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The proliferation of on-demand services (see: Uber, Lyft) and quick-service technologies (see: Amazon Prime) means customer service expectations are at an all-time high. With a few taps of their mobile devices, customers expect great service to come to them (quickly). Every little bit of added friction increases the chances customers leave a bad review or go to a competitor.
Even if you’re a small service business, you need to match the high-quality customer experience of larger, on-demand companies to compete. And to do that, you need to implement some technologies that allow you to take your office anywhere.
Meeting customer expectations
If you take a look at Yelp reviews written over the past 10 years, you’d see that the percentage of four- and five-star reviews has decreased steadily over time while one- to three-star reviews have risen significantly.
The graph (by Max Woolf on Minimaxir) shows this noticeable increase from 2005 to 2015 in percentages. In 2005, 23.6 percent of Yelp reviews were one to three stars. By 2014, the same segment increased to 33.3 percent. Respectively, four- and five-star reviews have declined from 76.4 percent to 66.8 percent.
This demonstrates that customer expectations are extremely high. Businesses that don’t adopt technology that makes things as quick and easy as possible are setting themselves to fall behind right out of the gate.
Amazon, for example, provides a high-quality customer experience by predicting what customers will buy next based on previous purchases. Its algorithmic secret sauce adds a personal touch, making it easy for returning customers to check out by removing time and friction. Small businesses can deliver a similar level of customer service by using technology to manage customer relationships and then adding the human touch in a way that only small businesses can.
Here are three easy ways to deliver a high-quality customer experience in the field:
- Manage customer data and communication using customer relationship management (CRM) software, adding personalized touches where appropriate.
- Let customers pay on the go with a credit card or Apple Pay using Square’s new POS solution.
- Use advanced scheduling/dispatch software to keep customers updated.
These improvements take very little time to set up and go a long way toward delivering customers the frictionless experience they’re used to in their day-to-day lives. We’ve also seen a direct correlation between technology and five-star reviews.
Getting your team mobile ready
When you add up all the time it takes to pass information along from the customer to your employees to the office, and then back to your customer, it can be astonishing. Therefore, cutting down on the back-and-forth is key to getting your team mobile ready. You should onboard technologies that allow you to:
- Optimize scheduling, dispatching, routing, and tracking to ensure your team arrives on time
- Automate team and customer communication to keep everyone informed
- Share customer and job data for smoother, more personalized interactions
- Estimate, invoice, and take payments on the spot through your mobile device
It’s a lot, and probably sounds like it’s hard or expensive to implement, but you really only need to add two additional pieces of technology: a Square card reader and the Breezeworks app. These help you get your team to jobs on time efficiently and give your team the information and tools they need to get the job done in the field. Say goodbye to the days of needing customers to call the office and run a credit card over the phone.
This autonomy helps employees be more efficient and productive, allowing them to complete more jobs and earn more money. Plus, your customers are happier, which means better reviews and more repeat business.
Enabling employees through technology cuts overhead costs tremendously, increases employee productivity, bolsters customer reviews, and makes you more money. Bringing the office to the customer matches the five-star experience that companies like Uber and Amazon are offering. If you’d like to learn more about smart scheduling and CRM software, check out the Breezeworks website.