In the previous 3 blog posts, we looked at how we could leverage the features and functionality of ServiceMax Core and Asset 360 beyond traditional field services applications to impact revenue generation and retention, manage and control costs, and standardize and simplify workflows using unique workflow automation tools.

In this post, we will look at how these capabilities can improve the overall customer experience, reduce the amount of effort a customer expends to work with your services team, and how those things impact overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Revenue Generation and Retention: Transparency with invoices, work orders, charges, and entitlements enable customers to know exactly where they stand
  • Controlling Costs: Administrative accuracy provides for less administrative burden (for you and your customer), allows for lower overall cost, and greater value
  • Workflow Automation: Provides for ease of use, simplification of process, standard procedures, and clarity between you and your customers.
  • CSAT and NPS: Tying all the above together, it’s easy to see the positive impact on customer experience, satisfaction, and effort.

Revenue Generation and Retention

Given the ability to leverage workflow automation to track services warranties and contracts, ServiceMax users can ensure that customers know exactly what their entitlements are and when they expire. This is critically important to ensure that the correct services are delivered and there is no misunderstanding about which services are chargeable and which services are covered under their entitlements.

It also ensures everyone knows when contracts need to be renewed in order to ensure the continuation of services. Customers should not have to worry about whether their assets are still under warranty, if their service contracts have expired, and if they will be charged for services. With ServiceMax, all service provider personnel are aware—all the time and every time—of the status of the customer’s entitlements, as is the customer.

Properly configured, service organizations can track expiry dates, proactively contact customers to offer extended warranties and/or service agreement extensions or renewals to ensure that there is never a gap in coverage. There should never be a gap in coverage unless it is the customer’s decision. In this case, clear and unambiguous communication can be sent to the customers informing them of the gap in coverage and detailing what the time and material (T&M) charges will be applied going forward. When the technician arrives on-site, they will have all the pertinent information at their fingertips, including the communication of the T&M charges, should there be any confusion. This alleviates the requirement for customers to track their own contracts, monitor contract end dates, and removes the need for them to expend time and effort managing your contract.

When considering rental asset management, ServiceMax can provide all the information a customer needs through a customer portal. Past invoices, asset uptime, asset status, and any other pertinent information. Customers no longer need to search for data, take the time out of their day to make phone calls, or create repositories for their own information. Everything about their rental equipment, for the life of the rental agreement, can be available to them on a portal and be within easy reach when they need it.

In addition, leveraging the rental customer relationship to connect that experience with additional product offerings extends the value customers receive and the provider’s revenue opportunity. If a customer rents an asset that will be used for exterior house painting, offering them a discount on exterior wall paint and painting materials can be an unlooked-for benefit, increasing your share of their wallet while reducing the amount of effort they need to go through to prepare for their task.

Controlling Costs

We previously covered several elements of the ServiceMax solution that assist in controlling costs. Every element that enables service leaders to be more efficient, effective, and productive also allows for focusing on the value of the services rather than their cost.

Service delivery accuracy, getting invoicing correct the first time, reducing the number of credits, accrual reversals, and billing modifications greatly simplify doing business with your organization. Those things are significant value-adds to a customer and greatly reduce the amount of back-office labor that is needed to manage their relationship with you. It only takes one or two invoicing or credit errors to convince a customer that they must devote additional oversight to your services. This greatly reduces customer loyalty, trust and satisfaction while also significantly increasing customer effort to do business with you.

Fleet customers also benefit when your organization has an accurate understanding of asset condition, location, health, and status.  Services organizations that can evidence accurate oversight of rental assets, anticipate maintenance needs, and maintain equipment availability will be greatly valued by their customers. Also, monitoring the health of the asset, its economic output, and determining when the best time is to dispose of that asset and replace it with a newer, more reliable asset, takes additional strain off the customer.  By utilizing “Cost to Serve” analytics (age of the asset, maintenance costs to date, number and severity of service calls, asset uptime) service organizations can proactively manage their equipment fleets and upgrade failing equipment before it becomes a customer satisfaction issue.

Workflow Automation

Leveraging ServiceMax’s Service Process Manager (SPM), service organizations can easily and efficiently automate work processes across their Salesforce platform through configuration changes—clicks not code—and standardize and simplify work procedures. This not only has a significant effect on the service organization, via simplification, standardization, and replication or work processes and procedures, but it also greatly benefits customers throughout the life of the relationship.

Imagine a customer receiving responses in a standard format, timeframe, and level of detail for every query, every time! And that is for those rare times you have to make a query, because you have a fully functional customer portal with guided workflows for your requests that deliver the same results for you, in your time, at your leisure.

That workflow automation also standardizes data reporting and collection, allowing for accurate analytics, reports, and dashboards. We call that a Common Service Language, and by leveraging automation and SPM we can guarantee that data is collected the same way, measured the same way, and reported the same way for true like for like comparisons across multiple geographies, regions, and services.

This level of consistency is a major concern of customers who, in the past, have had to struggle with validating inconsistent service delivery across multiple locations. With SPM, you can use analytics to identify best practices, SPM to standardize best practice workflows, and SPM driven dashboards to implement and manage to a standard level of service delivery. This is a huge win for customers.

CSAT and NPS

Tying all the above together, it’s easy to see the positive impact on customer experience, satisfaction, and effort.

By providing the customer with a clear and accurate view of their accounts, contracts and cost, detailed accounting of services owed and billing, and automated workflows, you have a recipe for increased customer loyalty, decreased customer effort, and greater customer spend with your organization.

It is a digital transformation of the services industry that extends beyond the usual shaving a few minutes off a technician’s commute time. It is a foundational shift to digital automation and digital workflow that enables a service organization to focus more on value and less on cost.

ABOUT Joe Kenny

Joe Kenny is the vice president of global customer transformation & customer success at ServiceMax. His career spans over 30 years of leadership positions in Operations, Sales, Product Development, Product Marketing, and Field Service. Beginning his field service experience with the U.S. Naval Security Group Command (NSGC) as a mainframe computer technician, Joe subsequently lived and worked in Asia, the U.S., and Europe. Joe has focused on customer relationship management, using clearly defined and mutually agreed to measurements of success, and driving to continually exceed customer expectations, allowing for exponential business growth and client retention.