Can a technician drive customer satisfaction or retention? Or is the tech valuable in that they can turn more wrenches in a given day? Does field service truly have an impact on happy customers?
The service technician and the field service organization play a role in all of the above. However, the impact that the tech can have on the customer experience must be looked at more fervently in this new age of business. Customers no longer have to wait on service and now have the technology to evaluate the service organization (and almost as importantly the competition). This additional empowerment should not be viewed as a threat but an opportunity for the service organization to use touch points such as a field service visit to bring value to the customer relationship.
Aberdeen’s recent report on Secrets to Optimize Field Service for Better Customer Experiences (September 2013) highlighted how top performing organizations have begun to look to field service to improve customer satisfaction as opposed to solely focusing on operational goals such as reduced travel time or worker productivity. These operational metrics definitely have an impact on the customer relationship, but they can often times be misleading. For example, if technicians are completing more jobs in a day, that may seem great as more customers have fixed assets. But, what if the asset or piece of equipment fails again tomorrow because the tech didn’t take the appropriate time to identify the true nature of the problem. Or, what if travel time is reduced so the technician is able to get to a customer site more quickly, but the customer isn’t there to let the tech fix the problem. These improvements from the service organization’s perspective may not actually have a positive impact on customer satisfaction, and can actually lead to a negative experience.
If you would like to learn even more about the topic of service and its impact on the customer experience, Aberdeen welcomes you to listen to a recap of its upcoming 8th Annual Chief Service Officer Summit which can be found here.
Service doesn’t end when a failure is fixed, the service experience extends beyond one single touch point and the customer relationship must be the focus of a Best-in-Class service organization.
This article first appeared in Field Technologies Magazine and and was written by Aly Pinder, Senior Research Associate at Aberdeen Group.