The Client Journey – Actively Waiting for You
In my last article I discussed the “Client Journey” and how the proper use of the telephone will either make or break that first step of the journey for those customers who call you for the first time. This article will discuss the act of scheduling and showing up, a very important part of the “Client Journey”
Many service contractors give their customers a time span of the expected arrival of their technician or “Comfort Specialist.” For example, you would tell your customer that you will arrive sometime between noon and 4pm. In your mind, this means arrival could be any time between noon and as late as 3:59pm. To some customers, no matter how you say it, this means you will be done and gone by 4pm.
You have to also keep in mind that once the time span begins, that is noon in this case; the customer begins “actively waiting.” “Actively waiting” takes energy and brain power away from things that could use their attention. In the mind of some people this is almost like work. So, think about this. A customer may be waiting for your arrival actively, actually devoting brain resources to an event that may or may not transpire during the allotted time.
If for some unforeseen reason, the representative doesn’t show up, or shows up late, this customer now believes you owe them since they have actually devoted time and brain resources to something of no value. This will now diminish your value, since you owe them for their time now, and price will become an issue, no matter what you say or how low it is.
So, Frank, what is the solution you may ask? First, be aware that the customer is “actively waiting.” This is kind of like going to a restaurant and they tell you the wait time is 40 minutes, yet you start consciously listening for your name one minute after they told you that and the closer you get to the 40 minute mark, the more active you become in waiting.
Secondly, make it a requirement from every employee that as soon as you know an approximate time of arrival, someone calls the customer. I know some companies have a policy to not give technicians more than one call at a time, because some expert at one time said that giving a tech more than one call will overwhelm them and they won’t be able to focus on the one customer. I disagree. I believe if you have a pretty good idea as to who will get what customer, let them schedule themselves and allow them the opportunity to contact the customers and let them know an approximate arrival time.
I managed one of the largest service companies in the world, and we had one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the country along with the highest profitability per technician. Trust your team to do the right thing. I think you will find they will.
Avoid doing things or using practices that diminish your value. Every aspect of the journey will either contribute to or take away from the value of the experience encountered. Limit errors and diminish mistakes by setting up systems and processes that increase your worth to the customer by creating a great experience.
In my next article I will discuss the next part of the Clients’ Journey . . . The visit, and how important it is to plan the anticipated reaction of your clients so that “the visit” becomes a success for everyone.
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