Oilfield Services Companies who survived the downturn did so by cutting costs and lowering the price of services to retain customers. With oil prices on the rise and stability returning to the industry, oilfield service companies must remain competitive to regain the lost revenue during the downturn.
Producers are demanding more from service providers. The increased producer demands include improved information, consistency and responsiveness.
Capturing and measuring customer feedback is key to continuing to provide the highest level of service. The following steps can be taken to collect and measure customer reviews:
- Define key satisfaction metrics, such as overall service experience and likelihood of returning for repeat business.
- Determine how to consistently capture the established metrics. Consider presenting measures to the customer upon service completion.
- Drive home the notion that feedback should be captured by field personnel for every customer, every time.
Once quality metrics are established, service organizations should set clear guidelines and assign responsibility for documenting customer feedback. Any deviation from standard processes will cause the data collected to be unclear. Perform regular analysis on customer feedback. Analyzing the data is arguably the most important step to identifying trends, areas for improvement and new service opportunities.
The final step is to set expectations for acting on the feedback received. Regional and niche service providers have the clear advantage here – they tend to be more flexible and work harder to improve service provided to compete with industry giants. Allowing the business to see how customers view the services they were provided, encourages all levels within the business, from Management to field hands, to take ownership in remediating negative feedback.
Service organizations should have a single point of contact as the face of the company throughout the customer experience. Lacking a single source of contact leads to heightened customer frustration. Multiple rounds of relaying the same information before connecting with the appropriate individual does not earn a positive customer service rating. Providing a designated account manager helps to create a hassle-free customer experience.
Many field service companies experience customer dissatisfaction after receiving an invoice with surprise or incorrect charges. A field services organization found the clear majority of disputed invoices were attributed to pricing inaccuracies. The company underwent a standardization initiative to set contract terms, pricing agreements, and customer guarantees up front, before work is performed. This initiative resulted in a significant decrease in the number of disputed invoices received and improved collections. This standardization also improved the SOX controls environment and reduced external auditor fees.
Another method to boost customer ratings is striving to deliver the highest quality service. Producers who have a negative service experience are likely to spread the word resulting in a bad reputation in the market. Incentivize employees with direct customer interaction to maintain service quality. Include these employees in feedback review sessions to help enforce accountability for service delivery.
Producer complaints often times point to inadequate or late communications. Get ahead of the curve and train your organization to communicate all updates – big and small – to the customer. Updates may include service delays, crew and equipment changes, or additional service needs. In this arena, over-communication is always the best solution.
Consider employing a platform business model to keep producers connected to critical data, such as contact information, quotes, field tickets and invoices. A west Texas drilling company utilizes a platform of this nature, which serves as a customer self-service portal enabling both parties access to shared data. With a self-service option, customers can login to retrieve real-time job and billing information, which limits the time service providers spend addressing basic customer inquiries. Being transparent and sharing information improves producer confidence in the service provider.
Don’t settle for the status quo – differentiate as an oilfield service provider. Act on customer feedback, reduce the number of dissatisfied customers, and maintain connectivity with existing customers.
Trenegy is a non-traditional consulting firm proven to help companies manage changes in processes, systems, and controls – no matter the economic environment. Find out more at email@example.com.