What Customers Dislike About Field Service Visits

By December 9, 2014 Perspective 3 Comments

Our field service research survey is yielding some incredible results and I look forward to sharing them with the community via our blogs, research insights, and more.

One of the interesting findings was around customer complaints tied to field service work (see chart below)

Figure: Customer Dissatisfaction with Field ServiceCustomer Complaints FS2

Source: TSC Data, December 2014

The top answer isn’t surprising and ties into the fact that customers want issues resolved quickly and effectively. Most organizations would like this to happen too. What is surprising is that it isn’t the overwhelming top choice. In past years, we’ve seen poor first-time fix be the top reason for complaints by a wide margin.

So does this mean that customers don’t care about first-time fix as much, or does it mean that service organizations are getting better at first-time fix, or does it mean that the other areas highlighted on the chart are becoming more important. Lets dig into it a little bit more, but I can say for sure that customers’ desire for first-time fix hasn’t gone down.

Average first-time fixes have stayed constant over the previous 12 months of our research. Last year, our research showed first-time fix rates in the mid 70s, and that holds true for this year’s audience. What has changed is the number of service issues resolved without dispatch, either via remote resolutions or through self-service channels. Therefore, customers are seeing better overall resolution rates without onsite technicians. When technicians are dispatched, first-time fix rates have stayed relatively constant.

Other factors that impact the field service experience are becoming much more important in the minds of customers. Once again, they want service issues resolved effectively (see our post on effectiveness vs. experience) but they also want to have more control over the experience of the visit. Therefore things like time to receive an appointment, field agent visibility, length of time of appointment window (22% of respondents), self-service options regarding field service appointments (17% of respondents), are beginning to irk customers.

Also interesting is the note on the cost of service. This is the first data that we’ve seen tied to customer concerns regarding the cost of service, especially non-contract covered break/fix service. Essentially, as customers perceive visible service performance to have stayed relatively flat, they don’t see why they have to pay more for a standard field service visit. Or if their service providers are investing in efficiencies and less visible service procedures, then why aren’t those cost savings being extended to customers?

We’re going to pose that question (cost of service) to our community to learn a little more about the pricing of service offerings and its impact on customer behavior. It will also be a topic of discussion at our Smarter Services Symposium (March 10-12 in San Diego).

If you have any thoughts on the topic around field service performance, the field service experience, or the pricing discussion, please do send those in. If interested in participating in our field service survey before it closes, please do so (LINK) in the coming week before it closes.

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