6 Customer Service Scheduling Mistakes That Are Costing You Money (And How to Fix Them)
Efficient, convenient customer service scheduling is critical to your organization’s success. In the age of the customer, you need to exceed, or at the very least meet, all of your customers’ expectations for service. You also need to use best practices for customer service scheduling so that you aren’t losing money. Avoid 6 common customer service scheduling mistakes with our advice below.
1. Ignoring Street-Level Routing (SLR)
If your service technicians and workforce are not making use of Street-Level Routing (SLR), you are losing money. When planning travel times, it is important to make use of SLR, especially if it is integrated into your fleet routing software, to ensure technicians arrive on time and to optimize your schedule. Not only will your customers be happier when technicians arrive on time, but you’ll be happier to see that you are saving time and money by getting technicians to their destinations on time and by the most efficient route.
- Don’t approach optimizing your workforce one route at a time
- Use SLR to make better informed decisions about which mobile to dispatch to point B, rather than about which specific technician should drive from point A to point B
- Utilize SLR to avoid delays, missed service calls, customer dissatisfaction, and decreased productivity
2. Lack of Centralized Scheduling
Having more than one customer service center or location helps meet customers’ needs, but it can be a costly mistake if those centers (or even multiple service representatives) give customers conflicting appointments, which leave customers waiting for technicians or having more than one technician arrive to solve their problem. These are common occurrences when customer service contact centers make use of several Excel spreadsheets or don’t make use of their CRM system or customer service scheduling software.
- Assess your needs and challenges to find a CRM or customer service scheduling software solution to centralize your scheduling
- Utilize a mobile workforce management solution in the cloud so customer service scheduling issues are addressed and updated in real time
3. Designing Schedules For Your Company’s Convenience, Not For Your Customers’ Convenience
One of the fastest ways to lose customers is to provide poor customer service or fail to meet their expectations with your customer service offerings. If you are not scheduling customer service when it is convenient for your customers, you are making a costly mistake.
- Make the convenience of your customers your sole focus
- Offer options for customer service call times so the customer can choose the time that is best for her schedule
- Lengthen your customer service schedule times so that you can accommodate a wide range of times for customers
4. Allowing Customer Service Technicians to Schedule Their Own Call Times
If you have a small business, or if a customer prefers one of your service technicians, you may find that technicians are attempting to schedule their own service calls or manipulate the system to schedule themselves. This relates to our mistake #2, lack of centralized scheduling. In this instance, though, your company may be losing valuable customer data if your technicians are scheduling their own service calls. You may not be getting a complete record of their service calls, and you could lose control over the customer experience or level of service.
- Funnel all customer service schedules through a structured system
- Do not give customer service technicians access to the customer service scheduling software; reserve permissions for employees whose sole responsibility is to handle customer service scheduling
5. Using Outdated Scheduling Processes and Compromising Mobility with Strained Scheduling Capabilities
While it may be appealing to save money by continuing to use your outdated scheduling processes or maintain a small mobile workforce, these types of business decisions cost you more money in the l
ong run because your organization is not handling its customer service scheduling as efficiently as possible. You also decrease your technicians’ productivity when you make these customer service scheduling mistakes, which costs you money as well. Image via Flickr by Jon Newman
- Invest in field service software application systems
- Hire enough customer service technicians so that your mobile workforce is not spread too thinly, resulting in hurried service calls
- Be sure your new workforce management software solution features workflow management, includes business intelligence capabilities, and enhances your scheduling logistics
- If your technicians require specialized tools, make sure that your new software solution features a tool inventory system or tracking system
6. Not Listening to Your Customers’ Feedback About Customer Service Scheduling
Regardless of the size of your organization, you need to be listening to customer feedback about your customer service scheduling. If you don’t have a system in place to record positive and negative feedback, you cannot improve your customer service scheduling to meet your customers’ needs or to continue to exceed their expectations.
- Establish a system for recording customer service scheduling feedback, or invest in a mobile workforce scheduling system that includes a system for gathering customer feedback, including their feedback on social media
- Review your customer input consistently and regularly
- Make note of customer feedback trends and address them as needed
- Get input from your customer service technicians at regularly scheduled meetings or reviews; if you have a large organization, begin by meeting with customer service managers, but don’t forget to bring in your technicians at some point
Customer service scheduling can be a daunting task. Begin by listening to your customers and putting them first. Then, invest in a workforce management software solution that will centralize and streamline your customer service scheduling to save your organization money.
What mistakes are you making?