Perfecting Your Customer Follow-Up

Linda Formichelli
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This is the final post in the four-part series on customer experience, where we have you imagine your way through your business's customer journey.

We've divided the customer journey into four sections, and for each one we've listed the common obstacles that get in the way of the perfect customer experience:

Part 1: The Customer Calls

Part 2: Sending the Engineer

Part 3: The Repair/Installation  

> Part 4: After the Sale

This week, we'll be talking all about problems relating to customer follow-up.

Of course, we would never throw a bunch of problems at you and leave it at that. That's why each of these posts has a companion post where you can read the fixes for all these customer experience issues. Check out the solutions post for Part 4 here.

In case you'd rather read offline, or would like to share these solutions with your engineers and staff, we also created a downloadable PDF that contains all four solutions posts in one nice package. Grab your copy for free right now!

Channel your inner customer.

To help you see the experience your business provides from the customer's perspective, in these posts we're asking you to play the part of a customer who's called a plumbing company to fix a leak. If that doesn't work for you, replace that scenario with one that does; for example, maybe you're a customer who's called a fire and security company to install a new alarm system.

After we discuss each possible pothole on your customer's journey, we've taken the liberty of speculating how you (you're the customer, remember!) will be feeling about your business.

The customer experience problems we cover here are relevant to most field service businesses. Depending on your particular business, you may turn up even more. Don't let it get you down—it's better to know about the problems so you can fix them and create a perfect customer experience. Happier customers = more jobs!

Let's do this.

Customer Touchpoint #7: Paying for service

The engineer has completed the job and it's time for the customer to pay. Imagine how the process looks from the customer's viewpoint. Do you notice any of these problems?

The problem: The invoicing process is clunky.

The engineer digs through a pile of paper forms on their clipboard and finally finds the one for you to sign off on. Several days later you receive an invoice in the post. (That's if you're lucky. The other scenario is that the invoice never arrives and, being an honest customer, you have to call the business to chase it down.) It makes you want to yell, 'Why won't you take my money?!'

You feel: Mild bemusement that there are still businesses that work this way. Not to mention, your confidence level in the business drops; is a field service company that's so behind the times really using the most up-to-date tools and technology?

Problem: The business makes it difficult to pay.

It would be so convenient if you could just hand the engineer a credit or debit card while they were at your home, or pay online—but the only payment option is for you to send a cheque when the invoice finally arrives.

You feel: Guilty that you keep procrastinating on sending the cheque. It's such a hassle, not to mention you can't find a stamp.

Customer Touchpoint #8: After the sale

The job is done and you've paid, but it's not over yet. Keep a lookout for these problems as you envision, from the customer's perspective, what happens once the field service company has your money.

Problem: You never get a request for feedback.

At this point you might be happy, disappointed, or steaming with anger—but the company will never know, because they never asked.

You feel: Like just another number in the business's invoicing system. You paid—and now they're done with you.

Problem: The company doesn't send you any follow-ups.

You joined the plumbing company's email list and opted in to receive information, but once the sale is done you never hear from them again: No thanks, no news, no special promotions.

You feel: Nothing. You feel zero loyalty towards this company, so the next time you need service you'll probably search Google again and call the first business that pops up.

Problem: You forget to schedule annual service.

You bought a new appliance from the plumbing company that requires annual maintenance, but who has time to remember to call and schedule an appointment? You're busy with little things like, oh you know, working at your job and raising your children.

You feel: Panicked when that appliance starts making a funny noise because you never had it serviced.

How did you do?

You've now seen the entire customer experience through the eyes of your customer. How did your business fare? If you discovered that your businesses is making your customers anything less than perfectly happy, take a look at our companion post with the solutions to the problems you read in this post.

If you prefer to read offline or would like to share the solutions with your office staff or engineers, click the banner below to download our PDF that offers the solutions to the problems we described in all four posts in this series.

We hope our customer experience series has helped you pinpoint the rough patches in your customer journey—and smooth them over so your customers will be thrilled with your service.

At Commusoft, we're all about helping field service business grow and thrive. Here's to more and better jobs!

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