Customer Experience Featured Article

Why the Customer Experience Extends to the Field

May 07, 2014

In a variety of markets today, we tend to focus a lot of attention on the customer experience. At least from a buzzword perspective, it’s an important thing to include in your list of company initiatives. While it’s not always clearly defined, any customer-facing organization knows that if the customer isn’t happy with the experience, they will take their business elsewhere.

Not generally interested in lining the sales funnel of the competition, companies will make the necessary investments in the customer experience. For many, this means the adoption of Field Service Management (FSM) software. Service-based companies must have a standalone solution that focuses on the efficient handling of customer service requests. The goal is to not only maintain the positive customer experience, but to do so at a cost that makes sense for the budget.

It’s easy to assume that the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution can meets the needs of the customer base. The challenge here is that these platforms were not built with a focus on service. Therefore, if a provider hopes to deliver on service agreements, a standalone FSM solution is needed. Plus, that solution has to be provided and supported by a trusted, independent party.

TEC Research recently examined the industry to get a better understanding of what organizations in this space need from a FSM solution. Key features identified in this process include collaboration capabilities, mobile applications, analytics and scheduling optimization to help service organizations to ensure effective and efficient field service management. These features point to the needs of the professional in the field, as well as the customer base they aim to satisfy.

While this focus on FSM is important, it doesn’t discount the role ERP or CRM play in the overall customer experience. All of these solutions play a part in the overall experience. The key is identifying that role and selecting the right solution according to the organization’s needs. Assessments should be made according to features offered, but also independent evaluations to ensure the solution works well within the current environment.

Therein lies a key point to the overall customer experience – the FSM solution has to ensure that professionals in the field efficiently meet the requirements of the service agreement. Their activity is then captured in the CRM or ERP solution according to the customer record so the sales or customer service rep assigned to the account knows all activity that has taken place. As such, the next time contact is made between the customer and the company, it’s clear what activity has taken place so better service is delivered. It is truly the key to optimizing the complete customer experience. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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