The Future is Seamless: Omnichannel Marketing for Field Service Operations

iStock_000006889731XSmall-300x225How many ways can customers interact with your field service business? If the answer is more than one, your company is ready to take on the future of marketing: omnichannel style!

Omnichannel marketing strategies take all those touch points that you offer customers (websites, social media, brick-and-mortar, direct mail), and synthesize the experience across the board. If a customer begins a service order on his iPhone, he can finish up at the brick-and-mortar shop later. Information in the direct mail catalogue is consistent with the website resources. Along the customer journey, data is collected and stored. The experience is seamless and memorable.

A multi-channel marketing presence no longer appeases the mobile consumer. As Forbes contributor Lisa Arthur says, customers “expect you to be able to manage and integrate all their big data so you can provide them with an immersive experience, regardless of the channel where they found you.”

Public-facing field service companies have an opportunity here. Think of all your current customer data. Perhaps you have paper records, or store it in a field service software program. With an omnichannel marketing presence, that data is collected from any touch point, and can be retrieved in the system from other channels. It’s like an orchestration of data, and your customer is the maestro.

This approach can:

-Improve job dispatch and service times

-Cut down payment processing and billing

-Collect and retrieve customer and vehicle data with ease

And above all:

Provide customers with memorable and user-friendly experiences

Sounds good, right? Your customers will expect it. Start your omnichannel strategy today:

  1. Audit your current touch points. Branding and information should be consistent and up-to-date.
  2. Talk to your customers. Get feedback to discover which touch points are used most, and which are neglected. Ask about how the channels could be made better.
  3. Optimize your mobile presence (if you haven’t already). There are over 91.4 million smart phones in the United States, and 89% of these are used throughout the day (AnsonAlex.com). Simply put, your customers are mobile. Consider developing a responsive website or mobile app for your field service business. This is a channel where customers want to browse your services, track their shipments/vehicles, pay bills and make purchases. Put that power in their hands.
  4. Get your employees on board. Everyone-drivers, administrators, stakeholders, and even the student managing your social media, will interact with customers across these touch points, and must uphold consistent service in order to convince customers to return again and again.
  5. Provide customers with access to their account. With a log-in system on your Internet-enabled touch points, users can provide updated information that follows them as they interact with your company and complete tasks.
  6. Be open to adapt in the future. “As technologies continue to evolve-becoming faster, more versatile and cheaper than ever before-big data’s role will continue to swell and consumers and retailers will begin interacting across an even wider array of channels,” says Arthur. There will be more screens, and more advanced devices by which to showcase your field service company. Omnichannel marketing is an ongoing strategy, where your customers’ needs fuel change!

Conclusion

“Managers who want to make sure they’re getting the most out of their service departments need to train their eyes on the future and what’s coming down the road,” advises TheSmartVan.com contributor Ian Stewart. All signs point to omnichannel marketing, where your hard-working touch points compliment each other with seamless ease of use.

References

Anson, Alex. “Smartphone Usage Statistics 2012.” 31 January 2012. Ansonalex.com

Arthur, Lisa. “We’re Ready for the Omnichannel Revolution: Are You?” 5 August 2012. Forbes.com

Stewart, Ian. “Don’t Look Back: Where the Future of Field Service Technology Is Heading.” 31 July 2012. TheSmartVan.com

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