As we head into the busy summer months, technicians on the job are focused on making the most of their time. Dealing with an influx of customer requests requires hard work and diligence to maneuver swiftly and efficiently from job to job. Under this kind of pressure, it can be difficult to think ahead. But, with the use of technician-focused technology and enablement platforms, it’s easier than ever to additionally focus on fostering customer loyalty and repeat business.
Even during the busiest of seasons, increasing customer retention should be top-of-mind. According to research uncovered by the Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention rates by only 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Let’s walk through four steps field service providers can take to increase repeat work, create customer loyalty and plan ahead for shoulder season.
Before we talk about effective communication with your customers, let’s talk about strategic communication on the job that can assist a technician in completing their work quickly and thoroughly. After all, there’s no better way to increase repeat business than to get a job done well.
Through technician-enablement technology, job feedback is provided to technicians in real time, based on collected data such as job history and historical and diagnostic equipment information.
When a technician utilizes machine learning technology like Optical Character Recognition (OCR), data is collected from a photo of a unit’s data plate. In the background, that data is indexed through a robust database of job history and key equipment information. Essentially, the technology is automated to provide relevant and impactful information that helps a technician reduce the amount of time needed to get to the root of an issue.
So, before your technicians break out the paper manuals, or scroll endlessly through Google results, consider investing in technology that not only puts information in their pocket, but provides relevant and helpful suggestions on how to complete a job. When your technician can complete a complex job quickly, you’ll absolutely exceed a customer’s expectations.
Provide Transparency & Personalized Customer Service
Now, let’s get into communication from technician to customer. Obviously, all field service providers strive for excellent customer service from their technicians. But, ensuring each technician is consistent with positive and clear customer communication can be a challenge.
While we’ve previously debated that customers have become unreasonable, there’s no denying that in this modern age of information, customers are conditioned to expect a certain level of service and transparency.
A tool that builds video capture into a technician’s workflow ensures that communication is consistent every step of the way. Instead of relying on chicken-scratch notes and a “take my word for it” mentality, a customer will view the job from start to finish. On-site video walks a customer through the issue, allows them to hear directly from the technician about how the problem was fixed, and gives them video reference for subsequent jobs or additional fixes.
To finalize the job, sending a detailed and customized digital job summary to a customer gives that extra boost of confidence that the job was done correctly, especially if that summary details each workflow with captured video content from the technician. With XOi’s platform, a company can garner feedback directly via a customer-facing report, making it simple to gauge the effectiveness of the technician, and whether or not a customer is likely to return.
Project Confidence on the Job
For technicians both green and seasoned, having confidence in their own technical skills instills confidence in the customer that the job will be done right the first time. Being able to answer questions and deliver solutions quickly projects a high level of expertise.
But, let’s be honest. Not even the most senior of technicians always has all the answers. Relying on technology to give a technician’s knowledge level a boost is a game-changer for the field service industry.
When a technician lacks institutional knowledge, having proper documentation for a unit readily available is key. Investing in a platform that stores unit documentation combined with job history, a technician will have immediate access to an entire ecosystem of information—previous work, unit diagrams, manufacturer content, wireframes, manuals, and more. Having access to this digital knowledge base saves a ton of time on-site, reducing second truck rolls and hours spent trying to track down the previous technician and/or scrolling the web for inconsistent or incorrect information.
In the event that an extended digital knowledge base does not yield the results needed, giving a technician the option to connect directly to a virtual mentor for an AI support call enables remote diagnostics—helping technicians complete the job faster, avoid a second truck, and project confidence in their skills.
Identify Opportunities in Real Time
Picture this: You’re a technician heading to a call to service an AC unit. You get on-site, and notice an old water heater with green copper pipes. It’s obviously been a while since that unit was serviced. Servicing the unit before it fails will be a proactive and cost-saving strategy that makes your company shine in the eyes of the customer. But, your customer needs to understand why the unit needs to be serviced, they shouldn’t just have to take your word for it.
With cloud-based technology, a technician can efficiently gather information about the unit, capturing photos and videos to send out to a customer/sales team in real-time—quite literally showing a customer that their piece of equipment is ready to be serviced. Generating this level of transparency validates everything that a technician has communicated to the customer, making upsells seamless.
Additionally, through the use of OCR technology, when a technician snaps a photo of a data plate, the make, model, and serial of the unit is automatically indexed. Any information uncovered from that indexed data—any issues from anywhere in the world— a technician will know to look for those problems, be proactive, and upsell their service.
There’s a key throughline with all of these tips—communication. XOi’s technician-focused platform makes communication simple. When every step of the job is transparent and expertly communicated, you’ll build earned confidence, customer loyalty and repeat business.