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How Superior Customer Experience is Changing the Home Services Industry

by Todd Stewart

Dispatch Insights

“If there is one thing that Amazon.com is about, it’s its obsessive attention to customer experience. Investors should be investing in a company that is obsessing over customer experience. In the long-term, there is never any misalignment between customer interest and shareholder interest.”

Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon. July 13, 1999

 

Today’s consumer has access to more information and tools than ever before. With a single Google search, consumers can find the best price for a given product in a matter of seconds.

The only sustainable, long-term differentiator for companies is the end-to-end customer experience customers receive when interacting with a brand. Brands which differentiate by delivering superlative customer experiences will cash in on greater customer wallet share and lifetime value, ultimately netting greater profits and investor returns.

This is because a happy customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied customer and 14 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer. Thus, the need for better customer experience spans many different industries.

The biggest hinderance home service brands face today is delivering a seamless, omnichannel, digital and data-driven experience that connects all parties, including 3rd-party service providers, throughout the customer purchase and home service fulfillment process.

After powering millions of home service jobs in over 30% of the homes in America, here is what we’ve learned for how you can cash in on the home services space.

 

Why There is an Opportunity to Cash in on the Home Services Space

In the early 2000s, home service companies built customer relationships on their own terms. Brands only communicated with customers when they wanted – typically through mailers and calls, or worse, no communication at all, leaving customers in the dark about the status and timing of their home services. Traditional retailers did a fair job executing product sales and deliveries but struggled to execute on expectations set with customers about the home services experience customers would receive.

Over time, due to the rise of the internet, mobile technologies, social media, and lower barriers to entry for new retailers due to the commoditization of hardware/cloud computing, the consumer rose to the forefront, ultimately having an unlimited choice about who, when and where they would purchase. Consumers suddenly had a megaphone to share the negative (and positive) experiences they were receiving from brands, and the ability to quickly and affordably shift their brand loyalty to brands who focused on CX. Industries outside of the field service arena adopted and implemented new technologies to help bridge the gap between the brand and the customer.

This puts pressure on brands to offer the same level of service to their customers in a tech-driven way. When they do, they can expect to see some drastic improvements to their customer SAT, NPS, revenue, and customer lifetime value.

Here are some of the outcomes service brands can expect after implementing customer experience tools.

 

Two-Way Communication Tools Improve Brand Perception

Kudos to you if you’re messaging with your customer about their home services appointment. MAJOR kudos to you if your tool allows for two-way communication with that same customer to create engaging experiences.

Home service companies that enable dynamic communication between them and their customer receive more information up front, which does two things: creates a sense of confidence in the customer’s mind, and allows for seamless fulfillment of the service.

Dispatch allows customers and service providers to directly connect with each other in a bi-directional, modern and meaningful way while empowering the consumer to provide information (notes, photos, updates) to the service provider in advance of service execution. Not only is the customer-empowered, but the service provider is well informed about the service the consumer is expecting to have fulfilled….and before appointment execution.

 

Automatic Appointment Reminders Improve Customer No-Show Rate

By keeping consumers informed of the status of their service appointment, including on the day of service, brands can reduce costs associated with customer no shows and reschedule requests. Automatic appointment reminders prevent this from happening.

 

54% of millennials prefer to communicate with brands through either mobile or email.

 

Not only do consumers prefer to communicate bi-directionally, based on experiences they are having with brands, but consumers expect this level of communication so they are informed and not left in the dark waiting. According to Forrester “The majority (66%) of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience.

Dispatch’s omnichannel communication tool delivers email, SMS, push, WhatsApp, or whichever communication method your customers prefer at the right moment.

 

Instant Feedback Helps Monitor NPS

As we evolve in today’s tech-driven world, the importance of immediate data capture becomes vital to reduce customer churn. While every brand will occasionally fail with service delivery, it is essential to be able to immediately act on subpar customer feedback. If your service experience is lacking, then customer switching costs are low and the customer won’t buy more of your product.

 

Gauging service experience and remedying poor experiences as they happen has led to a 6% reduction in customer churn (2018 Dispatch customer data study).

 

What is the next step for service companies?

Brands looking to capitalize on the service space need to realize that it’s all about customer experience.  Jeff Bezos had it right in 1999 – amazing service is one of the most important long-term and sustainable differentiators that a brand can build. Done right, positive home services experiences will net greater customer wallet-share, customer lifetime value, and incremental product and services revenue for any brand.

 

 

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