Have you ever been stuck at home waiting for the engineer to arrive? Did you feel like a prisoner in your own home? Too scared to pop out down to the shops for even ten minutes for fear of coming home to that dreaded note that reads something like this:
‘How dare you leave the house to run a quick errand? You knew that I could arrive at some point between 8am and 12pm. You have wasted my time and meant that I will miss my personal target for the day
P.S .Good luck getting through to our call centre to reschedule your appointment.’
Okay, so I exaggerate. The note actually read ‘Sorry we missed you. Please call our call centre to book a new appointment.’ It is so frustrating (to put it mildly) when this happens. It is even more frustrating when I know that technology exists today that can make this experience a thing of the past. Service businesses need to start leveraging this technology for “day of service” expectation management. Expectation Management is all about continuous communication between the service provider and the customer regarding the expected arrival time of the field engineer.
Research shows that skilled expectation management is critical for achieving customer satisfaction, and close communication is an inseparable part of managing expectations. Service businesses can take advantage of the wide spectrum of today’s anytime/anywhere communications technologies (email, text messaging, voice messaging and Internet-based service appointment booking) to ensure they stay in control of the appointment lifecycle no matter what happens out in the field.
To paraphrase the script of the Norwich Union adverts of the 80s, when a crisis occurs it is important that a company doesn’t allow it to turn into a drama. Clear, consistent and timely communication is critical when such events occur, in order to mitigate the potential impact the event will have on the business. Best-in-Class service businesses are starting to recognize the power of continuous communication. For these companies, the dreaded ‘sorry we missed you’ note is becoming a thing of the past. So they are also using less paper and helping the planet!
Once an appointment is scheduled, what communication channels does your company use to stay in touch with the customer?