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ServicePower

WhitePaper
Series

Top 5 Reasons Customers Hate


Field Service

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TOP 5 REASONS CUSTOMERS HATE FIELD
SERVICE

When a product requires service or maintenance, or when services are purchased,


customers expect quite a lot of their experience today. They expect a solid, well
manufactured product. They expect a knowledgeable call center and resources
to speak with in cases where more product is sought or an issue occurs. They
expect timely service delivered when promised, by field teams equipped to
complete the work as stated.

Satisfied customers are our best brand advocates, proselytizing our good work to
their entire social network.

However, when service goes badly, that same advertisement of the experience can
and does have ill effect on your companys brand image, costs, and future sales.
More often than not, its the bad experiences and haters that hit social media
and news wires.

What are the top reasons that customers hate field service providers?

No appointment date and


5 time or very large blocks of
time are offered

Time is money. When a product breaks, requires maintenance or installation is


required, customers must take time off work and away from family to wait for the
provider to show up and perform the work. That costs the customer money in
terms of lost wages or used vacation time.

In a recent example, a Time Warner Cable, technician was scheduled to install

Top 5 Reasons Customers Hate Field Service 2.


ServicePower Tip
Utilizing third party contractors and dispatching technology that can
intelligently integrate those contractors into your existing schedule
can dramatically improve your appointment availability.

new services in October 2015. TWC would only offer 5 hour time bands on certain
days of the week. Not only was the long time band as issue, there was no update
leading up to the scheduled date stating the current status of the appointment.

Time Warner could have offered a specific time or a shorter window and provided
online or text updates of the appointment status.

Havertys Furniture does a phenomenal job of offering a specific date and time
band for all delivery appointments, but also confirming appointments several
times leading up to the actual date. Havertys also offers a customers a wheres
my delivery truck view on its website, allowing customers to see how many stops
are ahead of them, and the progression through each so that they can judge how
much longer the wait will take.

4 Late for appointment

There is nothing more irritating than taking off work to wait for a service
appointment only to have the technician show up late or not show up at all.

The Time Warner Cable tech showed up almost an hour late for the appointment,
with no update from the tech or TWC leading up to the scheduled time. Once

Top 5 Reasons Customers Hate Field Service 3.


ServicePower Tip
Utilizing intellegent software that optimizes your schedule throughout
the day based on traffic slow downs, long appointments, and other
unforseen issues can help eliminate field techs showing up late.

the time had passed, TWCs call center had no idea where the tech was in his daily
schedule so could not provide an update even then.

TWC could have used software that accurately scheduled jobs based on duration
and travel times so that the appointment commitments were accurate. They also
could have provided updates on the techs arrival through email, text or via a web
application depicting where in the schedule the tech was, indicated the remaining
wait time.

3 Field techs who cant fix


the issue

If a customer is already irritated to have to wait on a field technician, and more so


when they show up late, heads explode when the tech cannot fix the issue once
they finally arrive.

The TWC tech could not get all televisions in the home fully hooked up. He also
didnt have all of the required parts, such as cables, to replace cables cut by an
irrigation company.

Since the home had previously had TWC television and internet installed at some

Top 5 Reasons Customers Hate Field Service 4.


ServicePower Tip
Having your technology know your techs skills before they are
assigned to a job ensures youll always have the right tech with the
right skills on the job.

point in the past 2 years, TWC should have been able to:

Pull previous installation and service records indicating the existing infrastructure
at the home ensuing the tech had what was required to complete the job in one
trip.
Predict possible parts required to fix other common issues with reinstallation of
services, especially in cases where several years have passed since the service
was last active.
Provided the tech with Collaboration tools and access to experts to get the job
completed. It took 6 hours for the tech to leave, on a Friday afternoon!

2 Creepy field technicians

There is nothing more uncomfortable than having the feeling that something is
off with the person that just walked through your door.

Recruiting, vetting, training and managing field based resources is critical. Every
field tech is a brand ambassador of the company and often the only interaction
with the company post sale.

Top 5 Reasons Customers Hate Field Service 5.


ServicePower Tip
Hiring the highest quality field techs available to you will always
serve your customers well. Also consider providing your techs with
uniforms and training on social skills and customer service.

Skilled, professional field resources can be made, but most often begin with a
certain set of traits that can be sought during the recruitment process. Attitude is
almost as important as skill.

Credentialing technicians to the degree that those with criminal records or the
inability to bond ensure that each consumer can feel safe for his family or herself
and children to be in the same location as the field tech.

The TWC technician appeared at first to be very knowledgeable. However, during


the 6 hours he was on location that quickly changed. He took several phone calls
from what sounded like other technicians, instructing them how to cheat the billing
system as a TWC subcontractor.

He split his pants. Yes, he split his pants, not once, but TWICE while onsite,
requiring a trip to Walmart 25 minutes away to purchase new jeans so his
backside was covered.

Lastly, he contacted his office to close out the call and proceeded to have a
protracted argument with his manager related to the cable he was going to
leaving laying on the surface of the property, where it laid for 6 weeks after.

TWC could have provided better soft skills training to their own techs and training
as well as contractual requirements related to onsite protocol and customer
expectations for subcontractors, eliminating the awkwardness of this particular
event.

Top 5 Reasons Customers Hate Field Service 6.


1 Broken products

The most hated field service issue is having an issue at all.

Failed products cause inconvenience and ill will towards the manufacturer or
service provider.

Once TWC was gone, the internet connectivity promptly dropped off. After 3
weeks of phone calls and tech visits, the solution was to purchase a separate
modem, router and repeater to increase the signal strength.

New technologies like IoT and M2M enable companies to monitor sensor
data from connected machines. So, when the security system sensor begins
to indicate impending failure, or the HVAC unit indicates a failing component,
of the strength of the internet signal was irregular, M2M data can be used to
proactively schedule maintenance visits to the customer. Showing up before
total failure to fix the issue before it becomes an issue turns the field service
tech into a superhero, instead of the villain theyre seen as by many customers.

The need for field service will never go away. Machines wear and machines break.
We all at some point contract with a provider for a home or business projects.
Technology such as automated scheduling, optimized routing, mobile dispatch,
integrated credentialing information and robust training and compliance
programs go a long way towards creating positive customer experiences and
loyal brand ambassadors.

Top 5 Reasons Customers Hate Field Service 7.


ABOUT SERVICE POWER

ServicePower has decades of experience in providing end to end field service manage-
ment software solutions which route and optimize employees, manage, dispatch and pay
third party contractors, and provide business intelligence and device agnostic mobile solu-
tions to the entire labor supply chain. We have dispatched 12.5 million jobs to and pro-
cessed 24 million claims for 86,000 third party contractors around the world. Contractors
and job sources continue to benefit from our strategy, connecting the largest community
of service providers to the largest pipeline of service related work in North America and
Europe, through our ServiceOperations platform.

US Offices:

8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 600, McLean, VA 22102


703.437.2610

2961 W. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 212, Santa Ana, CA 92704


714.428.0010

EU Office:
Petersgate House, St Petersgate, Stockport. SK1 1HE
011 44 161 476 2277

info@servicepower.com

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