We’re still discovering the full effects of COVID-19, but a few things are crystal clear. One is that people have changed how they work and the way they want to work. The “Great Resignation” — a catchy moniker for the mass exodus of people leaving their jobs for more purpose-focused positions — has put the American workforce on tilt. Those who have kept their jobs are pushing for hybrid or remote roles and are relishing the opportunity to achieve that newfound balance.
Then there’s the shift in customer expectations. Within field service management, safety precautions like contactless service began as temporary tactics and are now seen as necessities. As all field service management outfits have come to realize, the onus is on the organization to make changes that meet that new standard. Here’s a quick look at a few of the ways COVID-19 reset customer expectations.
Just above, we mentioned contactless customer service, a concept intended to reduce unnecessary face-to-face interactions. Contactless customer service simply isn’t possible without digital technology like field service management software to bring customer and work order data into one cloud-based platform. On the other side of the relationship, customers are most interested in brands that allow self-service. This can include everything from online scheduling to online payments.
Digital integrations also enable personalization, which many customers crave. For field service companies, think of delivering timely and relevant email campaigns that touch on topics specific to the customer. Why is personalization important? According to McKinsey, 71% of people want companies to deliver personalized interactions. When it doesn’t happen, 76% become frustrated. A digital presence is a way to make personalization happen.
One of the first things to slow during the pandemic was the use of cash. As a result, many companies opted for cashless and mobile payment options. As of now, that trend hasn’t really fallen off. For field service companies, that means allowing customers options to pay online or on-site with a third-party payment processor. In some cases, technicians can even add a processor to their mobile devices so that they can swipe credit cards at the completion of a work order.
Sure, customers have always demanded answers, but heightened expectations have made it absolutely imperative for a business to have a solution at the ready. In the early days of COVID-19, customer support queries went sky high as contact centers were bombarded with questions and complaints. The crush of calls resulted in hours-long wait times for customers.
Though most queue times have returned to normal, what hasn’t changed is the customer’s insistence on fixes. Customer support staff must take the time to become deeply knowledgeable about the business’s goods or services. In addition, scripts and stock answers simply won’t fly in today’s climate. Customer service reps need to go the extra mile to uncover exactly what it is that customers need — and then find ways to make it happen.
For most people, COVID-19 was an unexpected wake-up call at the realization of what can happen in the event of a true global pandemic. People wore masks, stayed home or socially distanced, and tested often, all in the name of safety. While most of the country has returned to normal (or, at least, whatever the new normal is), there will always be that reminder of what can happen again. And it’s because of that sensation that customers want field service companies to maintain their strict safety protocols.
Contactless customer service is one way field service companies can reduce risks, but it’s not the only way. Many companies have continued testing policies and have strict protocols around employee illness. Field service software is a way to simplify such processes, since employee historical data and status can be logged and tracked within an existing system. It’s also easy to send out urgent alerts, health and safety reminders, and reinforce acceptable behaviors via monitoring while technicians work in the field.
Looking for some other ways to ensure you’re meeting your customers’ heightened expectations? EnSight+ can help with our cloud-based field service management software. Book your demo today to learn more.
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