Delivering minimum levels of service doesn’t deliver happy, satisfied customers.
To improve customer satisfaction each year and inspire customers to refer new business, your service team must go beyond the work order. Top-performing manufacturers and service providers engage with their customers to deliver tangible value.
Proactively finding new ways to engage your customers builds a connection and strengthens the sense of shared goals. The best-in-class use more than feedback surveys; they ensure customers are a part of the team.
For example, you may find that your post-visit surveys are sent to a manager’s email box. But by implementing an advocacy group, you can learn what your customers truly value. From this feedback, you may be able to implement a small change to your services which results in increased customer satisfaction or even a new set of services that meets an unsatisfied need in the market.
In fact, best-in-class service organizations have seen improvements in customer satisfaction reflected in revenue and future business as a result of their efforts.
Service organizations may focus too often on operations and forget that customers have other options. Long-standing service contracts can distract service leaders from evolving service offerings. But competition and customer empowerment mean that service organizations must look to customer engagement as a key driver for future success.
To achieve success, service organizations should follow these 4 best practices:
- Give your field team the tools needed to better understand the customer – Mobile tools and real-time data can provide the front line with insights into what can add value to a service visit.
- Establish innovative ways to engage and inspire customer partnerships – The work order or the post-visit survey is only the baseline, not the end game. Your service organization can’t innovate in a vacuum; you must work with your customers to evolve together.
- Incentivize your customers and the field team to collaborate – Service teams must work with customers directly to ensure goals are aligned, so that your customers and your service organization grow together.
- Benchmark your service performance against peers and the best-in-class in other industries – Your service organization may perceive “exceeding an SLA” as “good” service performance, but your customers may be measuring service against all service experiences.
Service excellence is measured on a new scale. No longer is your success defined by your own internal metrics. Your service organization must engage customers in an ongoing conversation, so you can deliver additional value to customers and turn engaged customers into profitable growth.
Source: Excellence in the Field: Put the Customer First. September 2016. Aberdeen Group, Inc.