Whilst everyone agrees that in this day and age, metro and regional Australia customers should enjoy an equally high standard of field services, the fact is that for many mid-level businesses, a two-tier service system is very much alive and kicking. What's more, it's a divide that's costing these enterprises dearly in money and reputation. The solution? Field service providers who offer their own fully integrated solution.
Why is there a service divide?
Platforms that bring together all the business functions – such as call centres, for example – can successfully triage, book and track service and maintenance calls in a transparent end-to-end process. At least, that's the case for metro customers. They directly benefit from the business providing field technicians employed by IT enterprise services companies with real-time information, ensuring higher response and service levels.
However, setting the scene in regional areas and an effective platform is only part of the equation. For field service to be truly effective outside of metro areas, there's more that you should be expecting from your field service provider, including:
To ensure regional area customers are inconvenienced for as short a time as possible, your field service agreement should also encompass a first visit resolution guarantee that effectively underwrites that the job will be completed when the technician gets to the site. What's more, it should guarantee that the technician will stay until the job is done and your customer confirms that all is in order. Such a guarantee creates exceptional customer experiences and means you don't need to spend money sending the engineer back again, further cutting into your margin.
What can a business do?
There's no doubt that securing reliable field services delivery in regional Australia is a consistent thorn in the side of many businesses. When field services are inconsistent in quality and efficiency, the toll on a business's reputation can be considerable. And although those same businesses may know that their current field service set-up is often unreliable in speed, efficiency, and reporting, they can be reluctant to seek a better solution. It's rather like changing your bank. You may dislike their service and believe their charges are excessive. Still, unless they make you angry, you're unwilling to go through the painful and time-consuming exercise of moving from one lending institution to another.
But it doesn't have to be that way. What's needed is for businesses to raise their expectations and realise they can do better for their customers and erase the service divide between metro and regional service. The good news is that switched on field service providers who offer all the benefits discussed above are out there. You need to go and look for them. And something else to consider? They're already helping your competitors to offer a vastly improved after-sales experience.