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by Samir Gulati

As companies continue to conduct business remotely, it is more important than ever for businesses to sustain customer relationships. An exceptional service experience keeps clients happy and maintains a loyal connection between provider and consumer. In today’s digital age, implementing constructive customer relationship management (CRM) software can unify customer records in one place and collect data along each step of the customer journey. Companies that successfully use CRM are able to increase their sales and expand their customer base and the volume of service requests.

A well-functioning CRM is imperative to properly manage customer service but is not exhaustive. Field service management (FSM) software, when integrated with CRM systems, can take a business’ customer service to new heights.

Increased reliability and capacity

CRM software provides a singular platform for salespeople to channel leads and manage end-to-end customer contact. As sales increase, so too does the need for product repairs, utility maintenance and installation projects. A key element that FSM software brings to CRM systems is the ability to reliably schedule engineers and technicians. Growth is beneficial only if a company has the capacity to sustain a high level of service and manage demand peaks and drops efficiently.

FSM allows providers to manage capacity restraints among varying sets of work requests. The software’s business rules can coordinate inbound requests that are sent directly through the company’s CRM platform to ensure that there is space to accommodate emergency requests or urgent last-minute repairs. Ideal Boilers, the leading manufacturer of boilers in the UK, notes that this functionality allows them to accommodate emergency requests without having to cancel scheduled appointments which would disappoint their customers, thus making FSM a critical asset to ensure a proper level of service. An integrated FSM can utilize customer data collected from CRM systems to forecast future capacity limits or availability depending on customer demand, off-peak hours, and even premium weekend pricing. This ensures that even in peak demand there is availability to schedule essential appointments and deliver fast responses to customer requests.

Superior data insight

When teams are working across multiple platforms, it is easy for data discrepancies to occur. CRM systems can mitigate these discrepancies by implementing a central structure for data collection. Newly entered data is updated in real time and the organization experiences overall increased data integrity. Sales teams and technicians will not have to work within separate systems, allowing each team member access to a customer’s complete profile, no matter their business division, which provides a more informed and personal customer interaction.

Integrating FSM allows more insight into all aspects of a customer interaction and the more data a company has on a customer, the more personalized they can make their sales pitch. When technicians perform a maintenance request, customer-specific data is uploaded to the communal management platform where sales, marketing and other stakeholders can glean valuable insights. Salespeople can target customers to upsell based on failing equipment and marketing personnel can pinpoint which buyers own products that are at the end of their life-cycle and target them with new or upcoming models. Higher volumes of customer data, when managed properly, can translate directly into sales revenue, allowing companies to track and share results to make data-driven decisions.

Higher customer satisfaction

While CRM systems manage customer data and company-client information, FSM is the lynchpin of the platform’s impact on the customer’s personal relationship with a company. Field technicians are an organization’s on-site business liaisons that represent the company in face-to-face dealings with consumers, and its critical they are armed with the information that will ensure successful interactions. In order to deliver the maximum value to your customers, organizations require highly specialized field service applications that can be tailored to each vendor and its respective customer base.

FSM includes schedule optimization features and inventory catalogs that ensure technicians will arrive at customer appointments promptly and fully equipped to service repairs the first time around, sidestepping 57% of customers’ primary complaint: low first-time fix rates. Positive on-site interactions can improve customer satisfaction by 30% and increase customer loyalty as their needs are met. Insights gained by technicians from personal customer interactions are then fed directly back through the FSM/CRM system, allowing a free exchange of data between team members so that a company can collectively focus on customer success.

About the Author

Samir Gulati was appointed Chief Marketing and Product Officer at ServicePower in 2017, where he is responsible for all aspects of Marketing and Product Management, including market strategy, product roadmaps, demand generation, product marketing, and corporate marketing. Samir brings over 25 years of experience in global product and marketing leadership roles in technology companies.

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