Adapted from the eBook, Field Service in the Cloud: How DISH Network Delivers Tomorrow’s CX Today, written by Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert.
Technology is an amazing phenomenon and is certainly making it easier for businesses to operate in ways that win over customers. But, technology alone does not solve all of your customer experience (CX) problems.
Recently, I spoke to David Troll, VP of DISH Smart Home Services, and Robb Origer, VP of DISH In-Home Services. David told me that organizations need to align all of their tools with their internal procedures to create an ideal experience:
“In today’s modern, complex corporate environment, you can’t achieve your ideal outcomes without the technology, although the technology doesn’t ‘automagically’ deliver the results without it being an integrated process.”
There is perhaps no greater change happening around CX, customer expectations, and their impact on employees than in the field service industry.
Traditionally, the focus for field service was on not dropping the ball. We paid a lot of attention (and rightfully so) to centralized coordination; dispatch, technician management, and customer interactions. All these functions were co-located in a centralized place with an amalgam of systems powering them.
And technical and operational expertise was primarily siloed, meaning that technicians were experts in one or a small handful of product or scenarios, and were directed to a relevant job by a centralized dispatch system.
To give a real-world example, my wine refrigerator needed to be repaired. In the past, the manufacturer would have to find and send me a technician with experience on that specific model. Or, a broad appliance repair organization would have to hope that one or more of their staff members either had experience with this make and model, or could figure it out on-site, and in real-time.
If they sent anyone who wasn’t wholly experienced, the potential for a repeat field visit goes up, costing the company money and causing me frustration.
While many companies still struggle with these circumstances today, more and more organizations have learned that technology enables multidirectional–communication between technicians, back office, customers, peers, and even machines. This information dissemination web gets the needed insights where they need to go, while also, ironically, eliminating the need for each member out in the field to know everything about everything.
This real-time information, sometimes accessed by augmented reality mobile apps and real-time video chats, allows companies to break down outdated silos and make better, faster decisions that get wine refrigerators fixed and make customers happy.
Field service will embrace centralized data
As the complexities of IOT-connected devices continue to multiply, centralized “single source of truth” information hubs with remote technicians able to access them on-site become that much more important. Leveraging a centralized information portal makes it less critical that each technician in the field carries around in their skull an encyclopedic knowledge and case history of their category.
Instead, centralized data, easily accessible in the field, instantly gives field technicians the tools and the independence they need to provide fast, flexible, accurate service while improving routing and efficiencies for their employers.
Not only will this improve the lives of the technicians and their command center colleagues, consumers will benefit by having access to many of the same real-time technologies we have come to expect from disruptive, B2C companies.
Real field service success stories are already happening
Many consumers have a horror story about waiting around for the television repair person—the #1 complaint of any television customer. DISH Network is leading the way to change that narrative.
As Robb from DISH Network puts it, the company switched from a “here’s what works for us” model to something entirely experimental.
He says that in terms of when appointments were set up, “We did a test. We opened up [every field service technician’s] capacity on every day of the week to find out: If we let the customer do whatever they’d like, what is it that they really want from us?”
DISH learned three key things:
- People calling that day wanted to see a technician the same day or the following day.
- With the same level of staffing, vehicles, and equipment, his technicians were able to complete more work.
- Customers were happier and remained customers longer.
How improving the employee experience improves customer experience
With such fantastic results, Robb knew he needed to make this change nationally. To build a team who could respond to these customer expectations, he started by recruiting people who had a passion for providing top notch customer experience inside the home. “If I could find folks who were passionate about that,” Robb said, “I knew could teach them the rest.”
DISH now has an excellent employee training program for their technicians that places them across nearly every customer facing piece of the business before they go into the field. Personally, I love how this creates empathy—not only for the customer, but for every role across the organization.
From the customer side of things, DISH’s “My Tech” app makes life incredibly simple. On the day of the appointment, DISH gives customers a 75-minute arrival window. When the technician is within 60 minutes of their destination, the app gives the customer a name, picture, and location of their field agent, as well as a map to see how soon they will indeed be arriving.
To learn more about how DISH Network is taking field service customer experiences to the next level, check out my new eBook, sponsored by Oracle: Field Service in the Cloud: How DISH Network Delivers Tomorrow’s CX Today.