The connected customer demands more from retailers, logistics providers, and service companies. One bad experience and the customer may be gone forever. Workers in the field desperately need technology that improves the customer experience. This means one-stop service calls, fixing the problem on the first call; it means deliveries on or ahead of the promised time; it means damage free deliveries and the ability to upsell the customer on the spot, and it means proactive field service rather than break/fix calls or routine maintenance.
The field workforce imperatives should align with two crucial corporate goals: growing the revenues of the company, and strengthening the customer experience. Quite simply, keeping the customer satisfied should be the primary emphasis for field workforce managers. Enabling workers to satisfy diverse and unique customer requirements and engendering customer loyalty should rank as the highest priorities.
Connected devices and quick access to order fulfillment applications can help in keeping customers satisfied by ensuring services performed within the promised time windows. In fact, Forrester Research shows that 73% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service. Mobile applications help collect data useful for workforce management, dwell times at locations, and the performance of the mobile workforce. They allow companies to know more about the condition of the assets they are servicing for customers, as well as the performance of the field workforce and the assets they use, such as delivery vehicles and tools.
Companies should also have an IoT (Internet of Things) strategy. An IoT platform can streamline and improve process efficiencies throughout the business operation, improve customer service by getting products or services and information out to customers quickly, and optimize technology through advanced systems integration which allows for greater visibility into production, inventory, and data. Companies should see mobile devices and IoT technologies as a way to strengthen the customer experience since meeting customer requirements is the top challenge for field workforces and maintaining customer trust is the leading quality desired from field workforces.
Excelling at customer service in the connected world is about bridging physical processes such as field service and delivery with systems for order fulfillment, sales and order promising, and workforce management. With the right devices and mobile data capture technologies in the hands of service, delivery, and field sales workforces, companies can better blend the challenges of the physical world with digital systems so that commitments are met, added products and services can be sold, and installed products will perform optimally for customers throughout their entire life-cycles.
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