In the world of office work, there’s always an ‘app for that’. Field workers, on the other hand, are left with almost nothing for them. Despite regularly being on the road to see clients, handling upselling and cross-selling, and often needing to connect into work after typical work hours, field workers have been forced to hack their way through software not built for the way they work.
As customers demand better service and field employees work harder than ever to deliver contactless support in the COVID era, the need for purpose-built technology could not be greater. After observing thousands of house calls and hours of field service video calls, we’ve identified three key areas that require purpose-built technology.
Consumer apps have made on-demand not just a reality, but an expectation. You can get a taxi, a burger, a vacation, or even buy a house on demand. Yet it takes days to book a tech support house call? This doesn’t make any sense, especially as 90 percent of customers say an immediate response is critical when they have a service request.
We learned that field service workers and customers alike were hesitant to use mainstream video calling systems because they weren’t secure and required downloading and signing up for yet another app. That’s why the foundation of ICwhatUC is secure, encrypted video that’s accessed with a web browser - all you need is a link, and the video is never stored on a field worker’s device.
Quoting and sales
Our customer data shows that sales are won with speed, not physically showing up. This goes against conventional wisdom that you have to give a personal touch to close the deal, but the reality is that customers often choose the most responsive company, not necessarily the one who shows up in person or is friendliest (though being friendly helps when you’re also fast!). In our data, the company that is quickest to deliver a quote wins 8 percent more work, even when that quote is over video.
Field service workers spend nearly 40 percent of their days on the road driving to house calls, often going unsure of the root problem, only being told that a customer has an issue. Because field workers often go in blind, 25 percent of house calls require a second visit to truly solve the problem.
This kind of shift is becoming unacceptable for some customers, leading to bad customer service reviews and eventually customer churn. When we built ICwhatUC, a huge focus was making sure our secure video platform could help field workers solve problems without needing to make a house call. If a house call was necessary, a pre-call made sure it could be solved the first time. All of this meant far less time driving and more time selling or helping customers, plus cost savings from decreased maintenance on vehicles.
It’s time for purpose-built
Slow field service with multiple house calls was never preferred, but used to be accepted as a necessity. Improvements in consumer technology have proven that convenience can be built with security in mind, meaning that now is the time to invest in purpose-built technology for field service workers. These employees are the bedrock of your business, and should be empowered to serve customers and improve the bottom line at the same time.