I am often asked by our North American cable clients for strategies to leverage the field force to improve the overall customer experience. For me, the first step to building customer loyalty and satisfaction is showing up at the door on-time, when you say you will.
As consumers, we’re all familiar with this scenario: You set up an appointment to install a new high-speed Internet service. The CSP gives you a window of time in which you must stay home and keep a watchful eye out for the recognizable service truck and uniformed technician. Hours tick by as you wait and wonder if the technician will show up. At the end of the promised four-hour window, he finally appears. And now you must figure out how to get the children to soccer practice while the technician upgrades your service. You are frazzled and frustrated. And you share that frustration with all of your friends on Facebook and Twitter. You lose. And the CSP loses with a bad customer review.
Now imagine this scenario: You set up an appointment to install the same service, but only this time the CSP gives you a two-hour appointment guarantee. As you wait, you receive an SMS Message on your cell phone alerting you that the technician is on his way—and he’s within his promised timeframe. You are informed, pleased and happy to welcome the technician to your door. And because you are so delighted with your service, you declare your love for your CSP on Facebook and Twitter. You win. The CSP wins—everybody wins!
The second scenario may sound simple, but it really isn’t. And yet many of CSG’s clients and CSPs in general are delivering on the promise of a two-hour (or less) appointment window by leveraging advancements in field service technologies.
So how do you get there? We see four key steps you can take to get your organization well on the path to offering, and fulfilling, the two-hour guarantee:
- Real-time resource planning and appointment scheduling enable tracking of field shifts and events that affect field capacity (emergencies, vacations, training, meetings, overtime, and more). Aligning appointment scheduling with field resources maximizes resource utilization and ensures a great customer experience.
- Intelligent routing, or dynamic work assignments, can accommodate rescheduled appointments, emergency requests, technician skill levels, work areas, shift times, project commitments, and equipment needs on the fly.
- Mobility services enable CSPs to manage, secure, license, and distribute access to work orders, customer account data, payment processing, mapping, global positioning systems (GPS), electronic timecards, technical documentation, schematics, and diagnostic and testing tools on the go.
- Location-based information leveraging GPS can assist in automating workflow, communication, navigation, and decision-making in real-time, which offers a 19% increase in productivity, a 16% decrease in mean-time to repair, and a 29% increase in service profitability according to analysts at Aberdeen.
In a highly competitive marketplace where consumers are more fickle, less loyal and more overscheduled than ever, something as simple as showing up at the door when you say you will, can have a lasting, positive impact on your customer satisfaction. Sometimes, just a few simple process improvements can turn an appointment window from a hassle to a good use of your time, as well as your customer’s.