2021 Customer Experience Trends for Field and Home Service Businesses

Introduction

Customer service is different today from what it once was. Modern consumers have high expectations; they want a top-notch customer experience with the digital capabilities and quality support services to back it up.

On top of that, competition is fierce in the field and home service industry. Business owners have to get creative in order to keep up, drive revenue and maintain a competitive edge in the market. Fortunately, the field and home services market is poised for growth: Consumer spending on home services outpaced most other major categories in the second half of 2020 despite the initial negative impact brought on by COVID-19.

We asked our fellow Nexstar partners what field and home service businesses can do to increase their growth in 2021 and beyond. Here’s what they shared:

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Chapter 1

Emphasize effective communication

Finding ways to stand out in the crowd is a challenging but necessary task when you run a field or home service business. Much of the time, organizations focus on killing it for the customer as a way of standing out — but what if setting your business apart starts with attracting and retaining the best talent? If so, what steps can you take to do so?

Amanda Heying, a marketing specialist at Resources Unlimited, says effective communication can help you attract and retain talent and ultimately stand out next to your competitors. 

“Whether you’re a new business starting out or an existing one that’s been around the block a time or two, the same question is always asked: How can we increase our business growth? The answer is by setting yourself apart — not only by continuing to provide your clients with excellent customer service from start to finish and beyond, but more importantly, being able to attract and retain the best talent. This is not always an easy task, but one element of setting yourself apart is putting an emphasis on successful communication.”

According to Heying, it’s critical that organizations proactively address communication issues in a way that drives their business forward. There are multiple ways this can be accomplished. Many Nexstar members have found success with Resources Unlimited’s Everything DiSC® program, which can help bridge communication gaps, build stronger teams, hone leadership skills, cultivate an engaged workforce and boost performance.

Chapter 2

Hold coaching and team-building sessions

Hiring and retaining employees is the leading business challenge for all field and home service companies. This is problematic for a number of reasons, but especially because employee attrition is bad for business. High turnover rates consistently correlate with lost productivity, employee burnout and poor engagement — all of which can impede your growth, profitability and success.

Effectively communicating with employees plays a significant role when it comes to retaining top talent; however, there are other ways to keep your people around. For example, implementing coaching and team-building exercises can motivate and incentivize employees. 

Ben Schiftan, strategic partner manager at CallSource, recommends implementing customer service scorecards, coaching sessions and team-building exercises to help employees grow and improve over time. 

“Implement an ongoing coaching session with your customer service representatives once a week to review good and better calls,” he suggested. “You can also create positive team synergy by offering team-building exercises and putting key performance indicators in place to incentivize agents as they hit their goals.”

Chapter 3

Advertise your business on social media

These days, nearly everyone you know is probably on Facebook and other popular social media platforms — but it's not only for personal use. In 2020, Facebook said 10 million active advertisers used the social networking platform to promote products and services, up from 7 million the previous year.

It’s easy to see why. Facebook has an advertising audience of 2.14 billion people around the world, with the average user clicking on around 12 ads per month. With the right strategic approach, advertising on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be incredibly beneficial for local field and home services businesses looking for ways to drive growth.

Bill Rossell, who serves as vice president of client relations at 1SEO, agrees that Facebook ads are the way to go: 

“If you're not advertising on Facebook, you're missing one of the biggest (not to mention easiest and cheapest) branding opportunities in the world. Forget everything you think you know about Facebook advertising, I'm telling you, if you're NOT doing it — even from just a brand awareness standpoint — you're missing out on putting your name and logo and services in front of literally millions of people at the most affordable price.”

He’s not wrong. If you’ve tried advertising on Facebook or another social network and your efforts have proven unsuccessful, you likely need to refine your targeting and your content to make sure you’re reaching the right people with the right message. Fortunately, Rossell has a few tips to help you out:

  • No, laser targeting won’t produce the best results. If you didn't see major results from your previous Facebook attempts, it's probably because your audience was too narrow and you didn't allow Facebook to work its magic.
  • Yes, Facebook ads can be effective for B2B. Facebook’s targeting and optimization abilities are superior to any other social media network, even for B2B marketers. Facebook allows you to target users by demographic, employer, industry, job title, annual income, office type and even a “look-alike” audience, which automatically finds people similar to your own clients.
  • No, Facebook ads aren’t too expensive. You just probably weren't using them correctly, resulting in wasted money and opportunities left on the table. Advertising on Facebook isn’t only the most effective digital marketing channel (for those who do it right), but also affords great results even with a very small daily budget.

Chapter 4

Market a great customer experience

Of course, you’re going to speak highly about your own company. That goes without saying. However, potential customers are most likely to trust their family, friends and neighbors when evaluating a home services business than to simply take your word for it — especially with today’s savvy consumers checking multiple sources before making a purchase. In fact, more than half of consumers tell friends and family about their favorite products and services at least once a week or more.

Most field and home service business owners recognize the power of word of mouth; 75% of surveyed home service business owners said word of mouth is how they win most of their clients. With metrics like that, it’s clear why field and home service companies aim to market a great experience; however, sometimes they fall short. 

Mike Montano, CEO and founder of ReviewBuzz, says the key is to stop marketing your organization itself and start marketing the exceptional customer experience you offer: 

“If you want to go big in 2021, and do it without dumping a ton of money in advertising and marketing, stop marketing your company and start marketing your customer experience. It’s one thing your competitors can’t rip off, and it's what your potential customers will most trust when deciding which company to choose.

“That means delivering an amazing customer experience and collecting customer feedback in the form of reviews, testimonials, happy calls and so on — but don’t stop there. Take that customer experience and leverage it at every point in your customer’s journey. Add reviews and testimonials to your website; add them to your pre-appointment communications; and add them to your sales process too.”

Chapter 5

Use technology to improve processes

It’s no secret that advancements in technology have completely changed how we do business in just about every industry, and field and home services is no exception. Businesses that aren’t making smart use of (the right) technology are at a significant disadvantage next to tech-savvy competitors equipped to work more efficiently and provide a better customer experience.

According to Hosam Sayed, product marketing manager for WorkWave ServMan, technology can make all the difference: “With the right technology in place, your service company can accurately track accounts receivable and deliverables, which provides the confidence necessary to know that things are running smoothly behind the scenes.” 

With that said, Sayed cautions that not just any technology will do; you need the right solution for your business in order to reap the full benefits. 

“Perhaps most important when searching for the technology to move your service business forward is focusing on solutions that allow you to structure functionality to fit your tried-and-true processes. Your field service business relies on software to streamline your daily operations, manage your technicians in the field and make informed decisions, so it’s critical that you have a dependable solution that works with your unique processes,” Sayed said.

 

Chapter 6

Take your home service business to the next level

Growing a business is certainly not for the faint of heart. However, you can scale your business and increase your revenue by taking the right strategic approach. By deploying these tactics — and a few of your own — you can accelerate your business’ growth and better serve customers in your community. What are you waiting for?

 

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