The New CX Standard (2017)

By David Troll, Glympse

Face-to-face field service interactions are the most critical step of the cable customer’s journey. Because these occur in a customer’s home, they are intimate, memorable and often the most powerful reference a customer will have by which to measure a brand. However, field service interactions are historically viewed by customers and field service technicians alike as frustrating, high-friction events - primarily due to their uncertain and unpredictable nature.

Successful field service interactions can launch long-term, loyal customer relationships and increase employee satisfaction and retention. But one mistake can create a cord-cutter, and frustrated customers can likewise drive costly employee churn.

Field service success, in this context, means delivering phenomenal customer experiences. Doing so requires 1) equipping both field service technicians and customers with access to high caliber tools and technology and 2) empowering them to effectively engage with one another during the appointment journey. That’s not to say that only perfectly executed field service appointments are successful. It’s impossible to account for every variable and thus impossible to give all customers precise information (service windows, arrival time, completion time, etc) and guarantee results.

Rather, successful field service engagements require humanizing two-way interactions and multi-party coordination in order to respect everyone’s time and emphasize the “service” component. More simply, customer and employee satisfaction increases if you make a reasonable commitment, keep everyone informed, and meet the commitment or communicate issues early. Traffic patterns and human error will render any estimated arrival time obsolete, for cable technicians or taxis and ride-hailing apps, but continuous updates and real-time visibility can make even that experience positive. Likewise, advance communication and flexible customer reschedule options can remove the technician’s anxiety when approaching the door of a subscriber who has waited hours past their expected appointment time.

Cable operators that excel in delivering insight-driven, customer-centric field service don’t just get happy customers and employees: these multi-system operators (MSOs) also reap revenue and operational benefits as a direct result of deeper engagement between customers and technicians. Customers that are fully informed about a technician’s arrival are:

  • less likely to call customer care asking “Where’s my tech?”
  • less likely to abandon the appointment, requiring another truck-roll or losing the subscriber completely
  • more likely to facilitate the technician’s quick access, resulting in faster completion times
  • eligible to be billed immediately following an installation (accelerating or retaining revenue that would be rescheduled or lost)

A location-based approach to customer experience (CX) in field service delivers concrete financial impact.

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