How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, don’t go there, the service is horrible”, or something of the like? How many times have you found yourself telling someone the same thing?
On average, when you have a poor experience with a product or service you are likely to tell around seven people. That may not seem like much, but when you compare that to telling only three of those people about a good experience there becomes a very apparent gap. With the advent of the Internet and social media there are suddenly seven billion critics, each with something totally original and important to say—yes there is most definitely sarcasm there. Sarcasm aside, it’s still true and it doesn’t matter how big your marketing budget is, negative word-of-mouth can be seriously detrimental to any company. I refer to it as quicksand for businesses: once you fall into it, the more you struggle, the harder it is to get out, and eventually you succumb to the deadly pull (insert evil laugh here). So—how do we combat this? How do we increase our surface area in order to not sink any further?
It might first help to analyze and understand some of the roots of this negative word-of-mouth and then find a solution that benefits all parties involved. Another intern here at Field Squared took some time (a lot of time) combing over 1,000 online negative customer reviews of companies within the field service industry, and we have narrowed it down to the top three for your shortened reading pleasure.
To build anticipation, I will count it down from three to one. Everyone could use a little excitement in their day, I think.
Coming in at number 3 in our Top 3 Countdown…
First and foremost I’m sure we can all agree that the customer is always right—even when they most certainly are not right, they are still right—right? Correct, but even if that’s the case, shouldn’t we at least make sure we quote, and more importantly, charge them the right price for the job?
This was the typical type of complaint we stumbled across dealing with mischarging customers:
“This company sucks! They overcharged me by $400 and lied to me about how much it would initially cost. NEVER EVER use them…you will regret it if you do…they do not stick with their word and they are NOT trustworthy.”
One simple solution to this type of situation happening (and the negative word-of-mouth that comes because of it) would be to present your clients and techs with automated price lists and quoting tools. This eliminates anything getting lost in translation. There won’t be any surprise endings for customers and techs when everything about the job, including prices/quotes, is laid out in a simple format that is easily read by everyone. A platform like ours here at Field Squared can do just that, along with so much more (shameless plug).
At number 2 on the Countdown we have…
Unprepared Techs & Return Visits
I harp a lot on efficiency, and I can only imagine the frustration that you feel when a tech has to go back to a job site for any reason other than a new job there. It’s a waste of productivity, time, and of course, money. But this isn’t about you—no offense—well not directly at least; it’s about your customers and what this costs them. I’ve felt the frustration of having unprepared techs at my own home. It is incredibly irritating to think a job will be done in one day, only to find out it will actually take two to three days because the tech didn’t realize they would need this or that tool to get this or that done right then.
Giving your techs real-time access to job information with a mobile workforce app helps keep them on top of things, making sure they are prepared with the right tools and documents for each job. Get more jobs done, have less return visits and unprepared techs, and ultimately have happier customers because of it. The solution is so simple, and it’s even simpler with our platform here at Field Squared (wink-smile). While being able to convert your most complex forms, we can also provide that real-time access to data that techs should have to properly complete each job the right way, the first time.
And coming in at Number 1, on our Countdown of the Top 3 Complaints Had Against the Field Service Industry—based on 1,000+ online negative reviews—is…
Lengthy Appointment Window Gaps and Missed Appointments
Every time it’s the same old story: The tech will be at your house on Random Day, between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. I can see how this is the number one complaint, and rightfully so! I mean really, is it not 2014? This is the future. Shouldn’t that window be a little more refined by now, maybe say just two hours instead of seven? Your customers definitely agree. It didn’t get named complaint ‘numero uno’ for no reason, no sir-ee. Customers have busy lives too; lives that I’m sure they’d rather be spending doing something other than waiting for someone to show up at their house at any time. To be late, and even worse, to not ever show up to the job, is a sure-fire way to get the negative word-of-mouth train a-movin’.
You can stop this train in it’s tracks with a totally simple solution by utilizing route optimization and client notification tools. Route-Optimization allows you to plan the day while taking into account traffic conditions, estimated time of job completions, and optimal routes for gas consumption. Let your customers know when the tech is heading their way and eliminate those lengthy time windows by notifying them by either text or email. Send pertinent information about techs to the customers prior to their arrival and help break-the-ice with customers, showing them their tech is a real person. Eh hmm—We can most certainly help you accomplish this goal, with our mobile workforce apps including Route-Optimization and notification tools—that was the last plug I swear.
So what can we take away from this?
Well one thing we can certainly take away is that ultimately the customer holds the power. Our businesses hinge on our daily interactions with our customers, on all levels. By working to become more efficient, better prepared companies, we can more quickly address and squash any issues that arise in a timely and productive way. Workforce automation can help to mitigate negative word-of-mouth from your customers by making your business run more smoothly. Increase the positive interactions your techs and customers have on a daily basis. Let’s start realizing the power of what can happen when you utilize your customer’s feedback to adjust your practices and adapt to the market.