We’re living in a consumer-first era. The rise of instant communication, constant connectivity, and wide-reaching aggregators for product and service reviews, means an unprecedented shift in both buyer power and buyer expectations.
Long gone are the days of truely discrete products with exclusive, rarified features. Dependable customer loyalty has virtually vanished as consumers can make now informed, in-the-moment decisions about what products and services suit their immediate and changing needs. This willingness to switch brands means that competition for acquiring and satisfying a consumer has drastically increased. In the 50s, an enterprise mostly needed a good product, in the 80s, they needed a good product backed by a strong brand. In the 2000’s to today, brands need a complete, end-to-end experience.
In field services, this means that the in-home experience is only part of the story – the actual service experience starts from the first moment your customer interacts with your brand. From that point forward you’re setting the tone for the entire experience, and eventual ratings – which we can prove.*
Right now, consumers’ expectations revolve around three principles. These principles are nothing new, merely modern extensions of existing customer care – but new technology means business have more options about how to address the consumers changing needs and behaviors. Successfully using this technology to address the customer experience not only has the profound effect of making consumers happier and more loyal, but it has a wide range of measurable business impacts.
Those expectations can be summarized as:
Informed and Involved
No More Strangers
Informed and Involved means that your customers must have transparency into what’s happening with their service request – they should get timely notifications about when their job is scheduled, confirmations, reminders, and instant messaging with the brand and provider. They want a customer portal where they can track these statuses just like they can track a package from UPS or their pizza from Dominos. Of course, this has a huge benefit for the business, eliminating a large percentage of expensive calls to your call centers. Because of this transparent experience, some of our customers have seen a 52% reduction in “Where’s my tech?” phone calls.
No More Strangers is about ensuring the customer is immersed in a personalized, tailored experience (e.g. coffee with your name on the cup) making the customer confident that the brand is focused on servicing their individual, specific needs. It also means extending the old first-name-basis customer care to an uber-like experience, where you can see who is coming to your house, eliminating any ‘stranger-anxiety’. This has business benefit too – because the customer knows exactly when their provider will be arriving, more of your appointments will happen, reducing no-shows by up to 86%.
Be Heard is the flip side of Informed and Involved. It now only takes a few clicks and a minute for a customer to leave a permanent, public account of their experience with you. While that can be nerve racking, consumers expect to be able to use this voice. If you make it easy and convenient for them to give you feedback they will feel heard and that you care about what they have to say. This has huge business value – you can measure exactly how individual metrics from different parts of the service cycle impact the resulting end rating. For example, are good ratings are more affected by on-time-arrival or time-to-complete? This knowledge makes it simple to apply time and resources to what will impact your business most. And when you can see the review in real time, you can respond in real-time, which has a measurable impact on reducing customers who leave. The ability to rapidly triage poor experiences can lead to a 6.6% reduction in churn!
That’s why Dispatch isn’t focused solely on our customers, rather we’re obsessed with our customer’s customer – the consumer. That’s why Dispatch exists. And that’s why enterprise brands turn to us for help.
* A year-long study of our aggregate data showed that when a customer is given the option to choose preferred times for their service window, (and the provider is able to optimize based on those times), the resulting rating will be 7.26% higher regardless of other factors.
- American Express 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer