Beyond customer experience: How visibility benefits field staff

Businesses and households depend on field service workers to keep their homes and appliances running smoothly.

But waiting for a mobile worker to arrive can be stressful when customers are left in the dark.

Real-time communications and visibility relieve customers’ anxiety and make for a significantly better experience. These measures can also have a positive impact on technicians in the field.

Here we’ll take a look at how increased transparency makes jobs easier, faster, and more pleasant for mobile workers – without compromising control or privacy.

Why is visibility essential?

In all other areas of our lives, we’ve learned to expect visibility and control. We book a ride-share and watch the map as our driver approaches. We order a pizza and see real-time updates as the dough is being shaped. When our Amazon parcel arrives, we’re ready and waiting at the door. 

Yet when it comes to service delivery, customers have to put up with a four-hour arrival window. We generally have no idea whom to expect, or if they’re running late. Too often, we feel powerless, with no way to get important information to the operative.

Service companies are increasingly equipping customers with notifications, ETA tracking and two-way chat. Many companies automate these communications based on job status updates, or the technician’s location.

These measures require minimal effort from technicians, and help them to provide an exceptional customer experience.

Have you read?
Why are energy and water companies opting for real-time feedback?

Benefits for mobile field staff

1. Less multitasking on the job

We’ve seen that the “last-mile” of field service is often a gap in customer communications. Many companies fill this gap by asking technicians to phone or text the customer.

While this approach helps to reassure customers, it isn’t designed to meet the needs of busy technicians. It also means a lack of privacy, as phone numbers aren’t usually masked.

2. Customers are ready when you arrive

These days, we’re all spending more time at home. But life is full of distractions, and there’s no guarantee that customers will be ready and waiting for their appointment.

If a customer doesn’t know when to expect the visit, they may be in the garden when the doorbell rings. They may even have dashed to the shops.

This results in slow access – or no access – to the property. Technicians are left frustrated and unable to complete their assigned jobs for the day.

Sending a reminder on the day of the appointment will let customers know when they need to be at home.

This is followed by the “On My Way” message, which includes an estimated fifteen-minute arrival window based on the location of the operative’s mobile device will ensure that both the customer and operatives internally will know the ETA. 

These messages are a great way to provide last-minute reminders about special requirements, so that the operative can carry out their work safely. 

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3. Technicians can access vital information

Increased transparency doesn’t only keep customers informed. Often, your customers have helpful information that they’d like to share with technicians.

With two-way chat, customers can send instructions on where to go and what to expect. They can also ask the technician to wait if they’ve headed out for a few minutes.

Technicians benefit from knowing if a customer is out, or just slow to answer the door. The tradesperson can make an informed decision about whether to wait or declare a no-access visit.

Customer engagement with technicians in mind

A happy mobile workforce is key to delivering exceptional customer service. Field service tools should allow technicians to do the work they love with as little distraction as possible.