Countdown of the Top 3 Complaints Against the Field Service Industry
How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, don’t go there, the service is horrible”, or something of the like? How many times have you found yourself telling someone the same thing? On average, when you have a poor experience with a product or service, you are likely to tell seven people. That may not seem like many, but when you compare that to telling only three of those people about a good experience there becomes a very apparent gap.
With the advent of the Internet and social media there are suddenly seven billion critics, each with something totally original and important to say (yes, there is most definitely sarcasm there). Sarcasm aside, it’s still true and it doesn’t matter how great your marketing budget is, negative word-of-mouth can be seriously detrimental to any company. I refer to it as quicksand for businesses: once you fall into it, the more you struggle, the harder it is to get out, and eventually you succumb to the deadly pull (insert evil laugh here). So—how do we combat this? How do we increase our surface area in order to not sink further into the pit of sand?
It might first help to analyze and understand some of the roots of this negative word-of-mouth and then find a solution that benefits all parties involved. We took some time (a lot of time, actually) combing through over 1,000 online negative customer reviews of companies within the field service industry. From this, we narrowed down the top three complaints from customers of field service organizations, counted down from three to the number one reason.
Coming in at number 3 in our Top 3 Countdown…
First and foremost I’m sure we can all agree that the customer is always right—even when they most certainly are not right, they are still right—right? Correct, but even if that’s the case, shouldn’t we at least make sure we quote, and more importantly, charge them the right price for the job?
This was the typical type of complaint we stumbled across dealing with mischarging customers:
“This company sucks! They overcharged me by $400 and lied to me about how much it would initially cost. NEVER EVER use them…you will regret it if you do…they do not stick with their word and they are NOT trustworthy.”
One simple solution to this type of situation happening (and the negative word-of-mouth that comes because of it) would be to present your clients and field workforce technicians with automated price lists and quoting tools. This eliminates anything getting lost in translation. There won’t be any surprise endings for customers and field workforce technicians when everything about the work order, including prices/quotes laid out in a simple format that is easily understood by everyone. Shameless plug, a platform like ours here at Field Squared can do just that, along with so much more.
At number 2 on the Countdown we have…
Unprepared Field Workforce Technicians & Return Visits
I harp a lot on efficiency, and I can only imagine the frustration that you feel when a field technician has to go back to a job site for any reason other than a new work order there. It’s a waste of productivity, time, and of course, money. But this isn’t about you; it’s about your customers and what it costs them. I’ve felt the frustration of having unprepared technicians at my own home. It is incredibly irritating to think a job will be done in one day, only to find out it will actually take two or three days because the technician didn’t realize they would need this or that tool to get this or that done right then.
Giving your field workforce real-time access to work order information with a workforce application right on their mobile device helps keep them on top of things, making sure they are prepared with the right tools and documents for every work order, every time. Complete more work orders, decrease return visits and unprepared technicians, and ultimately improve your customer service experience because of it. The solution is so simple, and it’s even simpler with our platform here at Field Squared (wink-smile). While being able to convert and automate your most complex field work order forms, we also provide real-time access to data your field workforce should have to properly complete each work order the right way, the first time.
Lastly, coming in at Number 1 on our Countdown of the Top 3 Complaints Against the Field Service Industry—based on 1,000+ online negative reviews is…
Lengthy Appointment Windows and Missed Appointments
Every time it’s the same old story: The field technician will be at your house on random day, between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. I can see how this is the number one complaint, and rightfully so. With the proliferation of digital technology, shouldn’t that window be a little more refined by now, maybe say just two hours instead of seven? Your customers definitely agree. It wasn’t the number one complaint no reason. Customers have busy lives too; lives that I’m sure they’d rather be spending doing something other than waiting for someone to show up at their house at any time. To be late, and even worse, to not ever show up, is a sure-fire way to experience negative word-of-mouth sentiment.
You can stop this train in it’s tracks with a totally simple solution by utilizing route optimization and customer service notification software. Route optimization software allows you to plan the day while taking into account traffic conditions, estimated time of work order completions, and optimal routes to reduce fuel costs and consumption. Let your customers know when the field technician is heading their way and eliminate those lengthy time windows by notifying them by either text or email. Send pertinent information about technicians directly to the customers prior to their arrival and help break-the-ice with customers, showing them their technician is a real person.
Of course, we can most certainly help you accomplish this goal, with our field service management platform and field workforce mobile application, including route optimization and notification solutions.
Ultimately, the customer holds the power and their experience can make or break your field service organization. Our businesses hinge on our daily interactions with our customers, on all levels. By working to become more efficient, better prepared companies, we can more quickly address any issues that arise in a timely and productive way. Field service workforce automation can help to mitigate negative word-of-mouth from your customers by making your business run more smoothly. Increase the positive interactions your field technicians and customers have on a daily basis. Start realizing the power of what can happen when you utilize your customer’s feedback to adjust your practices and adapt to the market.