Since our last Coronavirus post, it has become even more clear that this is not a temporary phenomenon. Service and support processes have been impacted. Field service managers are scrambling to re-calibrate their service organizations so their service techs can work from home. Hospitals are requesting that no techs enter the building unless it’s related to COVID-19. Work is being scheduled for off-hours. When a customer calls in for service, you now have to ask them questions about their own employees who may or may not be experiencing symptoms (and enter their answers in your CRM). If a tech does do work on-site, they no longer are asking for signatures so that people aren’t touching their phones/tablets.
One company told me their techs are being asked to sign liability waivers before beginning work. Since they’re not authorized to do this, they have to leave the site without doing the work.
What’s also happening is that field service managers are having to look at their own teams and make some assessments. Are any of your service techs in an “at-risk” group (i.e. over age 60, have asthma, etc.)? Do they have kids that are now at home because their daycare is closed? Should you re-assign these techs to roles such as help desk where they can minimize contact with others? If they are your more experienced techs (and most will be), how do you enable them to still have an impact?
These are the right things to consider for your service organization. But what about your customers?
- What if they didn’t always need to call support and ask for help?
- Would it help if they could resolve at least some issues themselves that currently require a dispatch?
- Would it be better if they didn’t have to deal with their own COVID-19 procedures for dealing with visiting service techs?
There are tools out there that can empower your customers to help themselves, and they aren’t expensive and implementing them is not hard. If they encounter a problem, they can use the tool, and in many cases fix things and keep going. No dispatch. No assessing which tech to send. No threat of infection for your team. In addition to the above, there are other benefits that clearly align with your own organization’s KPI’s:
- Lower downtime
- Faster problem resolution
- Better customer satisfaction
We have been working with field service and support teams for decades. We’re big fans! They are the faces of your company to your customers. Comment below and tell us how you are looking at empowering your customers to make their experience with your products even better.