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Internal Communication for Better Customer Service

Your field staff are the face of your service business, so it’s essential that you build a great internal communication process in order to deliver the best customer service.

Field to office communication

Field service businesses face the challenging task of developing strong internal communication processes where front-line workers and management are in different locations at different times. It is important for employees in the field to communicate job updates, customer concerns, and next steps to management in a timely manner.

What requires communication from field staff back to the office? What information should management be aware of? Let’s dive into 3 situations that come up for field service companies that require good internal communication.

1. Breakage and damage

Sometimes mistakes happen—and that’s okay. If you’re running a company where employees are out in the field, there is always the chance that something is accidentally damaged or broken.

We’ve talked about the importance of creating a damage and breakage policy for residential cleaners, and the same logic applies to all other field service industries. You want to run a company your customers can trust so communicating breakage or damage to your clients is imperative in maintaining this trust.

Develop a policy to make sure field workers communicate to management any breakage or damage as soon as possible. Include paperwork and photo needs in this process and you’ll cover your bases, and turn an unfortunate incident into an opportunity to demonstrate your business’ professionalism.

2. Updating quotes from the field

If you’re creating quotes from the office, and you can’t see what you’re working on, things may change when you get to the job site!

A customer told you that their service area is 900 square feet when in fact it is closer to 1250. When you get to the job site, how will this impact the cost of the service?

While your field team is working on a property, your customer decides they’d like extra services. How does your team go about adjusting the quote to add the additional charges?

When quotes change, management and customers need to be aware of this. No customer likes hidden fees or surprise charges, so communicate the price changes before the final bill is delivered.

This might mean that before proceeding with the work, you or your employee talks to the customer to confirm a final price. Whatever process works best for your business, set it in stone.

3. Scheduling the next visit

A completed visit does not always mean a completed job. Sometimes your team will need a new part or extra time to complete a job. Other times, a rain storm may prevent your team from completing an outdoor job.

In these instances, you’ll need a procedure in place to schedule the next visit and communicate this to your customer.

If your field team does not control their schedule, make sure that there is a good process in place for the dispatch team to schedule and follow up with the customer. 

Perhaps in these cases, employees know an immediate call or text to the office is in order so that visits don’t fall through the cracks, or you set up the expectation that employees email you with updates like these at the end of each day. 

Quote

Remember that you want to identify areas that require communication back to the office/management, but you don’t want to create unnecessary back-and-forth and noise.

Quote

Developing your internal communication process

Your first step in developing your internal communication process is identifying what needs to be communicated back to the office and the examples in this post are a good starting point.

Remember that you want to identify areas that require communication back to the office/management, but you don’t want to create unnecessary back-and-forth and noise.

Once you have identified what needs to be communicated, you’ll need to decide how this is done.

Manual processes like having the field staff text, email, or phone the office work.

Determine the timing for each situation, identifying which issues require immediate communication, and which can wait until the end of the day.

If you’re using software (like Jobber) you can remove extra steps and automate much of your field to office communication. You can empower employees to add notes and photos to jobs, adjust job line items, and schedule follow-up visits.

No matter your process, remember that if you want to provide industry leading customer service you will need to have strong internal communication.

Do you have any other situations that require field to office communication? How does your field team communicate with the office? Leave a comment below!

Interested in seeing how Jobber can improve your internal communication process? Sign up for a free trial.

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