High-value service is much more than fixing what is broken. It’s about making the system more reliable, efficient and safer. Delivering high-value service means taking time on each call and going above and beyond what is necessary if that is what the client wants.
Part of this is providing a solution in one visit. If the parts are in stock, have a runner bring them to the technician and finish the job there and then. One call. One trip.
A technician skilled at executing The Service Call Blueprint will see customers pick the top service options. 70% of the time, clients choose more than the standard repair, which provides 2 – 3 billable hours, even higher if you have to make a parts-run. An experienced technician will run about fifteen calls per week. On days when customers pick top options he may only run two calls, yet bill six hours. High revenue, low call count.
Watch a live recorded example of the process here.
How do you manage all the other calls?
Stop giving time slots to clients. Businesses believe customers want time slots, in reality, customers just want convenience. So often, appointments are changed, technicians turn up late, and then we have to make the dreaded we-are-running-late-call. This is what frustrates customers.
There is a better alternative, let’s illustrate with a call script:
CSR: ABC heating and cooling, How may I help you?
Customer: Hi this is Mrs. Jones. I have no heat.
CSR: Thank you for calling. I can certainly help you with that. Have we ever been to your home before?
Customer: Yes many times.
CSR: Okay let me look you up. Can I get your address?
Customer: 4800 Main Street, Chicago, Illinois.
CSR: Okay, I have you right here. When were you hoping we could come out to you?
Customer: Today, please.
CSR: If we can’t make it today, will tomorrow be okay?
Customer: Well, I really was really hoping for today…
CSR: We will do our best, but if we can’t make it today it will be tomorrow. Since we’ve visited you before, you’re aware of our $79 service fee?
CSR: May I have your cell phone number? There is no need to stay at home and wait for us all day. As technicians finish calls and our schedule evolves, we can send you a text when you’re next. How much lead time do you need?
Customer: Can’t you give me an approximate time?
CSR: Unfortunately, we won’t know in advance how long each call will take. Sometimes a call takes an hour, other times all day depending on what the technician finds. We never leave a call unfinished unless we have to order parts. We always stay until the job is done, take our time and won’t leave because another customer is waiting. For you, the client, it saves the trouble of second visits. How does that sound?
Customer: Perfect, that works for me!
We have given ourselves much more flexibility by scheduling this way.
Notice that the call is only booked. Next, it will be placed in an “unassigned” column. The dispatcher’s job is now to put the right technician on the right call at the right time. Dispatch must determine the level of relationship with the client. Read more here about qualifying each service call in last week’s blog post.
In this case, the customer is loyal and never complains. The property is situated a short distance from the office, in a neighborhood where we’ve had great success. An average job can bill $800 – this customer always wants the best products and top service options.
Two calls came in ahead of this customer. One of those calls is a new customer who found us on Google, they gave us a hard time about our dispatch fee. The second customer paid the dispatch fee last time but had the work carried out by someone else.
Who do we go to first? Of course, the customer, Mrs. Jones, from the phone call. A client like this skips to the front of the line, where the highest performing technician – in terms of revenue – should be dispatched. Such clients create great revenue opportunities, and in order to maximize revenue, we require our highest performing technician. At this point it is not certain when the top performer will be available – this is why we don’t assign a time slot.
We give our best clients and best technicians priority, the process is not based on fairness. Read more about fairness here.
Your comments and questions are encouraged.