Betsy Sanders said it best, “Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It's a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do if you're to bring it to your customer interactions."
Companies that place service at their core are the companies that change customers’ lives.
Zuper’s Head of Field Service Evangelism, Michael Israel, introduced the concept of “completed service work” as one-way companies can raise the bar on service.
Creating a culture of “completed service work” ensures your team delivers an exceptional experience every time. First, however, your operations must support your technicians.
Below you will discover how to establish operations to prioritize customer outcomes and keep them coming back.
Understand Outputs vs. Outcomes
Too often, field service operations are a series of outputs without enough consideration of what the outcome will be. As a result, the technician’s outputs revolve around completing the service efficiently and not the customer experience.
Undoubtedly, streamlined field service operations, including detailed checklists and workflows, are necessary for consistency, but businesses must take it further.
Every output should connect to an outcome— such as a technician following a maintenance checklist connected to an improved asset lifetime and, thus, an improved customer experience.
Now, instead of the technician simply completing tasks, they are focused on the result. It creates a mindset shift that makes superior service the priority.
When you create work processes geared toward an outcome, you can recognize any missing pieces and improve your overall customer experience.
Create a Seamless Transition from Sales to Service
Businesses train and critique their sales process exhaustively. They make sure every touchpoint makes the prospective customer feel valued and enthusiastic about what is next.
But why stop with your sales team?
Sales teams are only engaged with your customers at the beginning of the relationship, whereas service teams are a part of your customer experience throughout their lifetime.
In reality, your field service technicians are–or could be–your best salespeople.
For that to work, you need to make your sales-to-service transition seamless. You can do that by connecting your sales CRM to your field service management system—like Zuper connects to HubSpot. Then, your technicians know precisely what sales previously discussed with your customers and the best next steps.
It also empowers your technicians to build on the established sales relationship, continue diagnosing customer needs, and recommend the appropriate services.
If done correctly, your field service technicians become your greatest brand ambassadors.
Generate Quality Contracts
Some people think contracts are legality, but they are much more. A good contract sets the stage for a strong customer relationship by creating a clearly defined agreement between both parties.
The key phrase to remember when drafting your contracts is clearly defined.
Vague is the last thing you want to be when establishing a contract. Instead, you want straightforward and easy-to-understand language to ensure you and the customer know what the service includes when it will be delivered, and how to settle the invoice.
And the management of the contract is equally important. To get a contract reviewed and approved efficiently, you can use Zuper to send it via email and let the customer approve it at their convenience. The digital review and approval capabilities reduce the time it takes to schedule your customers for service.
Develop Service Workflows with a Purpose
One of the customers' biggest complaints with field services is timing. When your appointment windows are too broad, your customers do not know when to expect the technician. As time ticks by, they become increasingly frustrated.
Instead, you want to keep your customers informed through automated appointment reminders. By setting up reminders, including estimated time of arrival alerts, you make your customer feel like they are in control. With no more sitting and staring at the clock, they can go about their day knowing when to expect your service technician—setting the right tone for the appointment.
Moreover, businesses can improve their checklists and workflows to encourage technicians to act as customer representatives by adding steps such as a quick, complimentary inspection of additional assets.
Ultimately, every aspect of the service appointment should be built with the desired customer outcome in mind.
Monitor the Right Metrics
Testing the success of your operations relies on knowing your metrics.
Three metrics operations expert Michael Blumberg recommends all field services monitor are your customer renewal rate, your first-time fix rate, and your speed to resolution.
You can better predict your cash flow by paying attention to the number of customers you retain.
Many companies achieve a renewal rate of around 75%, significantly decreasing the amount you need to spend attracting new customers. And two things that help you retain customers are completing the service the first time in the timeframe you say you will.
If you pay more attention to your lead metrics over your lag metrics, you can identify concerns before they become issues.
For example, you want to track your customer feedback for sentiment analysis or what your customers say about your business and whether it is positive or negative.
If you start noticing a recurring negative sentiment about a specific asset, service, or technician, you can intervene to remedy the problem before potentially losing customers over it.
Adding consistent and comprehensive data monitoring to your operations helps you to maintain a healthy, growing business.
Build a System That Passes the Stress Test
The best way to know if your operations will work is to stress test them. The right system will allow you to double your workload without falling apart. If your system does not, you will not be able to scale.
Your service is only as good as the operations that support it and what you need to keep in mind when choosing the best platform to run your business.
Zuper is the most flexible and customizable field service management platform that empowers you to operate your business your way. From scheduling to contract management, workflows, reporting, and more, Zuper provides the tools you need to best serve your customers and keep them coming back.
This post was inspired by Zuper FM’s A Framework for Completed Service Work with Michael Blumberg and David Nour. Listen here now.