For years, businesses have believed that the power of their brand could overcome most obstacles. It’s why executives were often tasked with “protecting the brand.”
In recent years, though, research has shown that the value of relationships with your customers is much more important than your brand. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) analyzed data from more than 6,000 company mergers and acquisitions over a ten-year period to evaluate brand value and customer relationship trends, finding that brand value steeply declined around 2008.
Interestingly, the value of customer relationships saw a spike (and steady growth) around the same time.
What this means for your field service organization
It’s a no brainer to say that your business needs customers to operate. It’s important to note the two types of customers, though: new and retained.
It costs, on average, 5x more to attract new customers to your business than it does to retain them. And once you’ve gotten new customers, they’re 60-70% more likely to buy from you again, and they spend around 31% more than new customers. 
Based on these numbers and the trend HBR revealed, it’s clearly in your FSO’s best interest to provide a superior customer service experience. Eighty-nine percent of businesses say that customer experience is key to creating loyalty and retention.
So how do you stand out? Simple. By leaving your customers wanting more.
Your keys to the kingdom
Most of the thousands of books published every year on customer satisfaction, retention, acquisition, and experience strategies boil down to two core principles: surprise and delight.
As mobile-based services and the Internet of Things (IoT) keep field service organizations more connected to customers than ever before, it’s easy to surprise and delight in your own ways.
Here are 6 examples of how you can do just that:
- Be proactive – Alerts can help you stay on top of potential customer issues so that you can reach out before they do. They might not even realize they need a particular service until you put it on their radar.
- Be prepared – Make sure technicians not only arrive to service calls with all the parts necessary, but they also anticipate other issues that may arise as a result of the reported problem. Creating a consultative relationship with the customer is more meaningful than simply taking orders.
- Simplify the process – No one likes to handle lots of paperwork. Empower field technicians to generate invoices from their mobile device and allow customers to quickly sign documents from a phone, tablet, or computer.
- Provide a better field experience – Your field techs have a unique opportunity to interface with the customer directly. The (exceptional) service they provide can be your best sales and marketing asset.
- Stay on top of data – Collect customer data and solicit customer feedback to improve efficiency and quality across the entire customer journey. Mine the data to further personalize your service; customers want to feel special.
- Send a note – No one gets mail anymore and when they do, it’s junk. Getting something worthwhile in the mail is a delight in and of itself. A quick thank you note can go a long way toward building loyalty as well. From time to time, include a just-for-you offer to create a deeper bond.
The reason these things create better experiences is that customers don’t expect them (surprise). But when they do experience them, they feel great about what just happened (delight).
Want to learn more tips and tricks on optimizing your field service organization?