As retailers expand services to support a variety of products, they must find ways to build relationships through computers and mobile devices, as well as turn negative events (e.g., product failures) into opportunities. As demands grow, retailers look to field techs, often the only touchpoint post-sale, to improve customer satisfaction and build brand loyalty.
The top reasons for customer complaints range from techs not resolving the issue, waiting too long for service to be scheduled and techs not arriving on time. To ensure excellent customer service, field service officers (FSOs) must be driven by technology and data. Technology is essential to meet customer commitments, keep customers informed and getting the job done the first time. Without technology, achieving customer satisfaction throughout the product ownership lifecycle is unlikely.
Our lives revolve around instant gratification, with real-time access to news, shopping and social media. We expect the same of companies with whom we transact business. When a product breaks or needs to be installed, consumers don't expect to wait. Scheduling and mobile technologies ensure that real-time appointments can be set, ensuring customers aren't left waiting for a call back or stuck at home all day. Real-time scheduling software can use soft or hard constraints to produce the best possible schedule, and continually reoptimize it such that the final schedule includes as many jobs as possible, while also reducing drive time and overtime to increase the overall productivity and utilization of field resources. It can also be used to manage demand fluctuation by facilitating the utilization of both employees and third-party contractors, so customers aren't left waiting for weeks for a tech to show up.
In a B-to-B environment in which contractual service-level agreements (SLAs) must be adhered to, scheduling software becomes even more important to meet and measure SLA compliance.