What Does it Mean to be a Customer-Centric OEM?
Customer experience (CX) is the buzzword that doesn’t seem to go away. It all started when companies like Apple, Amazon, Costco, Dollar Shave Club, Trader Joe’s, Safelite Autoglass, you name it, gained traction in the market. These companies didn’t have different business models and they didn’t have different organizational structures; they just had different mindsets.
Perks like free shipping, free returns, instant customer support, white-glove delivery,“hassle-free everything” became the norm. These companies layered technology into their existing customer experience process and transformed their old-school CX into a modern, digital experience.
In this post, we’ll explain how any appliance company can quickly change their technology stack and offer an experience as memorable as Zappos, Amazon, or Costco all while gaining visibility into their entire third-party service network.
Sound good? Keep reading!
What Memorable Customer Experience Looks Like for an OEM
Everyone is still asking the age-old question – what sells in today’s world, an amazing product or an amazing customer experience?
It’s a tough question…
A great product will undoubtedly sell itself, but couple that with a poor customer experience and all of a sudden that great product turns into something that people don’t want to deal with.
I’ve also found that customers often have a hard time understanding the nuances of your product. To you, you have a superior device that stands out, but those nuances that should be your differentiator often go unnoticed by your customers. So, if you want to stand out in your customer’s eyes then focus on what your customers can’t miss – a digital, modern customer experience.
Take an air conditioner for example. According to your customer, the difference between your 8,000 BTU unit and your competitor’s 8,000 BTU unit is small. They both cool down 350 sq. ft, they both are energy efficient, and they both are the same price. So how can your company turn that one-off customer into a lifetime customer who tells all their friends and family?
Easy! Offer an experience they can’t stop talking about.
The moment the customer calls for help
When a customer calls you for help, most likely they tried solving the issue themselves; they watched a few videos on youtube, hit up a forum, read some blogs, and called a friend for advice. When they come to you, they are looking for a quick fix to something that they may have failed at themselves. Offering a digital first-point of contact that is tailored with personalizable preferred times sets the stage for a great customer experience and higher NPS.
Don’t hide behind walls. Give customers a simple way to connect with you
We work with companies to help streamline their scheduling, dispatching, and tracking. Right up front, we offer a “Smart Dealer Locator” on their website. That way when someone comes to your site and clicks on “find a dealer near me,” they can book an appointment with any third-party contractor based on star-rating, location, or other details. Additionally, this process ensures the contractor will have all the information needed to make the fix faster than before – simply because they have the connected mobile tools that provide all the customer information they need.
Communicate clearly and often
Look around. How many people are on their phones? Everyone. When I walk down the city streets I’m constantly trying to avoid the phone-staring dawdlers who look like waddling toddlers. It’s like I’m playing the 2018 version of Frogger.
In order for your company to meet the new expectations of the modern customer, I urge you to look at how you use mobile communications. When a customer schedules a time with your company, it’s best practice to send them a text message notifying them that their appointment has been received, scheduled, and is in their system. And if you want to further reduce your no-show rate, add in a calendar invite file to that message. That way your customers will be able to immediately add it to their calendar.
Master the Last-Mile Customer Experience
The last mile is where your customers need you the most – and so that’s where you gain an edge over your competition. When the day of service comes around, keeping your customer informed is by far the best way to exceed their higher-than-normal expectations. To do this, send appointment reminders, On-My-Way notifications, provide a self-service portal, and send survey requests directly to your customer’s phones the moment the job is complete. This Uber-like experience shows the customer exactly where their contractor is, what their name is, and what they look like, so homeowners feel more comfortable letting the tech into their home.
What this experience does for your organization
2018 is all about brand management and how positively (or negatively) your customers view you and your service. With Dispatch, you have an awesome opportunity to blow your customers expectations out of the water with a transparent and honest experience – improving your brand’s NPS, online reputation, and customer churn rate.
Additionally, it’s always difficult to understand how well your third-party contractors are performing and representing your brand. By providing tools that deliver a modern customer experience, you’ll collect more information about their performance because you, the homeowner, and your techs will be linked. Additionally, any time a contractor interacts with Dispatch, status updates get sent immediately to provide real-time visibility into a network that before was largely opaque.
“With Dispatch, the consumer is surveyed immediately following the service event making the survey more relevant. We have tripled the number of survey responses since using Dispatch. This provides me with a much better snapshot of how my business is performing.
I also love how I can communicate with my consumers via text message. This has significantly decreased the amount of incoming phone calls into my service department, making us more efficient.
Dispatch is changing the scope of service and giving me and my customers a more modern experience.”
Arthur Ashkinazi, Active Appliance
“The visibility and insights into the status of every job from start to finish has optimized the process and customer experience for us. Dispatch is enabling Landmark Home Warranty to manage contractors more effectively via analytics and data.”
Lawrence Flitton, VP of Operations @ Landmark Home Warranty
If you want to learn more about how Dispatch can improve your customer experience, email Dan Raycroft at email@example.com.