needs to go beyond the confinements of the office walls and extend out to the mobile workforce who depend on knowledge sharing just as much with those in the office.
As customer facing employees and those who go out to fix problems and meet customers, it is essential for them to be able to access the information they need, when they need it.
4. Client Self Service and visibility of service status
The customer’s ability to arrange service calls or get status updates with a company is an important element of how a service organisation is viewed by its customers.
Online portals are currently the most used self-service channel within the service industry, however the functionality of these portals is still quite limited and often do not provide the customer with the control they require. One of the main problems that is limiting self-service portals is the lack of integration with existing business technology such as scheduling systems and field service engineer’s mobile device technology.
Organisations need to ensure that when implementing self-service portals, they are integrating them to all necessary back office systems to allow customers to not only access basic information such as billing, service requests or appointment booking but also allow them to make payments, amend or cancel appointments or have real-time updates of their service delivery without human interaction.
5. Motivate and train your technicians to go beyond basic repair
The field based engineers of your organisation are not just the ones who fix, prevent or manage customer requirements, they become the face of the business and one of the only employees from your business that the customers sees.
With this in mind, it is important to ensure the business is getting the most out of their remote workforce by training them in not only providing the best repair and maintenance service, but also by improving their soft skills in order to successfully communicate, listen and train customers on the products and maintenance best practice.
6. Increase help desk productivity with technical training and automation
Whilst training your engineers to carry out additional tasks such as quoting and ordering, it is also important to ensure that those on the service desk are also doing as much as they can to help improve the customer experience.
The traditional role of the service desk is to log customer requests and schedule them for the next available or most skilled engineer to go out and visit the customer. However, what if the service desk could provide some level of expertise in trying to find out more about the service request to better inform and equip the engineers and on some occasions even help solve the customers problem remotely, over the phone?
7. Stay one step ahead of the customer with proactive maintenance
The amount of reactive service requests coming in to an organisation can cause complexity for scheduling as well as effecting engineer availability, parts ordering and the amount of time it takes for the problem to be fixed.
To avoid the amount of reactive jobs being received, businesses should implement a strategy to track performance of components and analyse common faults in order to predict when maintenance will be needed.
The internet of things will also have a huge impact on service delivery and although still somewhat in its infancy, will soon be able to transform the industry