In the field service industry, building strong customer relationships isn’t just a convenient company feature; it’s paramount to your business’s long-term success. Strong customer relationships spark repeat business and those foundational accounts that drive profit consistently higher.
Your customer relationships directly affect how much revenue your business is able to bring in, and they dictate your business’s growth trajectory. Whether you’re providing home or commercial service, the impression that you leave when servicing clients determines whether or not they will continue to do business with you in the future.
In the field service industry, customer relationships directly affect your company’s bottom line. In fact, 90 percent of customers say customer service is important in determining company loyalty.
In addition to boosting overall revenue, focusing on building deeper relationships also fortifies field service businesses amid market uncertainty. That’s because those long-term relationships can anchor the business by feeding a stable flow of revenue to your company’s bottom line. That stability also makes it easier to predict how much money will be coming in, plan, and grow.
With those advantages in mind, here are six secrets to building stronger customer relationships and securing more repeat business.
1. Improve communication.
Effective communication fuels productive work relationships. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Miscommunications can damage customer relationships and discourage those relationships that drive more business. For instance, if your techs are heading to jobs underprepared or there’s a communication gap between personnel, technology systems, and employees, it can cause costly callbacks.
By accessing an advanced all-in-one software solution, you can close those communication gaps that cause dissatisfaction.
All-in-one software boosts internal communication by letting your internal office track techs. At the same time, techs can access customer histories or other updated information about a job.
All the while, information from every corner of the business streams into a single hub. With all employees working within the same platform throughout the entire lifecycle of a job—from the initial request to scheduling, job completion, billing, and accounting—you cut out those communication breakdowns that lead to drawn-out or botched jobs.
2. Simplify service contracts.
Strong customer relationships are built on consistency. In the field service industry, focusing on service contracts and planned maintenance can create more stability for both customers and your business.
Unfortunately, if you’re trying to manage service contracts manually, it can become overwhelming for your employees, and it could be leading to costly errors. This is another instance where automating the process can drastically improve customer outcomes.
All-in-one software makes it easy to manage service agreements, see what preventative maintenance contracts are worth focusing on, and identify what contracts should be dropped altogether. That makes it easier to pick out which relationships to grow for the biggest returns.
Another key way software can simplify preventative maintenance and improve relationships is through automated notifications. Advanced software will automatically send service notifications to clients and internal reminders to your team. That way, it’s easier to stay on top of maintenance needs consistently.
3. Increase first-time fixes.
Callbacks waste company time, squander resources, and damage customer relationships. Using an all-in-one field service software solution can help you reduce callbacks and improve relationships. Here’s how:
- More Efficient Tech Deployment: Schedulers and dispatchers can track techs and receive real-time job updates. That makes it easier to reach more customers in a day and avoid delays.
- Matching the Right Tech to the Right Job: Advanced systems will let your office see which techs have the right skills, hold certifications, and are located in the best place to complete a job the first time.
- Enhanced Parts Management: All-in-one software lets you monitor parts inventory and plan to have the right parts in stock and in your tech’s hands when they’re deployed. That all leads to getting the right tech to the right job with the right parts—a recipe for fewer call-backs and happier customers.
4. Know your customers and their equipment.
The more you understand your customer and their equipment, the easier it will be to secure their trust and business. Here are a few ways to help your techs understand customers on a deeper level and drive more revenue:
- Give Techs Resources: By equipping techs with mobile technology, rugged tablets, customer histories, and on-the-job manuals, you make it easier for them to complete a job faster, more thoroughly, and more efficiently.
- Keep Techs Connected in the Field: When techs access all-in-one software, they’re able to update customer information and job details in real time. Ultimately, this makes it easier to complete jobs in the future, and it ensures schedulers are on the same page.
- Follow up with Customers: Following up after a site visit provides reassurance that your company cares. Your customers will always have business questions or needs that you can help them with, even if they might not be aware of it. Reaching out can be as simple as sending an automated email or a quick phone call.
5. Encourage reviews.
Both word-of-mouth and online reviews quickly spread the good news about your company, increase brand exposure, and increase long-term business. In fact, one BrightLocal survey recently found 87 percent of customers read reviews of local businesses to determine their quality. Here are some tips for securing better reviews and more business relationships.
If you feel as though your team always delivers exceptional service, never hesitate to ask for a review, especially if customers have volunteered praise or shown appreciation for you going the extra mile.
Give Techs a Heads-Up
If you want to collect reviews, let your technicians know at the time they are wrapping jobs up. That way, they can let the customer know they have finished their work and that they will be emailing, texting, or following up to ask for a review shortly.
Use Reviews to Their Fullest
Positive reviews make a great addition to any company website because they provide real validation that your business delivers great service and values strong, positive relationships with customers. Gathering online reviews will also help you get your name out there and aid in acquiring new customers. If you have a positive referral rating of four stars or above, use those positive ratings in social ads, case studies, on your website, and in other ways that broadcast your reputation to future loyal customers.
6. Increase transparency.
Trust is at the center of better customer relationships. In order to build more trust with customers, field service companies can focus on delivering more transparency. Here are a few ways to lift transparency and solidify trust:
Dig into Your Operations
With an end-to-end ERP, you can unlock insights into equipment data, financials, and operations. Data from across the company flows into a single source of truth and automatically generates those reports that your company needs to make more profitable decisions. In addition to automatically tracking the accounting information your company needs to grow, you can see the details about equipment and spot any operational inefficiencies that are wasting time.
There’s now technology available that can help you give your customers more insights into a job and build trust. For instance, Davisware’s software is equipped with an XOi technology integration that lets you capture and record on-site video information. From there, your techs can show customers the details of a job and break down needs in a simple way. Ultimately, that leads to more trust and a more satisfied customer.
Use field service technology to deepen relationships.
Applying these six tips to your business can help you to build strong customer relationships with both new and existing customers. However, to drive more long-term business, it takes a field service solution built for the industry.
Want to see how Davisware software can help your company carve out deeper customer relationships, drive more repeat business, and take control of all of your company’s field service duties from a single platform? Schedule a demo today for an inside look at how Davisware software works.