Improve Field Technician Customer Service: 5 Skills Your Team Needs
It doesn’t matter how technically talented your employees might be. If they have no customer service skills, they’re costing you business.
Of course, your field technicians’ first priority is to do their job well. But they’re also the only company representative most customers will ever meet face-to-face. The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business, which means that you don’t want surly employees to leave a string of bad impressions and worse online reviews. Because it’s at least five times as expensive to gain a new customer as retain an old one, you can’t afford to let unfriendly technicians burn bridges with potential life-long customers.
That’s why it’s so important that field technicians master the five most important customer service skills. Make sure your team knows how to:
1. Make a Great First Impression
This one might seem obvious – but often, technical experts aren’t social wizards. Make sure that your team looks professional. That doesn’t just mean wearing a clean uniform and the correct safety gear. The inside of their van shouldn’t be filled with fast food wrappers and the toolbox they bring onto client sites should be well-organized.
2. Keep Customers Informed
Your customers want technicians to show up exactly when appointments start, but you know that their schedules are busy, their jobs are unpredictable, and traffic can be a nightmare. If customers have better insight into technicians’ ETA, they’ll be more understanding when things don’t go exactly as planned.
Fortunately, today’s most cutting-edge technologies simplify the process of sharing ETAs. A Trip Share tool will send automated arrival times to customers via text or email. When your technicians are running late, your customers will be happy to receive the quick update.
You need your technicians to be experts – but too often, “experts” treat non-experts condescendingly. Even if the experts are right, their arrogance makes people not want to work with them again.
That’s why your technicians need to listen to customers, even if those customers are completely clueless. Create a series of three simple questions for your technicians to ask as soon as they walk in the door. Every customer has some knowledge, even if it’s only of the layout of their building. When customers feel like that knowledge is respected, they’ll be more likely to recommend your service to others.
4. Go the Extra Mile
Quite a few customers sign up for one service, then ask field technicians to look at something entirely different after the job is done. While your employees’ schedules are always full, it’s still smart to take a little extra time to make sure every customer is satisfied. After all, 65% of the average company’s business comes from existing customers – if you turn off return customers, you turn off the majority of your future profits.
Of course, some customers have unrealistic expectations. If you want to make sure your field technicians don’t commit to expansive, time-wasting projects, consider implementing a customizable mobile app that centralizes communication and documentation processes. Before your employees agree to anything, they’ll use it to quickly check in with you.
5. Ask for Customer Feedback
Ultimately, the only way to know if your customers are happy is to ask them. According to a recent survey, 70% of companies that deliver top-notch customer service proactively collect customer feedback. Consider using one of these tools to create a questionnaire. After you’ve set up your feedback collection method, tell your field technicians to end their visits by letting customers know they’ll receive the questionnaire soon.
Be the Top 1%
86% of customers will pay for a better customer experience – but only 1% of customers feel like companies meet their expectations. If your field technicians consistently provide customer experiences in that top 1%, your company will grow exponentially.
Want to learn more about tools that will help you support your field technicians?