It doesn’t matter what business you’re in; customer retention is vital to your success. It leads to future business opportunities and is also much cheaper than attempting to bring in new customers. In fact, recent studies show that acquiring a new customer actually costs approximately five times more than retaining an existing one. The overall success rate of selling to a customer you’ve already done business with is approximately 60 to 70% as compared to attempting to sell to a new customer which results in a success rate between 5 and 20%. So, how can you improve your customer retention rates? Through the use of customer portals in the field service.
What are Customer Portals?
The customer portal is essentially a profile that your customer can use to do several different things, including:
- Directly contact your customer service team
- Review past services
- Schedule future appointments, etc.
Having these customer portals in the field service industry is essential because they give your customers direct access to something that customers nowadays demand from all businesses they choose to work with. In fact, when it comes to customer service expectations, approximately 75% of all customers expect to receive a quick response when they put in a request or inquiry for something.
Now, these customer portals do more than just give customers access to your team members. They are also an excellent way to get to know more about your customers and their needs. That’s because most customer portals allow the individual to customize their profile with more than just their name but information such as personal preferences. Finally, once they’ve started doing business with you, both you and they have a full record of their past completed services, allowing you to gather important information about what your customers turn to you for the most.
So, aside from getting to know who your customers are and opening up a channel for direct communications, how can customer portals help improve customer retention in the field service industry?
Four Ways Customer Portals Help Improve Customer Retention in the Field Service Industry
Customer retention in the field service industry requires a brand to pay special attention to its customer’s needs. Why? Because success in the field service industry relies entirely on customer satisfaction. So, what are the benefits of customer retention in the field service industry?
1. Adds Convenience for Your Customers
Arguably one of the most beneficial aspects of having a customer portal is that It makes things convenient for your customers. Whether they need to set up an appointment or review cost breakdowns of a previous project, having a customer portal makes it easier to find what they need and complete various tasks in a matter of minutes and without having to go out of their way or spend hours on hold waiting for a customer service representative. Instead, they have everything they need at the tip of their fingertips.
Customers are willing to pay premium prices for convenience, especially when it comes to the field service industry. Approximately 43% of consumers have stated that they would pay more for greater convenience. Consumers want things done when they need them done, and having to sit around and wait just convinces them that they should turn their attention elsewhere.
This is where customer portals come in. By giving your customers direct access to various tasks, such as scheduling, they have the power to make decisions. Depending on the business, customers can choose not only the service they need help with but the time they need it done, and oftentimes they can choose to work with a previous technician or opt to work with a new one depending on who’s available when they need their service completed.
2. Provides Customers with Access to Important Information
Customer portals can also be a wealth of knowledge for your clients. Customer portals don’t have to be limited to just the client’s history with you. When it comes to customer retention in the field service industry, including relevant content within your customer portals such as FAQ or recent blog postings can prove extremely beneficial to your brand.
How? Your customers are bound to have plenty of questions that they’re going to need answers to. So, instead of making them search the internet for those answers, you could be providing your customers with those answers right in their portals. This shows that you care about the needs of your customers and that you are an authority figure within your industry.
Authority is crucial in customer retention and customer loyalty. The more authoritative your brand is within the industry, the more likely your current customers are to encourage others to seek out your services as well. That means having customer portals helps improve your customer loyalty in the field service industry and could very well lead to improved lead generation rates.
3. Provides Complete Transparency
Now, you already understand just how important it is to give your customers access to information they need. However, when it comes to customer retention in the field service industry, you also want to make sure that the information you’re providing them with is relevant to their needs and allows you to be completely transparent with them.
Transparency, in this case, means being open and honest with your customers about what’s going on with your brand, within the industry, etc.
Why is transparency important? Because customers not only expect that you attend to their needs but that you address things with them directly. If something comes up with your brand or within your industry, they want to know how it will affect them. Being transparent with them helps boost your authority. It will help them see you as an honest brand, one that isn’t afraid to be completely open and truthful about anything. This honesty will go a long way when it comes to customer retention, especially in the field service industry.
4. Improves Overall Customer Satisfaction Rates
Finally, with access to unlimited knowledge, brand transparency, and thanks to the convenience that customer portals provide, you’ll start to notice that your customer satisfaction rates also start to improve. This is because you’ve gone out of your way to give your clients access to everything they need.
The more satisfied your customers are, the more likely they are to do future business with you. Even better is the fact that they will be more likely to leave positive reviews on your website, social media platforms, and other service platforms, which will encourage others to seek out your business as well. In fact, research shows that approximately 79% of consumers trust online reviews just as much if not more than they do personal recommendations from a friend or family member.
Start Utilizing Customer Portals Today with FieldDirect
If you’re looking to improve your customer retention rates in the field service industry, then you want to consider utilizing customer portals. Not sure where to begin? Then consider FieldDirect from FieldConnect.
FieldDirect is a customer self-service portal that allows your customers to request services and track them. Not only that, but your customers will get direct access to their invoices, both past and present, and it gives them the convenience of scheduling services on their time.
Curious how FieldDirect could help improve your customer retention? Then contact us today for more information!