How Connected Field Service Can Transform Customer Experience

In the first excerpt from a recent e-book sponsored by Salesforce, and now available at Field Service News, we look at how connected field service can transform customer and employee experience…

 

Many organizations have traditionally classified field service as a cost center focused narrowly on the installation and maintenance of physical assets. However, some companies are now looking at field service as a way to build revenue. They see their field- service workforce as onsite experts and brand advocates who can deliver an outstanding customer experience (CX) that strengthens the customer relationship.

 

CX is driven by data. The best way to improve the customer experience is to share a single source of truth across your service teams—contact-center agents, dispatchers, inventory warehouse staff, and mobile workers.

 

Field service management, built on a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, provides mobile workers the right information and resources to help the customer the first time. With a mobile app, field service technicians are positioned to deliver a positive experience consistently and drive new streams of revenue from anywhere.

 

“There are obvious consequences to a contact center keeping a customer waiting on hold for 30 seconds on the phone,” says Brian Cantor, principal analyst for CCW Digital, a research firm and consultancy focusing on CX. “But having a technician show up without the right tools or insights is much more devastating to the customer experience, and it results in frustration and customer churn.”

 

At the same time, Covid-19 has only put a sharper edge on customer demands. “All of a sudden, getting an issue right the first time wasn’t just about the effieciency of the service experience, but a safety” Cantorsays. “People were nervous about technicians carrying Covid.”

 

Consequently, Covid-19 has impacted customer expectations about how field service will be delivered. These expectations are pressing organizations to findnew and better ways to deliver value through field service, while adding new responsibilities to mobile workers, such as training them to be a pre-sales force or help identify sales opportunities that aren’t visible to those not “on the ground.”

 

A 360-Degree View of Customers

 

Field service is the face of a company. Mobile workers may be the only company representatives who meet customers, either remote or in person—often when those customers are dealing with difficult issues, such as a broken water heater. Whether in person or remotely, field-service technicians are still interacting with customers—influencing the CX.

 

The face of the company can be a positive or negative brand ambassador. A positive ambassador can develop a long-lasting customer relationship. However, a poor ambassador can cause issues for the brand if the field-service worker lacks the empathy, information, or resources to do the task at hand.

Data usage note: By accessing this content you consent to the contact details submitted when you registered as a subscriber to fieldservicenews.com to be shared with the listed sponsor of this premium content Salesforce who may contact you for legitimate business reasons to discuss the content of this briefing report.

This content is available for FSN PRO members and also for a limited period for FSN FREE members. Please make sure you are logged in to access this content. 

Not yet subscribed? Instantly unlock this content and more on our forever-free subscription tier FSN FREE

Unlock with FSN FREE

55% of companies see their field- service workers primarily as “onsite experts,” while 27% now feel that “brand ambassador” is their top role.

“When the customer explains their problem to the contact center, they don’t think of that as different than the dispatcher who sends out the mobile worker or the mobile worker himself,” says Kate Leggett, an analyst with Forrester Research. “The customer doesn’t want to have to repeat themselves. Siloed data doesn’t allow that kind of seamless interaction.”

 

Mobile workers need a 360-degree view of the customer to deliver service quickly and efficiently. “To control the customer experience, you have to control the flow of information end- to-end, from the customer calling in to the final resolution,” Leggett says.

 

Juan Cruz knows quite well the importance of having a comprehensive view of customers. He is senior manager for national field service for Fresenius Medical Care North America, which makes equipment for people living with chronic kidney diseases and related conditions—this equipment can literally mean the difference between life and death. Cruz oversees a staff of 55 technicians, including six managers who report to him from around the country.

 

Information disconnects have been a problem for Fresenius. “A lot of time the technician would go onsite to handle a recurring issue and apply the same fix that had already been applied over and over,” Cruz says. “We wanted to make the field-service experience a little less painful for customers, by giving the technician the ability to boot up their laptop and see what service had been done before.”

 

Just before the Covid pandemic started, Cruz implemented technology to provide a 360-degree view of customers, centralizing information about the customer’s service contract, previous orders, and service history. The field-service force was also equipped with tablets so they could consume and contribute data from the field more easily. Equipped with customer insights and resources, field service can look more deeply into issues and find better answers.

 

The 360-degree view has resulted in marked improvements in efficiencies and cost savings. The first-time fix rate, a key determinant of CX in field service, rose from 90%–92% to 96%– 97%. The “repeat rate”—when a technician needs to go back to address an issue again—dropped from 1% to less than half a percent. In the field-service practice, where every mistake impacts CX, and sending out a truck to a site can cost $200 to $400 per visit, this change is a significant improvement.

 

The centralized customer information has also provided Cruz with surprising findings about inventory. He discovered that some field-service workers had $3,000 worth of inventory and parts in their trucks, while others had $25,000 worth—a result of the inability to share information across departments. “In the past, I could run a report about how much inventory an agent had used, but I couldn’t run a report on truck stock,” Cruz says. “As a result, we had bloated inventory.”

 

With that information now available, Cruz can optimize inventory, allowing excess parts to go back to logistics and manufacturing departments.

 

In the next feature from this briefing paper, we are going to discuss how having a deeper view is important for field service workers.

Do you want to know more? 

 

For a limited time the white paper this feature is taken from will be available on our forever-free subscription tier FSN FREE as well as being available to all FSN PRO subscribers. 
 

If you are already a subscriber you can access the report instantly on the ‘read now’ button below. If the button is showing ‘Join FSN FREE’ please log-in and refresh the page. 

 

If you are yet to subscribe simply click the button below and complete the brief registration form to subscribe and you will get instant access to this report plus a selection of premium resources each month completely free. 

This content is available for FSN PRO members and also for a limited period for FSN FREE members. Please make sure you are logged in to access this content. 

Not yet subscribed? Instantly unlock this content and more on our forever-free subscription tier FSN FREE

Unlock with FSN FREE

Data usage note: By accessing this content you consent to the contact details submitted when you registered as a subscriber to fieldservicenews.com to be shared with the listed sponsor of this premium content Salesforce who may contact you for legitimate business reasons to discuss the content of this briefing report.

(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)
Close