ClickSoftware | 04.18.17

The 25th of April marks “Hug a Plumber Day,” a national day of plumber celebration across the United Kingdom. In the field service industry, plumbers, engineers, and technicians are your brand ambassadors, as they are often the only face-to-face interaction that a customer has with their provider. Because of this, it is important that these ambassadors give the best customer service possible, and are equipped to do so.

So how can plumbers, technicians, and engineers celebrate National Hug a Plumber Day with their customers? They can start with exceptional customer service. Here’s how you can use technology to prepare your technicians for some customer love this month:

Improve engagement

Especially in the age of on-demand services like Uber, no customer wants to be told that their appointment could be anytime during an eight-hour timeslot. ClickSoftware’s recent Field Service Report revealed that long appointment windows are a top reason for customer dissatisfaction with service. This was especially true for customers in the UK, where 70% of customers expressed dissatisfaction.

Knowing that this technology exists, your customers demand and expect a precise time that their tech will arrive. They want real-time visibility into their service and real-time communication with their tech. By offering your customers a customer engagement module, customers can directly interact with their technician, confirm their appointment time, and track their engineer as they arrive.

Amend contact preferences

In today’s digital world, there are several different methods of communication. Not everyone likes to speak on the phone or communicate via email. Millennials, for instance, tend to prefer digital forms of communication such as texting or via online methods. Older generations are usually more comfortable speaking to a live person on the phone.

With so many platforms available, it’s important to allow customers to set system preferences for their communication methods with their technician. If the customer prefers to receive a message, the engineer can text them an appointment time. Or if they prefer to talk to an engineer over the phone, the engineer can call the customer to confirm their arrival time.

Clarifying communication preference allows the conversation between the customer and engineer to be clearer and increasingly productive, which speeds up the confirmation of appointments.  It also helps the customer feel comfortable throughout the service process.

Route optimization tools

If an engineer is late and the customer is unaware, the customer is likely to stop waiting for them. By implementing route optimization tools in your workforce, technicians can choose the ideal route to avoid any traffic congestion or roadworks. You might be able to avoid schedule disruptions in advance with predictive travel, which uses historical time-of-day and day-of-week traffic data to estimate future travel times. But on the day of service, there’s no substitute for real-time traffic data.

Likewise, with live tracking and real-time communication functionality, technicians can provide the customer with an accurate expected time of arrival, and can advise the customer if they will be late. This will improve the possibility of a customer staying in for the engineer. They’ll know when to expect the tech, and can plan their day around the visit rather than wasting the day waiting.

Finally, when the tech does arrive on-site, they should solve the customer issue that day. Your customers will be happy that their problem is resolved and relieved that they don’t have to schedule another appointment. A first-time fix requires sending the best tech for the job. Route optimization software can also help you evaluate your field techs’ skills and match them up with the right job.

The engagement between your plumbers, technicians, engineers, and the customers is of utmost importance. Every measure should be taken to ensure that your tech’s interaction is delivering an optimum customer service. Providing field service technology to both your customers and technicians will guarantee that customers receive a great customer experience, and are more likely to show your engineers some love.