Mastering the Customer Journey

The most successful B2C businesses focus relentlessly on the customer experience. Whether it’s Amazon, Postmates, Lyft, or the next industry mover, these companies make it easy for customers to access their service and consistently deliver on the promises they’ve made.

These companies drive expectations across the board, even in B2B scenarios. They understand customers have plenty of choices, so if you aren’t providing a great customer experience or a must-have product, they will simply go somewhere else. Their work to simplify the customer experience has affected customers’ expectations of ALL the companies they do business with.

So in this age of high expectations, how do you make every step of the customer journey a positive experience? For a company with mobile employees, the key is effective mobile workforce management. When you equip your mobile workforce with the tools they need to do their best work, customer satisfaction comes naturally.

How the Workforce is Changing

In order to meet and exceed customer expectations, you have to understand the state of customer service in general.

By 2020, there will be 105 million mobile workers in the U.S., representing nearly 75% of the U.S. workforce. With this in mind, companies are taking a serious look at their mobile work strategy, including processes and technology used to manage mobile employees. As the mobile workforce grows, these tools will be increasingly important to the customer journey.

Mobile technology is continually growing and expanding as part of the modern workforce. To keep up with the pace of change, companies have to think holistically about their technology strategy. Providing a consistently great customer experience requires investing time, attention, and money in the technology that supports it.  

This investment looks different for every product and every industry. For some, it will be heavy investment in features and capabilities. For others, it will be about investing in self-service tools that let customers do things on their own schedule. For companies that have employees providing service in the field, it may be about investing in better ways to manage the mobile workforce.

But no matter the industry, these companies are driving toward the same goal: bring a service to customers, on the customers’ terms.

Managing Your Mobile Workforce (From Multiple Perspectives)

As the mobile workforce grows, mobile workforce management becomes incredibly important. Employees are the face of your brand out in the field, and how they interact with customers defines your brand reputation. Without strong workforce management tools and processes, you run the risk of missed appointments, unprepared employees, unnecessary repeat visits, siloed data, and other mistakes. (And don’t forget, customers are twice as likely to share a bad customer experience with people than a good one.)

So how do you solve this problem in a way that makes sense for your mobile employees, your back office administrators, and your customers? Look at how the different parts of your business interact with each other and with customers. Below, you’ll see a breakdown of the customer journey from three different perspectives: the customer, the back office/scheduler, and the mobile employee. Walk through the customer journey to see what each group needs at every stage.

 

 

First Moment of Service
A request originates from a customer, a mobile worker, or the back office.
Customer:
Back Office/Scheduler:
Mobile Workforce:
The company will respond to my request quickly and be flexible with me as we set up the right time for service.
I receive the job request, but I need to get some customer details from the CRM (in addition to knowing who’s available for the job).
I am waiting for new assignments that make sense for my route and expertise.

Schedule and Assign Service
The back office works with the customer and mobile employee to schedule service.
Customer:
Back Office/Scheduler:
Mobile Workforce:
The company will quickly send me accurate information about my appointment in a format that I can access.
I need to find the ideal time to perform this service, taking into account the business needs, the customer’s request, and the availability of qualified workers.
I need to receive detailed information about the job in one convenient place (without calling or emailing multiple times).
Real-Time Job Execution
The mobile employee is completing the job, the most critical part of the customer journey.
Customer:
Back Office/Scheduler:
Mobile Workforce:
Someone will arrive at the right time with the right equipment to complete the job to my satisfaction.
I will be able to communicate  with the mobile worker assigned to the job, request additional resources when needed, and see when the job has started or ended.
Technology should help me do my job every step of the way, not make it more complicated. I should be on time, prepared, and knowledgeable about the job AND the customer.
Job Completion
The job has just been completed, and all that’s left is the follow-up.
Customer:
Back Office/Scheduler:
Mobile Workforce:
The job should be done right the first time, and I shouldn’t have to wait around to fill out paperwork. If I have questions or concerns, I should know exactly who to ask.
I should be able to see when a job is completed and the worker is headed to the next job in the queue (especially since customers are asking me for status updates).
I want to mark “Job Complete” with one click so I can move on to the next job when it’s time. I don’t want to spend time waiting while the customer fills out forms.
Billing and Analysis
Customer:
Back Office/Scheduler:
Mobile Workforce:
I want to receive an accurate, timely invoice.
I want paperwork and time sheets in real-time so I can issue invoices and paychecks quickly and accurately.
I want to spend time solving customers’ problems, not clarifying or refiling paperwork.

 

Now that you’ve seen the thought process and expectations for each group, think about your current processes.

  • Do your current tools make it easy for schedulers and other administrators to do their jobs?
  • Do your current tools make it easy for mobile workers to perform service in the field?
  • Are your customers satisfied with the communication and service they get from you?
  • Is there a clear solution to an existing service bottleneck?

If not, ask yourself where the problem lies. If it’s a problem with your CRM or workforce management system, maybe it’s time to evaluate some other options. If it’s a problem with a different process, think about how that process fits with your long-term plan to bring value to customers.

Mastering the Customer Journey for Your Business

 

So what are the best lessons you can take from the customer journey (and the companies that are working to perfect it)? Your business needs to be:

  • Responsive. In today’s 24/7/365 business environment, your business must be responsive to both short-term customer needs (i.e. troubleshooting, customer service, upgrades) and long-term customer needs (i.e. demand for new features or related products).
  • Respectful of customers’ time. Your customers have plenty of options, so give them good reasons to consider you. Put the most valuable information front and center, give customers easy access to the service whenever they need it, and don’t mislead anyone just for the possibility of a purchase.
  • Ready to deliver the service you have promised. This seems simple, but it can be incredibly complicated when you think about everything that goes into fulfilling your promise: being consistent and honest during the sales process, ensuring marketing materials match the capabilities of your service, and continuously upgrading technology to support your commitments.

No customer journey is transformed overnight, but focusing on the right things—streamlining the experience for your customers AND your employees—will bring success. For more guidance on mobile workforce management tools, download our ebook: 5 Secrets to Evaluating the Best Mobile Workforce Management Solution.