The word ‘stress’ is one that field service management businesses don’t use very often. Nevertheless, it’s a factor in just about all of their customer relationships. How so? Because at the point that a field service engineer arrives on site, stress is something that those customers are often experiencing. The good news: service management software can help.A customer’s machine has suddenly broken down, for instance. In a factory, the result is that orders are backing up, sales opportunities are being missed, and the focus is on getting the machine up and running again as quickly as possible. In a home, or in a food service business, the result is similar inconvenience, potential financial loss—and again, stress.
Even routine maintenance is stressful. In theory, it’s known about in advance, and steps have been taken to work around it. In practice, life isn’t quite like that. And every minute that a machine is out of action, stress mounts.
To the rescue: service management software, which helps field service management businesses to deliver smooth, consistent and stress-free levels of service.
So let’s look at how service management software helps businesses to do this, by looking at the role it plays in each of field service management’s five golden rules for building excellent customer relationships.
#1 Service management software: superior on time service
The first golden rule for building excellent customer relationships in field service management is to be able to reliably arrive on site at the appointed time, as promised.
But it’s harder said than done. And the later that it is when the field service engineer finally arrives, the greater the stress for the customer.
The challenge: being able to predictably schedule not just each engineer’s work—which can vary in duration from job to job, and customer to customer—but also the travelling time taken between jobs.
But happily, that’s precisely the capability offered by service management software.
#2 Service management software: real time customer updates
The second golden rule for building excellent customer relationships in field service management is to be able to keep the customer updated when things aren’t going to plan, and the field service engineer can’t arrive promptly as promised.
Because here, the source of stress is two-fold. One, the engineer is late. And two, the customer doesn’t know when he or she is going to turn up.
Enter, yet again, service management software. Because with service management software, it’s easy for either the engineer or head office to not only update the customer with the news that there has been a delay, but also provide an updated time of arrival.
#3 Service management software: full Customer Relationship Management
The third golden rule for building excellent customer relationships in field service management is to know your customer.
To know, in short, all relevant information about the customer, their location, the equipment on site, and any special requirements—together with any past service, quality, or performance issues that it may be prudent to be aware of, before beginning work.
And while that’s the sort of capability that a very small field service operation with just a handful of employees can perhaps manage through informal systems, for any larger operation it’s almost impossible.
Especially if there are significant intervals between customer visits, and especially if there’s a regular turnover of field service engineers.
Yet happily service management software provides just this Customer Relationship Management capability—leaving your customer delighted that they don’t have to repeat themselves, service visit after service visit.
#4 Service management software: constant remote access
The fourth golden rule for building excellent customer relationships in field service management is to be able to stay in touch with headquarters remotely.
Because no longer is it practical for engineers to work in isolation, relying on a few well-thumbed instruction manuals, a van full of commonly-used parts, and a duplicate book for recording job times and perhaps issuing invoices.
These days, field service engineers need to keep in touch with head office—updating it as to progress with the day’s scheduled work, checking out the inventory levels, electronically invoicing, and ordering parts to be delivered direct to the customer site for subsequent fitting.
In short, by connecting your field service engineers to head office, you’re demonstrating to your customers that you’re a truly connected business—and thereby building an even stronger link between them and your business.
The secret for achieving all this? Yet again, service management software.
#5 Service management software: exceed customers’ expectations
Put all this together, and what do you find? Yes: with service management software, you’re effortlessly meeting the requirements for delivering on the fifth and final golden rule for building excellent customer relationships in field service management.
Namely, exceeding customers’ expectations. In short, you have taken a potentially stressful field service visit, and turned it into something which is controlled, adaptable, in touch, and firmly focused on your customers’ interests.
All thanks to service management software. Doesn’t that feel good?