Is Your Organization Ready for the Next Customer Experience Megatrend?

Author and corporate consultant Kerry Bodine said, “Exceptional customer experiences are the only sustainable platform for competitive differentiation.” This statement has never been truer in field service, where customer experience has overtaken price and product as the key brand differentiator for most organizations.

In a new survey from the Service Council, service leaders reported that Customer Experience (CX) initiatives is the number one focus for their organization in 2021. At the same time, Forrester Research found that although the overwhelming majority of companies want to be customer experience (CX) leaders, only one in five actually deliver good or great CX.

Self-Service is critical to CX success

While service leaders are ready and willing to embrace CX as a priority, the question arises: what does that look like and how can it be deployed to deliver the most improvement to customer satisfaction? More than ever, customers are demanding convenience, control and efficiency when interacting with service organizations. This trend has only been bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enhancing the customer experience means an increasing focus on providing more opportunities for customer self-service. According to Field Technologies, companies that offered some form of self-service enjoyed a whopping 71% greater improvement on customer satisfaction rates compared to those that do not.

3 tips for turning customers into fixers

Self-service is not only the next megatrend in field service – it’s the way forward for any company that wants to remain competitive and profitable. Here are three suggestions for ensuring your self-service program is providing the most empowerment for your customers.

1. Don’t forget to visualize

According to Aberdeen Group, the most common form of self-service companies currently offer is Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). While these certainly have their place in any self-service offering, FAQs are usually text-based and offer little, if any, visual guidance. If the customer is trying fix a problem and avoid a call to the support center, reading through a bunch of text just won’t suffice.

Customers will be much more empowered if they have access to visual knowledge like how-to videos and tutorials. These are a much more effective way to walk customers through the steps of installing or troubleshooting a piece of equipment. It will also go further to ensuring customer satisfaction and self-service adoptions in the future. Remember that old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? When it comes to self-service, this is very true!

2. Keep the knowledge updated

You wouldn’t send your service technicians into the field with outdated, inaccurate information. The same applies for your customers. Nothing will sink a self-service program faster than giving them unhelpful information.

No matter what form it comes in, self-service offerings will never be a “set it and forget it” solution. Customers must be able to access helpful and relevant content and not material for an outdated product. Because of this, your self-service offering will never truly be a “finished” project. It needs to be updated and constantly improved upon.

3. When in doubt, let the professionals handle it

Which brings us to our final point – most companies don’t have the technology, manpower or know-how to design, build, deploy and continuously maintain a solid self-service offering. This is why so many programs fail to ever get off the ground.

Fortunately, outsourcing offers the perfect ingredients of people, process and technology to ensure your self-service initiative is a success for both you and your customers. As with any knowledge offering, it’s important that you work with a professional service provider, and not just a solution provider. As mentioned above, a good self-service program will never be finished. Finding a professional that will work with you to ensure information and technology is always up-to-date and optimized will guarantee your customers are as empowered as possible and your IT department isn’t overly burdened.

Helping customers help themselves

Customer experience is the key to any organization that wishes to remain afloat. More than ever, customer expectations are soaring, and patience is thinning. Customers want the opportunity to fix it themselves and organizations are going to have to deliver. However, it is critical that organizations don’t sacrifice either the customer experience or the efficiency of their internal staff by doing so.

To avoid this, provide your customers with visual knowledge, make sure that knowledge is up-to-date and optimized, and work with a professional service provider. When self-service support is done right, it is guaranteed to deliver results.

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