When field service companies look to streamline operations and reduce costs, marketing is too often the casualty. And that’s a missed opportunity, since field service marketing has been proven to boost sales. Fortunately, operators don’t have to pursue one at the expense of the other: field technicians are effective, low-cost and often overlooked marketing tools. After all, who knows the customer, the business or how to improve service better than the boots on the ground?
Service technicians aren’t just sent to upgrade or fix equipment on-site; they are new-business generators. Here are three ways field service teams can help drive sales:
Exceed Customer Expectations
Field technicians should always engage with customers, whether it’s via a conversation or additional written information, with the goal of creating a positive experience. At training sessions, teach your team to talk with the customer about the maintenance or repair work that’s being done and what the payoff is for the customer. Encourage techs to provide customers with tips on how to care for their equipment, or even how to fix common problems on their own. This helps to build trust and establish the business as a go-to resource for when other questions or problems arise.
The techs should also give customers marketing materials before they leave, such as:
- Educational items: How-to, tutorial, or best practices pamphlets breeds goodwill and builds credibility.
- Business cards: Every tech should hand out a business card. Customers want a working relationship and, if they’ve had a good experience, will want to work with the same person the next time.
- Coupons: Give customers discounts on their next service call.
Take to Twitter, Facebook
Have your field techs and social media teams work closely together. When a tech finishes an assignment early or is running late, your social media team can communicate this to customers. When a tech completes an assignment early, he can use social networks to identify new customers who may be in need of the company’s services. Direct marketing to the individual consumer could lead to new business. Before you get started with social media:
- Develop a strategy. Will techs have their own business-associated accounts or will they communicate from a single company account? There are pros and cons to both approaches.
- Educate about the do’s and don’ts. Training here is a must as corporate social media mistakes can happen and they’re often damaging.
- Do a trial run. Test your social media strategy with a few techs before launching the social initiative company-wide.
Send an Email Follow-Up
Whether it’s a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, field service companies should take advantage of Internet-enabled portable devices to email market while on the move. Here’s how:
- Use apps. Whether it’s as basic as Gmail or more complex and from a service such as MailChimp or ExactTarget, encourage your techs to use apps that make things simple and reinforce your brand (e.g., they feature your business logo, colors, etc.)
- Use templates. Make it easy for techs. A simple template with graphics and standard copy that allows them to drop in some quick, personalized text and the recipient’s email address is a great option.
- Use what you know. The text within these emails should be specific to the recipient. A reminder about their next scheduled service (which was set that day) or a best practices recommendation are both options.
Your marketing team just grew without you going out and hiring. In-person deliverables, social media scheduling and sourcing, and immediate email follow-ups are just a few of the ways your field technicians can market themselves and your business while on-the-go. Collaboration between technicians and marketing can help optimize your on-the-go efforts, so go get started.