The old business maxim that the ‘customer is always right’ is…wrong.
Anyone who manages a mobile workforce will know that customers will occasionally make a claim about your services which is incorrect.
This could be a complaint about a delivery being late or something more serious, such as allegations of a worker causing property damage.
While a modern business needs to be fully customer-focused, it also needs the ability to distinguish between false claims and legitimate complaints.
The ‘customer is always right’ approach leaves a company dangerously susceptible to unnecessary expenses and the risk of costly litigation.
It also helps to demotivate a workforce when unjustified claims about their activities are continually accepted by bosses.
The problem in the past is how do you identify the truth when a service is being delivered remotely and it’s the word of a customer against an employee?
This is an area where digital technology is playing a crucial role in protecting mobile service providers from the risks of false claims.
How to reduce false customer claims with a mobile workforce:
- Photo evidence
- On-the-job feedback
- Real-time tracking
- Better customer support
Providing photographic proof of items and services helps to greatly reduce the risks posed by false claims. The use of smartphones as a work tool means images can be easily integrated into a fieldworker’s task list.
An effective digital workforce management system will collate any images taken during a task into the final job report - providing instant access to back-office staff.
If a complaint or allegation is made, it provides managers with the evidence they need to make an informed decision. It provides proof that work has been done and that no damage has been caused.
One of the challenges when dealing with complaints is time lag. It’s the problem of trying to untangle issues retrospectively - after a service has been delivered.
With a real-time approach to mobile worker management, feedback, checks and approvals can be easily made a part of the process. The touchscreen of a smartphone can be used to collect a customer signature and rating.
An on-site approval process helps to identify any issues and allows a mobile worker to resolve any potential issues. With customer checks and signed approvals, the risk from false claims is minimised.
One of the trickiest areas to handle for a mobile work provider is time-keeping. Has a product or service been delivered on time? How long have tasks taken to complete when the customer is being billed by the hour?
The use of GPS and real-time tracking helps managers to distinguish between legitimate problems and false claims. A cloud-based workforce management system will be able to monitor the exact movements and task status of each worker.
Digital timestamps and locational data show exactly when a service has been delivered and how long each task has taken to complete. Sharing accurate data with customers helps to remove any uncertainty.
Better customer support
Having instant access to accurate data that covers all aspects of a mobile services operation changes the way that customer service teams can respond to complaints.
A system such as MyMobileWorkers includes reporting tools to allow detailed information on all aspects of field services to be accessed. Images can be provided to show a task was completed; data pulled up to prove that deliveries were made.
It provides a customer service team with a level of information that’s required to accurately assess complaints and identify false claims. Where problems have occurred, the issue can be dealt with promptly and efficiently.
Summary: Digital protection against false claims
One of the reasons for the traditional ‘customer is always right’ approach has been that businesses have had little option. Without the ability to properly assess a claim, you are left having to grudgingly accept a complaint.
Digital technology helps mobile service providers to adopt a much more balanced approach. Legitimate problems can be properly dealt with while protecting against the risks of false claims and unreasonable claims.