Deliver an Exceptional Service Experience
Originally published: 09.01.17 by Jim Baston
Ensure all team members, both seen and unseen, act together to contribute to an exceptional customer experience
A fine watch is like a good field service organization. It serves its customers accurately and is consistently on time. You can only see the face of the watch and that’s what you depend on to give you great service (accurately tell you the time).
The watch, however, depends on many moving parts to operate flawlessly and many of these you cannot see.
In field service, the face of the watch is the service provided — usually by you field service team. Although the customer may only see the field service technician, however, the quality of the technician’s interaction depends upon many moving parts that are not seen — other people within the organization as well as processes and systems.
Exceptional customer service depends upon everyone in your company being focused on delivering a defined service experience through their field service operatives. If anything falls out of sync, the overall experience can be adversely affected.
Define the Customer Experience
Every organization delivers a service experience. For your company, that experience is your service brand. Your service brand is what customers and prospective customers think and feel about you and it’s based on their experience of working with you through the interactions they have with your customer facing personnel — primarily your field service team. Each of you has a service brand. The question is, do you define and manage it or do you allow others to define it for you?
The starting point for a service organization is to clearly define the experience you want your customers to have when engaging you. What do you want your customers to think about you? What do you want your customers to feel about you? What do you want your customers to say about you?
Within this context, think about what your brand looks like in action. What customer needs are you addressing? How do the various roles in the company coordinate to meet those needs? How will you know when you are addressing the customer needs?
Articulate Each Role
Everyone contributes to the customer service experience. The most obvious contributors are the field service technicians, but the experience they create depends on many people. A system that does not provide accurate information on the work order instructions may cause your technician to appear unprepared.
A lapse in scheduling efficiency could give the impression that you are not dependable. A rude telephone reception may suggest that your organization is cold and unfriendly.
Experience into Actions
Once you understand the dependencies between roles and how they jointly contribute to the service experience, you can begin to define the expectations for each role.
How will you greet the customer when you answer the telephone? This applies to everyone in your company who receives calls, not just the receptionist. How quickly will you respond to emails?
By translating the service experience into actions that each role must take, you’re providing everyone in the organization the roadmap that will contribute to delivering an exceptional customer service experience.
Processes and Systems
It’s also important to evaluate the technology, tools and processes that you have at your disposal to determine how you can utilize them to support exceptional service experience delivery.
For example, how can the hand-held devices be used to help the field professional deliver on the brand?
What processes need to be modified to facilitate your field service professionals’ actions? What information should be included on the work order to ensure your field team comes prepared?
What processes and systems are in place to keep everyone informed so that they can respond intelligently to a customer request?
Exceptional service delivery means that everyone must be fulfilling his or her role as defined consistently every day. Be relentless.
Address deviations from expected performance wherever and whenever it occurs and not rationalize off-brand behavior as “acceptable” due to some reason or another.
To do so, will result in the organization slowly reverting back to old behaviors.