Trade businesses can keep customers happy with job management tech
In the fluctuating global economy, a key interest for consumers is value for money. As general living costs continue their upward rise, people are becoming increasingly concerned with whether the product or service they have purchased is worth it’s nominated value.
This concern of the consumer makes many blue-collar industry customers skeptical of the service or product they are receiving and the business that delivers it. Businesses are now, more than ever, under pressure to deliver a service that is not only affordable and exceptional, but also one that aligns with what the customers expectations.
Customer satisfaction is what drives the field service industry: if a business gets it wrong it affects the bottom line. Small mistakes regarding scheduling, the service provided, invoicing or even time taken to complete a job can be costly for business owners and operators for two reasons: customers will expect the cost for correcting defective work to be free of charge, thanks to social media and the internet, reputation will more than likely also take a hit online.
With the rise of the internet, disgruntled customers now have a forum from where they can publicly share service experiences, meaning that it’s not always going to stay between the business and the customer.
Being a successful field service business owner in the 21st century is hard, but thanks to advances in technology, many companies are now able to create efficiencies within their day-to-day workflow that will not only ensure mistakes are limited, but more importantly, keeping customers and profit margins happy.
Businesses in the blue-collar industry are turning to cloud-based software to assist them in improving the speed of day-to-day processes and streamlining communication so that staff can turn their focus exclusively on the customer.
By simplifying workflows, storing data for easy-access, and improving communication, those supplying the job management tech are aiming to give make day-to-day operations much quicker and easier for blue-collar businesses, so that they have the time to pinpoint problems with or potential risks to the efficiency of basic business operations, and focus on improving their service and products for the customer.
To help trade businesses to identify workflow issues, we’ve outlined some common complaints from customers of field service businesses and listed how job management tech can assist in solving them:
Excessive time spent waiting for assistance
Most customers expect help as soon as possible, and sometimes there isn’t an engineer or the time available to assist them.
Excessive time wasted waiting for an engineer to be located and contacted to discuss ETAs can lead to customer dissatisfaction, and an inefficiency between jobs - both of which can cost the business time and money.
Cloud-based software, like simPRO’s, allows managers to prioritise and schedule jobs. They can see real-time locations of staff, the duration of the current job and their availability for the day.
This not only means the best engineer to attend to a job can be located in a timely and efficient manner, but it will also keep the customer happy by providing quick return contact regarding an estimated time of arrival.
Unresolved issue after initial attendance
It is not uncommon for an engineer to arrive at a job, realise that an extra part or tool is needed and then have to leave the job site to return to the warehouse to retrieve the right materials, place an order if out of stock. While this may be an unavoidable risk of field service work, it still means that the customer is left hanging with their issue ongoing, and the staff member having to return a second or even third time to complete assistance.
Completing a job request the first time is a great way to keep customers happy, and easily achievable with cloud-based software.
Software like simPRO’s means that engineers have access to an inventory database no matter where they are, and allow them to access customer information history to better understand what has been done in the past and reduce the need for follow-up appointments.
Using field service cloud technology, field-based staff are equipped with a device (be that tablet or phone) that gives them access to all the information they need, meaning they can solve issues for the customer more efficiently and, hopefully, with a single attendance.
Incorrect of unclear invoicing
As previously mentioned, customers are very concerned with the value of the service or products they require - in the field service industry in particular, business owners will find that clients will want to know exactly how much the service is going to cost before they’re charged, and this is where problems can arise.
Invoicing a client more than was quoted, even more than they expected is a certain way to raise a complaint, especially when there is a lack of understanding of where the costs are going.
Cloud technology means trade businesses can give customers a detailed and easily understandable quote or invoice. Engineers can generate itemised invoices and receipts on the spot and customers can pay immediately, resulting in a positive customer experience from the phone call for a quote right up to the job’s completion and immediate invoice.