When it comes to field services, it’s often not enough to just have the skills to get the job done. Because these services tend to take place predominantly in a customer’s home, garden or business, it’s important for those going out into the field to understand the working environment they are entering.
Field service requires supplementary skills like communication and interpersonal management to ensure that customers are happy while still giving technicians the space to do their jobs. As technology advances, so does field service software, easing the burden on workers going out into the field.
So how do these field service management solutions play out in the field? More importantly, how do they facilitate customer communication on the day of service?
Within the wider branch of field service software, field service automation is often the starting point for effective communication. This is facilitated by an efficient scheduling process that allows customers do determine the best time to receive the field service without the extra work of phoning and emailing to schedule and having to wait for confirmation.
Through smart scheduling that puts all the options in front of a customer, unnecessary engagements are cut down, meaning that the actual labour of human engagement is can be dedicated to where it’s needed most – field service day.
Communication doesn’t necessarily mean a conversation. In essence, communication comes down to the relaying of information from one party to another in ways that facilitate the goals of both of them.
When it comes to field service management solutions, smart tracking allows customers to clearly follow operations and stay up to date through the convenience of their mobile device. Through travel/GPS optimisation, customers can track service vehicles as soon as they leave for the field site, similar to the services deployed by online delivery apps
Tracking extends beyond travel between the business site and field site too. When on site, technicians will have different processes to follow. Provided that these processes have a clearly defined chain of completion, technicians can update progress at the click of a button, keeping customers informed even if they aren’t on site.
This also allows field workers to effectively communicate any complications that may arise, both to the company itself and to customers where necessary. No one likes being blindsided by bad news or inconveniences, but early communication is essential to a resolution-based strategy.
Most customers can generally make concessions if they have enough time to prepare, especially if the fault isn’t with the service but the underlying problem. Being proactive in resolving problems encourages customers to focus on a solution rather than complications and also inspires trust in the process if it’s clearly defined.
This is why adaptability is so important to customer communication. A rigid system will break before it blends, but one that’s designed to accommodate the complications that naturally come with field service will adapt and limit the amount of resources needed for resolution.
Customer communication, like all communication, is a flow of information that arrives at the right time, through the appropriate channel, and expresses the intent behind the information too. It can elevate a customer’s experience with field service as well as make it easier for technicians to effectively communicate without distracting from the job.
There’s a secondary element to excellent customer communication too, and that’s branding. Field services often come down to maintenance, installation and troubleshooting services. This means that many of the processes that technicians might be called out to perform are recurring.
Having a customer communication management solution that creates a professional experience for customers not only encourages call backs for any future problems, but gives them a reason to promote the business through word of mouth.
One of the biggest channels customers use to find these services is simply recommendations from a friend – so good communication could not be any more important.