Welcome to the third post in our four-part series about the customer experience (otherwise known as CX). We're taking a close-up look at the most common obstacles to customer happiness that pop up along each of these paths:
Part 1: The Customer Calls
Part 2: Sending the Engineer
> Part 3: The Repair/Installation
Part 4: After the Sale
This week we're talking about the onsite experience, from the actual repair or installation to managing parts and scheduling follow-up appointments.
Knowing the problems is important, but knowing the solutions is crucial—which is why each of these posts will have a companion post where you can read the solutions to all these customer experience issues. Check out the solutions post for Part 3.
In case you'd rather read offline, or would like to share these solutions with your field service engineers and office staff, we also created a free downloadable PDF that contains all four solutions posts in one handy package.
Be the customer.
In these posts we're asking you to play the part of a customer who's called a plumbing company to fix a leak. If that doesn't work for you, replace it with a scenario that fits your business; for example, maybe you're a customer with a broken boiler who's called an HVAC company.
After each problem we describe, we've taken the liberty of speculating how the customer (you!) will be feeling about your business.
Don't worry if you discover even more problems as you imagine the customer journey from start to finish. Seeing problems from your customers' perspective—and fixing them—will help you create the perfect customer experience and generate more jobs.
Let's get started.
Customer Touchpoint #5: The repair or installation process
The engineer is in your home and getting to work on the repair. Do you run into any of these customer happiness-killing challenges?
Problem: The plumbing company has sent the wrong engineer.
It's clear the engineer is not qualified for the job. There are plenty of engineers who specialise in this kind of problem—and this isn't one of them.
You feel: Annoyed to be paying for less than the best, and worried that this engineer will botch the job.
Problem: The engineer doesn't keep you updated on the job.
The engineer has been elbows-deep in the plumbing for the last 90 minutes and you're wondering when he'll be done so you can get on with your day. You'd like to ask but don't want to interrupt the work in progress.
You feel: Impatient. Is the engineer close to finished? An hour from finished? Five hours from finished?
Problem: The engineer doesn't have the right part for the repair.
The engineer has figured out what the problem is, searched through their van for the right part, and come up empty. Now they need to order the part and reschedule your service, meaning you have to go through the pain of Customer Touchpoints 1 through 5 all over again.
You feel: Angry that you spent so much time waiting at home and are still stuck with problem plumbing.
Problem: Scheduling follow-up service is a pain.
The engineer doesn't know how long it will take to order and receive the part, so the office staff can't schedule a second visit to complete the repair. The engineer tells you that you'll get a call from the office staff when the part arrives.
You feel: Worried that you won't ever hear back, and upset that you can't plan for the second visit since you don't know when it will be.
Customer Touchpoint #6: The follow-up visit
If the engineer can't finish the repair (or installation) and has to come back at a later date, how smooth is the process for you? Remember to put yourself in your customer's place as you mentally run through these common scenarios. (Also keep in mind that we have the solutions to all these customer experience problems in the companion post!
Problem: You're not kept in the loop.
You know you're supposed to get a call when the part arrives, but you have no clue as to exactly when that will be. It's been a week now...should you call and find out?
You feel: Nervous that the plumbing company has forgotten all about you. If they took any payment from you, you're probably also feeling like you're being scammed.
Problem: The part doesn't arrive.
You do end up calling the office staff (or, in a slightly more positive scenario, they call you) and discover that they ordered the part a week ago but it never arrived. The office staff had never thought to track the shipment, so they couldn't alert you to the problem. They say they'll call the parts supplier and get back to you.
You feel: All the emotions: Irritation, anger, impatience, anxiety. Will this job ever be finished?
Problem: The rescheduling process is chaotic.
Remember when you dealt with a disorganised office staff when you were scheduling the first service visit? Yeah, that again. The office staff seem to have no idea who you are or why you're calling, and you wait on hold for ten minutes as they get their act together to schedule your new service.
You feel: Resigned. Again? Guess that's just what to expect when dealing with this company.
You're almost there!
If you've read all of the posts in this series up to now, you've imagined your way through three-quarters of your customers' experience with your company. To get the actual solutions to the problems you encountered from the customer's perspective, check out the companion post.
Want all the solutions to all the customer experience problems we bring up in these four posts? Download our full PDF guide by clicking the banner below.