Exceed their expectations: Three keys to better customer experiences

This is Part One of a four-part series covering how SIs can properly manage their field service teams – driving increased revenue, higher customer satisfaction, and streamlined operations.

The impact of customer service can’t be overstated – it has hard outcomes for a business’ client acquisition, retention, and overall bottom line.

In fact, nearly 8 in 10 consumers “have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.” [1] Meanwhile, more than 86% say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience – and about the same number of report they’ve begun working with a competitor following a poor customer experience.[2]

Given these sobering statistics, it’s no wonder that the “experience economy” has become an industry buzzword. Customer experience (CX) has moved to the core of strategic planning, as businesses know clients now demand more than a mere service or product.

Surprisingly, however, according to Forrester’s 2017 CX Index, “CX quality plateaued or declined for most industries and companies” last year. That’s because many businesses  “tackled low-hanging fruit to put early points on the board,” so the CX initiatives they implemented didn’t have enough “clout to force meaningful operational change,” Forrester says.

That’s why the firm predicts that 2018 will be a watershed year: 30% of companies will experience further declines in CX performance -- translating to a net loss of one full percentage point of growth.[3]

Don’t be one of the 30%.  Take action – and transform your customer experience in these three ways:

1.    Launch a customer-friendly web portal. Today’s customers expect digital experiences in every aspect of their lives. A speedy, intuitive web experience not only delivers for your customer but benefits you, too -- Volt480’s platform, for example, takes submitted work orders and immediately broadcasts them to providers.

2.    Offer always-on functionality, showing the customer you’re ready the moment they need you. The days of filling out a lengthy form and waiting for a call back are long past. We live in an on-demand world, in which we can order takeout or car service with just a few taps on our smartphones – and field service should be no different.

3.     Avail yourself of local engineers and expertise, only when they’re needed. Leverage the “gig economy” to extend your business’ reach. Hiring additional people, including those with specialized skill sets, can greatly expand your options to book more jobs and increase revenue. Freelance engineers allow you to fill your bench immediately when needed, reducing the overhead, payroll, and time involved in hiring a full-time staffer.

[1] http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2011/csbar.aspx

[2] http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/cust-exp-impact-report-epss-1560493.pdf

[3] “Predictions 2018: A Year of Reckoning,” Forrester