Katelyn Burrill | 03.07.18
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Upstart organizations are completely reshaping customer expectations. Don’t want to go shopping at the mall? Companies like Stitch Fix will send you a personalized wardrobe for less than you’d pay in store. Want thousands of movies? Options abound on Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube TV. Everything from home healthcare to real estate has been reshaped by a consumer economy that demands instant answers and lightning-fast service.

Whatever room for error in customer service existed before is gone.

Customer experience plays an increasingly important role in the customer journey. As an overwhelming number of brands fight for your customer’s attention, consistently good experiences serve as a powerful differentiator. On the other hand, one bad experience and a quick Google search are all it takes to lose a customer forever. In fact, half of consumers say they are likely to switch brands when companies don’t anticipate their needs.

So how can field service managers evolve in the Age of the Consumer and unlock greater customer satisfaction?

By embracing predictive field service.

Predictive Field Service: The Fastest Way to Evolve in the Age of the Consumer

Predictive field service combines machine learning, AI, and data science to put you back in the driver’s seat — or at the very least, riding shotgun alongside the consumer — so you can meet needs in real time and unearth expectations faster than ever before.

4 Ways to Excel at Customer Satisfaction 

1. Building Trust with Schedule Optimization

Wowing your customers with convenience, speed, and reliability starts with your ability to deliver on the expected service plan. But it can be difficult to meet those expectations when unexpected factors crop up.

Long before the day of scheduled service appointments, you can set your remote workforce up for customer satisfaction success with a boost from demand forecasting and resource capacity planning. These two tools marry data and intelligent technology so that you can:

  • Staff accurately based on a number of factors: major events, weather, job history, and more
  • Predict the duration of a job so that you can give customers shorter service windows and increase your technicians’ punctuality
  • Ensure you meet the material requirements for the appointments you schedule so your technicians can successfully complete their jobs

And on the day of the appointment, real-time travel optimization uses predictive data to anticipate and minimize travel time to avoid inconveniencing the customer and create a more consistent customer experience.

2. Avoiding Costly Repairs with Predictive Maintenance

 What if you could even further narrow service windows for your customers?

The most innovative service teams are using predictive maintenance to prolong the life of their customers’ equipment and reduce the amount of time spent servicing it. That’s because, when unleashed on digital inventory data sets and customer information, artificial intelligence algorithms (coupled with the Internet of Things) empower you to predict equipment failure.

Predictive maintenance acts as your first line of defense in preventing costly, time-consuming equipment failures from occurring in the first place. The data you collect from monitoring your equipment over time serves to foresee the minor repairs, which left unfixed, can translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

Your network of connected devices continuously monitors equipment in the field for anomalies, triggering alerts to kick-start the service process when it detects an anomaly.

3. Dispatching the Right Tools for the Job With Predictive Parts Management

Imagine you’re sitting on a plane. Destination: tropical paradise.

There’s just one problem.

You’re stuck on the tarmac because there’s a problem with the plane’s engine. The technician gets there, assesses the situation, and determines he doesn’t have the right part to perform the fix. You and the other passengers take to the airline’s customer service hotlines and storm twitter. No one is happy right now. Not the plane full of uncomfortable passengers. Not the service technician. Definitely not the airline company.

These situations can be avoided using predictive parts management to ensure techs are always prepared.

Predictive parts management tracks parts so that you can consider both scheduling and inventory before committing to a job. But the technology also analyzes job history, so you can more accurately determine which parts your technicians will need while out in the field without relying solely on the customer’s description of the issue.

In short? Predictive parts management can help you get the right equipment to the job, increasing your chances of a first-time fix.

4. Dispatching the Right Man (or Woman) for the Job With Predictive First-Time Fix

Different technicians bring different skills and experience to the table. That’s not a bad thing. But having the right parts at a service appointment won’t do anyone any good if they’re in the wrong hands. In fact, it decreases the likelihood of a first-time fix.

Predictive first-time fix allows you to assign a first-time fix rate to each of your technicians, so you can assign the technician with the highest score to the job at hand.

Your Technology Awaits: Creating Experiences That Exceed Customer Expectations

Technology eliminates the need to wait for a ride, your morning coffee, or even a date. But soon, even that won’t be enough for us... or our customers. We’ll expect our devices to tune into our habits and our schedules and get us what we need without our input.

The good news for field service organizations?

That technology is already here.

Learn more about leveraging Predictive Field Service technology to consistently delight your customers by subscribing to the ClickSoftware blog.