Customer experience is the Big Thing in business right now. One of the biggest-kept secrets is how the complaints you accumulate can unlock it for you.
You can put all of the whinging to good use, once you know how to do it.
Why is customer experience important?
As a customer of other businesses yourself, you know that the buying experience really matters. If someone is rude, doesn’t recognise what you bring to a transaction - or they are running late - it can completely shift the rest of your day.
Why then, if we all have this very personal knowledge about customer service and customer experience, do so many businesses get it wrong? It’s partly because we are so focused on our own processes. What we should be doing is looking at the transaction from another perspective.
For example, as someone looking at a cloud system for your field service business, you are probably focusing on two key things: Cost, and efficiency. But have you given much thought to the system’s impact on your external and internal customers?
Chances are that your administrators have. While it’s no secret that admin workers are the modern equivalent to the industrial line worker, one thing they think about is how to stop the complaints. It’s because they see how the minutiae of the business connects - and that’s what is really valuable. It’s what is hidden in the patterns of work that enables field service companies in fields as diverse as airconditioning and pest control to become outstanding businesses when they pay attention to great customer experience.
Great customer experience results in stronger customer loyalty
In a podcast about this exact topic, the McKinsey marketing and sales team discovered that a flawless customer experience means they are ‘lower in cost to serve’, and have a ‘higher potential to be more loyal customers for this company’. As you [design your new workflow](WORKFLOW BLOG), paying attention to each individual touchpoint can help you to create a smoother, and more satisfying, experience for your customers.
The data doesn’t lie
This isn’t idle speculation by marketers. In 2017, Salesforce conducted a survey that showed that 64% of consumer respondents expect real-time interaction. Data from McKinsey tells us that one of the key facets of good customer experience is consistency; a finding echoed by Deloitte who discovered that ‘a consumer’s decision to buy a product or service is impacted by their overall enjoyment of their experience’.(Source.)
More and more, these sentiments are being found to matter, in all channels - from mobile to phone interaction.
Your administration processes show you the customer touchpoints
When corporate strategists talk about the ‘customer journey’, what they are really talking about is a sequence of customer touchpoints. Each one of them contributes to, or detracts from, a great customer experience.
As you start unpacking your workflow to move to a cloud-based system, you will be able to see how all processes impact your customers. It’s not just the immediate, customer-facing interaction, but also internal process. Eventually, all internal processes impact on your customer’s experience of your company.
Here are just a few examples:
- Problems with scheduling can result in jobs being done later than expected, which emerges occasionally as a customer complaint.
- Relationships with suppliers can influence your internal supplies, thus impacting job completion times.
- Poorly lodged timesheets may result in billing customers late, which can impact negatively on your customers’ ability to pay.
- Lack of access to updated customer information can result in a field service team member not being up to date, and the customer feeling like the company doesn’t care about them.
You could probably think of many more! When you don’t yet have the right system in place, once that connects all of the touchpoints that eventually impact your customers, you can find yourself presenting a less-than-brilliant picture to your customer.
Business has changed, and customer expectations are very high. Getting it wrong can really damage your business.
How to create beautiful customer experiences
Start with your customer complaints and customer feedback. Ask your team members to keep records of customer comments.
Customer service is one area many businesses overlook, simply because it can be quite confronting. Even if it is confronting for you, customer comments shine a light on areas that you may not be able to see.
By tracing the complaint to the root cause, you will be able to unlock a number of other parts in the delivery chain that are may have contributed to the situation.
Second, ask what it would look like if everything was as perfect as possible? What would that mean for the people at the receiving end? And what would be forced to change internally in order to make this happen?
Very often, solving one issue means you can solve a cascading series of events. Each one that you solve will drive important and meaningful change throughout the business.
Checklist for creating outstanding customer experiences in field service businesses
This checklist will enable you to create a service that nobody will be able to replicate:
- Analyse complaints: From customers, suppliers, and team members
- Identify patterns and groups. Remember that the smallest changes can have the biggest impact to the whole experience, but that they are often the hardest to spot. Identifying the patterns and which changes are deepest acting can be the hardest part of the process. Think about the changes from all perspectives - including how they could possibly go wrong.
- Prioritise your actions.
a. Identify the single actions could you take that resolve the highest number of complaints in one fell swoop
- Create a timeline for fixing them, and then schedule the change
- Check it off when it’s done, and move to the next most impactful change.
Your workflow system is the perfect opportunity to take your business to another level
If things could be as perfect as possible, from an internal perspective, what would that look like? Flipping the question over, what would it mean for those at the other end - your clients and suppliers?
Our experts at myFLO work with people just like you to create exceptional, buttery experiences for everyone, including your customers. To find out how we can help you make your business unbeatable, talk to one of our one of our team members today.