In an increasingly competitive marketplace, customers are more focused than ever on the experience they get rather than the product itself. Seventy percent of buying decisions are based on customer experience, reports Cisco—and research from Salesforce says that more than half of consumers say that companies have a harder time earning their trust than ever before.
But what parts of the experience are most important to customers, and how can you improve those elements to keep them coming back to your home service brand? Here are the most important CX (customer service) trends to watch in 2020.
Home service customers want to communicate on their terms.
Not so long ago, field service businesses could get away with just using the phone (and maybe email) to keep in touch with customers.
Now, those same customers live in a more connected world, with smartphones at their fingertips and mobile apps for just about everything. They expect their favorite brands to connect with them on their terms—wherever and however they prefer to be engaged. Salesforce found that 40% of customers will find a different company if they can’t use their preferred channels.
What does that mean for your home service brand? In short, you need to meet your customers where they are. Offer job status updates via text. Provide a mobile app where customers can get instant updates and leave feedback when the job’s complete. Create a web portal where they can update job details, upload photos for service professionals to review before their visit and communicate easily with your service team.
Home service customers want to know who they’re talking to.
When customers visit your social media profiles, go to your website, or talk to your call center team, can they easily tell they’re talking to the same company? Do they experience an easy transition between different touchpoints with you—or are they running into roadblocks in the form of different silos separated by each department?
According to the Salesforce research, 59% of customers felt like they were talking to completely different companies as they got handed off to different departments.
Instead of a smooth transition, many companies make their customers provide the same information to each new department, creating frustration that can send a customer searching for a new company to do business with.
Fixing this issue starts with taking a look at your various channels and creating a cohesive message and experience across all of them. You also need to give all of your team members—across all departments—access to centralized customer information so they can provide answers and take care of customer concerns efficiently.
Finally, make sure your third-party service providers are on the same page as you are. Even the greatest customer experience can fall apart if the final piece—the actual service provided in the home—doesn’t meet their expectations.
Tracking what your third-party provider is doing in the field will help you provide a smooth customer experience all the way through their journey with you. With up-to-the-minute progress reporting, you can keep your customers informed on when their service provider will arrive, keep track of how long service calls take and gather crucial data that will help you provide more efficient service on future calls.
Home service customers want personalization
Generic, one-size-fits-all messaging doesn’t work anymore—customers want their communication with your brand to be based on their individual needs and preferences.
As Forbes points out, gaining a deeper understanding of your customers lets you customize not only the kind of messaging, but when you deliver that messaging.
For service businesses, this could mean you’re looking at trends in shopping habits for Millennials, compared to other age demographics. What kind of home does a millennial buy? What kinds (or brands) of appliances? How many of them use mobile devices, and how do they prefer to communicate with you? Using data like this, you can create highly personalized messaging and services to fit their needs.
In Cisco’s survey, 77% of digital natives expect businesses to personalize their customer experience.
Home service customers want shareable content
When it comes to grabbing a modern customer’s attention, interactivity is the name of the game. Forbes reports that 91% of customers are looking for more visual and interactive content from brands.
This kind of content keeps visitors on your website longer and is more shareable than, for example, plain text-based blog posts. More shares mean more awareness for your brand, which can translate into a big influx of new customers.
What does that visual content look like for service brands? Maybe it’s a video that provides an entertaining look at the typical service call (or a comparison between your service and a competitor’s). Or you might create an infographic explaining the benefits of your service, along with relevant statistics.
The key to creating shareable content is to make sure it also gives your customer information that helps them make a good buying decision, improve their service outcome, or take care of some other necessary task. Entertainment alone won’t keep your customers coming back.
These trends can be either exciting or daunting, depending on how much focus you’ve put into customer experience so far. If you’re feeling a little outdated, now’s the time to think about what your customers need from your home service brand, and what tools you can use to deliver five-star service.
Need some help updating your customer experience for 2020? Dispatch offers a suite of tools that put customer information at your fingertips, allowing you to delight your customers with personalized service. Request your demo to see what it can do for you.