The Top Reason Home Service Businesses Are Losing Customers and How To Avoid It
As it turns out, home service businesses have really impatient customers. We recently caught up with Justin Guinn of Software Advice, a website that researches field service software, on their recent study that found 67 percent of consumers will never do business with a company again if the technician is even one hour late. And rightfully so! In a ClickSoftware study conducted in late 2014 by Harris Poll, it was found that employed US survey participants reported burning 30.8 potential work hours dealing with service issues. That’s an average $739.20 per year for Americans lost waiting instead of working! The same study found that Brits burned 25.8 hours, an individual loss of almost £500 per person!
Read on for more insight from our conversation with Software Advice and Justin.
ClickSoftware: Wow, 67% of customers will never rehire a company if a technician is even an hour late? How are the service organizations involved in your study ensuring on-time arrivals?
Software Advice: “Our study found that having a solid field service management system is critical to customer loyalty and retention. The software optimizes the scheduling, dispatching, and routing of technicians. This optimization takes into consideration real-time traffic updates and technician locations to most effectively assign jobs based on location and availability. Doing so greatly reduces the frequency of late technicians, thus ensuring customer loyalty.”
ClickSoftware: In doing your research, did you find that field service management software affects more than just the customer?
Software Advice: “Along with the customer-facing benefits, this kind of technology provides many operational improvements that positively impact service businesses’ bottom-lines. In line with increasing customer retention, 95 percent of business operators we surveyed saw an increase in punctuality after adopting field service technology. The financial impacts of these loyal customers are invaluable; not just for their spends, but also for the advocacy they provide for field service companies.
In addition to increasing customer loyalty, this technology also positively impacts the most dreaded expense mobile workforces face: fuel costs. Our study shows that 89 percent of service operators saw an improvement in the average fuel costs per technician after adopting efficient scheduling, dispatching, and routing software. The primary reason this technology increases fuel efficiency is by optimizing mobile workers’ routes. This happens in the daily work order schedule, where jobs are assigned in a practical, strategic manner based on the actual distance between jobs. It also happens during travel from job to job, where street-level routing provides drivers with the most effective route to get to the next destination.
These fuel cost improvements free up the budget which could then be used on updating equipment, providing training for technicians, or any number of other beneficial costs. Or, the money saved from lowering fuel costs can simply cushion the bottom-line.”
ClickSoftware: We’re always talking to field service providers who are fed up with running their business on paper or with limited technology in place. Did you uncover anything that points to additional improvements in productivity?
Software Advice: “Another revenue-impacting benefit of this technology is an increase in the number of work orders completed per day. Logically, it makes sense that less time spent traveling equals more time in the day for new jobs. Still, we asked business operators to determine if this is indeed the case. We found that 95 percent of service providers see an increase in the number of work orders completed by technicians per day after adopting scheduling, dispatching, and routing software. Completing more jobs per day not only increases revenue but also creates new customer interactions and new chances to build loyalty and repeat business. That relationship building in itself is more impactful over time than the increase in revenue from completing more work orders.”
ClickSoftware: How do you think the daily life would change for a business owner who implements field service software?
Software Advice: “A day in the life of a field service business owner revolves around managing numerous sets of moving parts whilst ensuring quality work and positive customer service is being delivered at each job. As business grows, efficiently managing all of these parts and still ensuring quality service becomes simply unmanageable without proper technology. With advanced scheduling, dispatching, and routing, service business owners can take a breath — and maybe even a lunch break. The transparency this technology provides enables them to effectively manage their mobile workforce and hold them accountable. It enables this mobile workforce to have detailed customer histories on hand to reference during jobs. And for the back office, this technology ensures all work orders are accounted for through the day and prevents invoices from slipping through the cracks. The benefits of adopting one of these systems is immeasurable to the growth and prosperity of service businesses as well as the livelihood of owners and operators.”
For more information on the benefits of Field Service Management Systems, read ClickSoftware’s latest eBook, The Cloud: Up Where Customer Service for the Field Belongs