There is a Misunderstanding
Customer satisfaction is the primary goal of any service provider around the globe but the process of keeping customers satisfied can often be misunderstood within an organization. Believe it or not, you do not need a very fancy office nor the finest product offerings. So what will satisfy your customers, you may ask? The idea is simple - you need to respond timely to their needs. Better yet, you can address potential issues and needs before it even arises. One of the best ways to make that happen is through proper preventive maintenance.
That is to say, any physical part, especially an operational piece of machinery, will only last for so long - no matter how great the quality of manufacture is. So what you need to do is send field agents to take care of these potential break-down risks to check for any discrepancy and do an overall rundown to ensure top performance and reduce downtime. While it is important to know that servicing is essential to give your customers a good experience with your products, you need to also know their problems on an individual level.
It’s All Good Until...
There can be multiple clients for your company and it is only natural for them to have different types of issues to report about. Furthermore, these customers may build a strong bond with your field agents who have previously done a satisfactory job. For example, a field service agent may visit one of your clients for the servicing of an air conditioner. While checking on the machinery, they realize that one of the bolts/screws from the air conditioner is missing. So they decide to replace it with one from your inventory. The customer is happy and your relationship with your client grows deeper.
But there is a catch - this customer is not the only one you will cater to and there are many more impromptu decisions that are often taken by your field service agents during preventive maintenance. Finally, your service agent has to note down the screws and bolts that were used during the service process and come back to the headquarter to input the information in a spreadsheet for the attention of the finance and procurement departments (need to replenish the stock of screws/bolts).
And Here's The Problem
Manually inputting the data in a spreadsheet can be problematic because of the possibility of human error and logistically a headache if you have to return to the office every time to do it. For instance, what if the field agent can’t recall if he used 2 or 3 type A bolts at Address X? Or perhaps a piece of machinery may have been used by your field agent but it was overlooked and not entered into the system. The result? Catastrophe.
Costs incurred that are now not claimable ( a loss for the company), Missing parts from your inventory, or double booking of the machinery by another team since they couldn’t see it booked already in the system (causing deliverability issues for yet another client). This is indeed problematic for your employee and your company at large.
Perhaps the solution is attempting to track it all down with a paper trail? But manually writing down the issues faced by your clients can also be a problem. Perhaps a new issue may arise with one of your clients after the preventive maintenance and they may complain about it to your company. This can put your company in a compromising position which can make you look incompetent. Even if you question that service agent who carried the task, there is no way for him or her to backtrack to the time when the service was provided.
They Faced It Too!
These are some very real problems that field service providers fall victim to but the good news is that such situations can easily be avoided. We have reached out to one such organization that operates in 21 points nationwide with more than 100 expert field agents specializing in multi products, mass deployment, training, designing, configuration, and so forth. This company faced similar problems and this is what a key operations personnel had to say:
“One of the biggest problems with field service companies like ourselves is that we often lose track of our activities. This is because there are so many things to do and so little time! Our clients face problems and we try to mitigate the problem as soon as possible. We look into the availability of our frontline workers and assign them to the tasks. As per company policy, they can take whatever equipment needed for providing the best service but providing service to so many clients makes it difficult for them to keep track of what types of equipment were used where.
This also brings me to the fact that it’s difficult to know what our customers are facing after the service agents provide the services. Realistically, there is only so much information you can retain and come back to the office to put them in our system. We realized that customer satisfaction will only be ensured if we make some changes within our organization. That is when we decided to go for a one for all solution - a field service system.”
The Light at The End of The Tunnel
The problem lies within the communication. It is because of the lack of communication (or miscommunication) that the field service agents of her company were facing troubles. With a field service system, this can easily be resolved. In terms of communication, a smart software such as a field service system is able to do the following:
It can let your agents communicate about their equipment used within the application: Doing everything manually would require the service providers to go back and forth to update the information. But with a smart software, they can seamlessly communicate with everyone within the company. For instance, just like our previous scenario about the air conditioner servicing, the field agent can locate a missing bolt and immediately notify the company about the issue. Therefore, the company would immediately know what parts of machinery were used by a particular field agent.
They can edit the needful information within the system: Customers may face different types of problems. As mentioned before, it is of utmost importance for the managers to know what the customers are facing. Whether it’s during preventive maintenance or after, the agent can simply take pictures of the problems and send it directly to the company. Later on, after the problem is solved, the agent can simply edit within the system stating the issue being solved. If there is ever a question about missing nuts and bolts or any other service issues, they can simply backtrack to the conversations and tasks that took place on a particular day.
Everything will happen in real-time: Since the application is connected to the company’s system, everything that goes on during the field service will automatically be updated in the system. This can let the decision-makers take quick action, forecast problems, and craft strategies to solve likely issues.
The functional benefits of a field service system helped the company solve the communication barriers:
“We are very pleased to see the results of implementing this application. Real-time updates of our employees and customers give us valuable insights for better decision making. Furthermore, it allows us to keep track of the field agents and whatever equipment they are using.”
Are You Ready?
Customer satisfaction is important and making sure that your organization has all the right tools to provide the right support is the key to answering their demands. With a field service system like Custella, you will not have to worry about falling into the pitfall of miscommunication and drive your clients away in the process. Don’t you think it is time to see what your business can do with it?
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