By Katie Simpson on May 13, 2014
Working in field service, your business is always about your customers. Studies show that buying products and services can be dramatically affected by reviews, even online ones. Delighting customers not only increases their lifetime value but also creates potential for a great review both online and in the real world.
Can you provide better service without giving your customers caviar and champagne? Creating better behind the scene processes can improve your productivity and customer service. A switch to mobile apps can not only make your customer service better, but also save your company thousands of dollars this year.
Starbucks, on average, can make 88 coffee drinks in an hour. This efficient system not only delights customers, but encourages people to wait out a seemingly long line. Even at my grumpiest 8 AM self, I’m willing to wait behind 10 people, knowing a hot coffee will be in my hand in five minutes.
You don’t have to be a giant corporation to know that the more jobs you do in an hour, the more revenue comes in. However, if you have to go to customer’s houses or businesses, the number of jobs your technicians can do in a day is limited. The time for each job declines further when technicians need to spend time either finding job information or needing to go back to the office to get the next job assignment.
A light dispatch service with mobile apps can help decrease the time between jobs. You can pre-populate forms your technicians will be using on site such as work orders or service tickets. The employee will receive a push notification on their smartphone or tablet, showing that they have a job. You can send information such as
Not only does this save time for technicians between jobs, but also during the job. Once on site, the technician doesn’t have to enter this information a second time into their report. They only fill in the work they did and hit submit. Customers enjoy faster jobs, and technicians spend less time dealing with paperwork.
“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” - Peter Drucker
When providing service, the experience can make or break it for the customer. Zappos, for instance, encourages their customer service reps to stay on the phone with a customer as long as need be. From a productivity stand point, this seems detrimental, even hurtful to the business.
However, by letting customer representatives focus on helping people rather than numbers, they provide better experience to customers. Not only have they helped someone have a good experience, but also created a potential review or possible word of mouth referral.
Creating a great experience at Zappos isn't just about handling a return, it creates a potential marketing opportunity, and growth that a company can’t buy or fake.
On the opposite side of the spectrum are the bad customer service experiences. We’ve all been the customer who has waited at home for eight hours for a technician that never shows. Or struggled on the phone to go over an overpriced invoice.
As a consumer, these experiences are painful, time consuming, and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Instead of referring more customers, you’ll probably complain to friends and family. Suddenly, one bad experience has created a negative referral market, driving customers away from a company.
Going mobile can prevent these negative customer experiences. Having a light dispatch can ensure not only that your employees arrive on time, but also have an understanding of the issue before they arrive. The customer gets a faster, better experience with your employee. With in-app calculations and reference data, you can prevent misquoted invoices or numbers errors as well.
What once was a routine experience can be faster, easier, and flawless, every time. Mobile apps can help provide an extra touch, surprising and delighting customers. When you can give great customer experience, you create a potential and powerful referral network that will help your business grow.
A major hassle for customer service occurs when customers lose paperwork. If you do outdoor pool or pest control work, sometimes service tags get lost due to wind or rain. Customers also become confused when carbon copies are difficult to read. Instead of reaching out to new customers, or working on upcoming jobs, your office gets caught on the phone trying to help an existing customer on a job already done.
Rather than spend extra hours searching for paper forms to make a copy for your customer, it may be time to ditch paper altogether. With a mobile app, you can send a clean PDF receipt straight to your customer’s inbox. With clear text, and images, customers love the instant response and professional feel that these emails provide.
“One of my biggest selling points is the digital service tag” -Saul Rozema, Owner of Sonoma Valley Pool and Spa
Worse case, the company themselves can actually lose receipts. One food service company realized that they were losing $10,000 a month due to lost paper work orders. Their technicians were providing great service, but the company couldn’t charge clients without the paperwork. By switching to mobile apps, they were able to capture 100% of their work orders, and bring up their revenue.
Depending on the business, it could take weeks for a sale cycle to complete. This isn’t because your employees are lazy, it’s because paper slows down your processes. It can take technicians days to return to the office, bringing their service tickets or work orders to the office.
Then, either they or an administrative employee must enter that information into a database. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to squint over illegible handwriting, or correct the report for any errors.
Only after a lengthy process can you send out an invoice to your customer.
Going mobile has turned many lengthy sale cycles from weeks into days. Every form finished via smartphone or tablet goes straight to the cloud. There, your office can access it in real time. You can also email the form directly to your customer as a PDF, to shorten your sale cycle even further. One plumber reduced their sale cycle from 17 days to 3.
These are just some of the ways service businesses are saving time and money with mobile apps. Discover more in our free ebook