Consumer Demand Drives Field Service Suppliers to “Uberize” Operations or Risk Losing Customers
Global research finds disparity between service supplier operations and customer expectations
BURLINGTON, Mass., Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — New research announced today by ClickSoftware, the leading provider of field service management software, found that customer demand for ‘Uberized’ service is on the rise, however field service suppliers are struggling to meet new expectations especially when delivering services to the home. The study surveyed consumers and field service suppliers to uncover disparities between consumer expectations and suppliers’ abilities to deliver a great customer experience. Respondents spanned the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
According to the research, consumers expect service providers to employ innovative technology to optimize all aspects of customer experience. Notably, results show that ‘ease of booking’ and providing up-to-date, real-time communication ranked highest for customers in determining top-notch customer service experiences. Conversely, suppliers struggle to deliver this despite the fact that 61 percent cite ‘customer satisfaction’ as their top measure for success. The study found that, across all geographies, suppliers are not meeting customer expectations, as most continue to use siloed, traditional communications tools like the phone as the primary means of reaching customers.
Customers want convenience
- Thirty-seven percent of respondents in the U.S. stated the key benefit of up-to-date, real-time communication with suppliers is avoiding wasting time while waiting for a technician to arrive. This proved the top benefit in other countries as well, with Australia selecting this option most often (46 percent).
- Almost two-thirds (60 percent) of respondents agreed that a long wait time between making a service appointment and the actual visit made for a bad customer service experience.
Suppliers strive for satisfaction
While 61 percent of suppliers globally indicated ‘customer satisfaction’ as the key measurement of customer service success, with no clear definition, most fall short of not only understanding their customers’ needs, but meeting them:
- Telephone proved the number one method of communication across all geographies, representing a contrast with consumer demand for increased ‘Uberized’ service. Optimizing the scheduling of the field service team did not rank high for suppliers despite a clear indication of the value placed on not wasting time by consumers.
One size does NOT fit all
Findings highlight significant differences in consumer expectations by region, emphasizing the complexity of running an international field service business and the need to customize field service based on location.
- ‘Ease of booking’ proved most valued by all respondents, but ranked especially important for customers in Australia(46 percent) and Italy (41 percent). Conversely, respondents in Spain valued ‘quick time to appointment’ and ‘ease of booking’ equally (27 percent), while respondents in Australia and Italy care far less; 22 percent and 13 percent respectively.
- In the U.K., consumers were most dissatisfied with long arrival windows (70 percent), however in Italy, this issue only resulted in dissatisfaction for a third of consumers (34 percent).
The results clearly indicate that consumers want more seamless and convenient interactions with service providers. When asked about expectations for providers over the next five years, more than a quarter of consumers across all countries surveyed expect access to ‘direct and live communications’ with their service technician for a more on-demand experience. In line with the findings, real-time tracking of service professionals proved most valued by U.S. and U.K. respondents (35 percent and 37 percent respectively) moving forward. Clearly, customers want real-time visibility into their service visits, particularly with the technology available to deliver this.
“The Amazon and Uber business models have broken the customer service mold. Now all service encounters are held to the same bar, no matter if e-hailing a cab or scheduling a cable repair,” said Tom Heiser, CEO of ClickSoftware. “The voice of the customer is loud and clear; increased convenience and a more on-demand experience is necessary to reach the bar and companies that embrace next-generation customer experience through enhanced field service solutions will succeed.”
For more information about the survey results and the infographic, please visit http://go.clicksoftware.com/Uberization-of-Service.html?utm_source=Press_Release.
ClickSoftware is defining field service engagement, empowering the world’s most customer-centric and demanding organizations to optimize the full potential of every service interaction. With ClickSoftware, field service becomes the new competitive lever to drive differentiation and business value. The Click Field Service Edge Platform arms field service leaders with the smartest technologies, a limitless technology-forward platform, and the knowledge gained from a global community of best practices.
Exclusively focused on field service since creating the market, ClickSoftware has managed billions of service engagements and is relied upon by nearly a million field service professionals every day. The company is the recognized market and technology leader by analyst firms including Gartner, IDC and Frost & Sullivan. ClickSoftware is the field service solution of choice for Salesforce, SAP and top systems integrators. More than 350 global enterprises across 20+ industries tap into ClickSoftware for the world’s smartest thinking in field service. ClickSoftware: the field service leader.