Field service customer satisfaction matters. If your field service customer satisfaction is poor, customers will vote with their wallets, and go elsewhere. And if your field service customer satisfaction is excellent - well, you’ll attract new customers, instead. So in terms of a metric to watch, it’s fairly fundamental.
The trouble is, it’s also a metric that is particularly difficult to get a handle on. Service Management software doesn’t report on it, for instance. Nor can field service customer satisfaction be counted, even though it’s often expressed numerically. And the raw data that you’re looking for—customers’ satisfaction levels—exists only in the minds of your customers.
All of which certainly makes getting a handle on field service customer satisfaction difficult, to be sure. But not impossible—far from it.
The secret of success? Taking every opportunity to proactively seek out your customers’ field service customer satisfaction levels.
Field service customer satisfaction: aim for instant feedback.
The first thing to do is work to build the harvesting of field service customer satisfaction data into everyday routine customer interactions—that way, you’re getting instant feedback on real-life transactions, rather than asking customers for general impressions about your field service operations.
You see banks and other financial institutions often doing this, by adding short surveys—sometimes of only one or two questions—to transactions such as telephone or Internet banking.
So consider building a short field service customer satisfaction into job completion forms that are signed by customers, for instance, with the idea of having the customer tick the box that most corresponds to their level of customer satisfaction.
Watch out for bias, though—some customers might be unwilling to provide adverse feedback with a field service engineer standing next to them. So consider leaving short surveys behind, complete with postage-paid envelopes. (Consider offering a monthly prize, too, in order to boost return rates.)
Alternatively, mail or e-mail your field service customers after each visit, or pay a market research firm to telephone a sample of customers once a month.
Field service customer satisfaction: survey design matters.
Another option is to undertake periodic field service customer satisfaction surveys. There are a number of dangers with this—some to do with survey construction, others to do with bias and weighting.
It’s the weighting problem that is probably most challenging to deal with. That’s because a survey that sends every customer a survey to fill in is a survey that treats every customer equally—ignoring the fact that some customers will be very infrequent users of your field service operation, while others will be very frequent users.
And given that it’s the experiences of the most frequent customers that you’re probably going to be most interested in, it’s probably making sure that this group is over-represented in the sample.
Watch out, too, for sloppy survey construction. The ‘golden rules’ of survey construction aren’t difficult to understand—yet are often ignored. Remember: the better designed your survey is, the higher the response rate, and the better the resulting insights into field service customer satisfaction will be.
Five top tips:
- Keep your surveys short, with as few questions as possible
- Keep the questions themselves short and unambiguous
- Avoid ‘loaded’ questions—keep the tone neutral
- Try for ‘yes/ no’ questions where possible—use techniques such as scales and ranking very sparingly
- Try to provide at least one free-format, ‘open’ question, where customers can express themselves in their own way.
Field Service customer satisfaction: what can we improve?Finally, whatever your approach to field service customer satisfaction surveys, aim to obtain actionable insights.
In other words, provide customers with opportunities to tell you how you could improve your performance, and raise your field service customer satisfaction levels.
So don’t just ask a series of questions soliciting customers’ views on how good (or bad) your field service customer satisfaction is. Also ask for specific pointers about what you could have done better.
Because even if customers are highly satisfied with your field service operations, there’s always something that you could be doing better.
So it’s important to find it, before your competitors do.