By Hilla Karni, VP Product Marketing, ClickSoftware… When it comes to personalisation in customer service, many organisations are falling short of expectations. According to the 2016 Aspect Consumer Experience Index, 58% of surveyed participants feel underappreciated by the organisations they do business with. Even more worryingly, HuffPost reported that 49% of consumers stopped buying from at least one company in the previous 12 months. Customers are not satisfied with the service that is being provided, and businesses need to adapt or risk losing them.
So, what is stopping organisations from delivering great customer service? Although Millennials and younger generations represent a growing portion of the workforce, and buyer population, many organisations still struggle to relate to the younger buyers, and are consequently not providing customer experiences that inspire retention. Customers now expect immediate, personalised services, rather than more traditional ones.
Personalised services are becoming increasingly prevalent, especially online or on IoT-enabled devices. For example, Channel 4 is now personalising adverts by using the account setup data, so the voiceover will announce the name of the user. Personalised service also occurs in offline situations, with coffee shops now writing names on cups, among many other examples.
When it comes to field service, the introduction of personalised services has already started. The new world of field service means not just arriving on time, but also customised communications and predictive service delivery according to customer needs, habits and preferences. So, what are field service providers doing to achieve personalised services for customers?
With the increased use of mobile phones and email, many customers no longer want to receive a letter or postcard confirming their appointment date and time. Younger generations are notorious for their avoidance of phone calls. Field service providers can now allow customers to set their preferred communication channel, so their appointment times can be scheduled and accepted by text, call, or email. By doing this, customers are much more likely to be receptive to communications, and will receive a tailored experience.
After an appointment has taken place, customers often have the opportunity to fill in a survey to comment on their customer service. If a customer is happy with the service that has been provided, the field service provider can reappoint that engineer to the customer, to allow that engineer and customer to maintain their connection and the equipment that needs to be fixed or installed. By doing this, customers can receive a personal engineer and a personalised experience.
Preventing missed appointments
With predictive technology, field service providers can determine the likelihood that a customer will cancel their appointment based on past behaviour as well as factors like the weather. For example, if a customer often forgets about their appointment, the database can flag this to the engineer. The engineer can consequently send a reminder message to that customer to try to reduce the amount of missed appointments. In addition, engineers can use predictive technology to alert a customer if their equipment is due for a service, and attempt to fix the equipment before a break occurs.
When it comes to field service, organisations can truly differentiate by creating personal experiences when it comes to service interactions. By creating this personal experience for an individual, the customers’ satisfaction and retention rates are likely to increase, leading to revenue growth and increased customer lifetime value. The technology to deliver these experiences is available, but will require a change in mindset and process for many service organizations. Ultimately, as customer needs and preferences adapt, so must service providers.