Think back to a time when you received something helpful unexpectedly. Maybe it was a car dealer giving you a welcome package of free service the first year after the purchase of your new vehicle. Maybe it was an upgrade to the next level of the SaaS you needed right then to complete a project at work – at no charge.
Or, maybe it was a phone call from the company president two weeks after you received delivery of the largest order your company had ever placed because he just wanted to check in to say thank you and make sure you are satisfied.
These big and little things matter in our business and personal lives. Customer service is the new marketing. In fact, the customer experience (often called CX) is so powerful it has changed the way we do business: a recent article “37 Customer Experience Statistics You Need to Know for 2019” on SuperOffice states:
A good customer experience means your customers spend more, with:
- 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience
- 73% of buyers point to customer experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions
- 65% of buyers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising
Plus, a Walker study found that by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Can you say competitive advantage?
But sometimes, it’s hard to see where incremental change can give you this competitive advantage without breaking the bank.
Most of it comes down to expectations. Unfortunately, the expectation of customer service can be pretty low. Customer service is often synonymous with problem resolution. And with call center or front line onsite assistance, it’s often “luck of the draw” and you get what you get. We don’t think that’s acceptable.
When you need customer service, you should have access to the company’s knowledge, not just the skill of the one individual standing in front of you. And by “needing” customer service, we really mean deserving customer service. Beyond the customer service when something is wrong and you need them a company to make it right, customer service should ask how you are, how things are going, how you are using your purchased product, and genuinely want to be helpful both reactively (in the case of a problem) and proactively (discussing your needs plus ongoing maintenance and preventative measures to minimize future emergency service needs).
We’ve said that by giving field techs remote assistance software that they can take with them to the front line at a customer location, you can often identify a potential problem before it becomes an issue – and proactively work with the customer for resolution before they end up being frustrated by downtime and machine breakdowns.
Picture thing: as a customer, would you rather learn that your part is at 90% of its life and have the opportunity to pre-order it at normal cost and book a time to have it installed when most convenient for you? Or, be in the dark about the potential failure only to receive a call at 3 am saying that the entire line went down due to this part’s failure, resulting in multiple broken parts, a 30% markup in part cost, overnight shipping, after-hours technician support at a higher rate, and a huge inconvenience (and loss of revenue!) for you.
CX for Field Service Management
Remote assistance software can save work order information and any intervention data collected during field service, creating hive learning for your entire organization. The knowledge of one tech can be shared anywhere in the world instantaneously, whether that tech is working at the moment or not. Resolutions happen quicker, customers save money and can get back to work quicker, and you are a hero. In the moment, you can easily access data and produce analysis and reports which can be shared internally or with the customer.
Beyond customer care, SLAs (service level agreements) prove to be a more economical way of making customers happier and increase vendor loyalty. Again, it’s all about the customer experience! SLAs offer more predictable revenue and staffing requirements regardless of time of year, weather, and the unknown – and they minimize risk for your customer.
CX for Facility Management
In other situations, you are not offering external field service but instead managing a facility in need of service. Advances in Building Information Modeling, or BIM, collects data from facility sensor points which building operation and management teams can use to identify areas of improvement or in need of attention. BIM dashboards are like the patient vital health monitors used in hospitals – but instead of patients, you can monitor all the “vitals” of your building and equipment: from machinery health to temperature to failures.
The benefits of facility management software go well beyond monitoring and reporting if something is not working. Remove the unknown: you plan when you want to do maintenance. You control downtime for repairs. Aside from catastrophic failures due to outside forces, you are completely in control of your facility schedule. Imagine never receiving another emergency call about equipment failure. Or having service information literally in the palm of every facility tech on the floor.
How do you ensure that your customers are satisfied?
Livemote gives service managers and technicians the tools they need to offer new value-added services. Facility managers get an affordable new way of working with internal teams and external vendors to proactively plan for downtime and optimize uptime. In fact, Reliable Plant says that:
“A company can save between 12-18% using preventive maintenance over reactive maintenance.”
Both field service for external customers and facility management for internal field service teams understand that proactive service and ongoing SLAs will make them an unsung hero within the organizations they service. Sometimes, reducing costs and minimizing calls bring the happiest customers. A little bit above and beyond what is expected can make a good relationship great. Livemote can help deliver the basics needed for a great CX, and added extras to cement relationships – and satisfaction.