Do you know how many phone calls your team fields each week for service requests, and why?
“In the early 1980’s I was impressed with an equipment manufacturer who tracked their inbound phone calls to their service and sales support department in an effort to determine how to minimize those calls,” Founder Stephen Ross says.
Ross admits that this approach left him a bit confused at first—after all, these calls were coming from customers, and didn’t good service mean talking with customers on the phone? But upon further investigation there was much more to it then Ross realized.
“They were trying to learn ‘why,’ as phone calls required two people to have a conversation, which meant both sides were potentially losing valuable time,” Ross says. “When a dealer called, it was often because a machine user had an issue, which impacted the dealer’s ability to respond and solve a customer’s problem immediately. That meant the dealer had to make another call after this one to their customer or technician with solutions.”
The equipment manufacturer explained to Ross that they would meet as a team once a week to review the “whys” behind the call volume. Often, the solution for the highest number of calls from the week in question was to provide the dealer with the information needed solve the issue more immediately in the future. The results spoke for themselves—once the solution for the issue was made readily available to the dealers, the call volume would decrease.
According to Ross, this was a valuable lesson learned.
“Today, many dealers in service experience a high volume of phone calls and emails that impact customers, technicians, managers, and support team’s time,” Ross says. “When a customer or field employee ‘has to call in,’ that impacts both their time and the time of the dealer fielding the call or reviewing the email.”
Finding Your “Why”
The truth is many service providers have no idea how much time they really spend on follow-up conversations as they try to track down all the information needed to successfully complete a service request. But something as simple as the chart below can help you begin to understand and assess how your team is spending their time on the phone. Doing so is your starting point to creating workable, time-saving solutions to collect all of the relevant info up front.
It’s easy: Just have your team members make a quick tick mark in the appropriate box for each call or email they field by day over the span of a week. After a few weeks of tracking, clear call volume patterns should emerge, pointing out areas where you can begin to assess ways to streamline your process.
Phone Call/Email Volume Chart:
Recently, we spoke with a dealer whose team gave the tracking chart a try. The stats they saw were staggering:
Service managers spent 7-10 hours a day on the phone.
Each service call took an average of three to five phone calls to gather and communicate all the necessary information.
Twenty-five percent of the managers’ calls were spent covering disputes on the 2nd call to repair.
Additional time was spent trying to locate the machine on the customer’s site, trying to learn more about the machine in question and the service issue, and communicating with techs.
The dealer reported that both managers and service support personnel were mentally exhausted at the end of their workdays. Managers also said that all the time spent fielding calls meant less time available for them to operate the business.
Problem-Solving with the HIVE
This dealer’s experience is the same for so many others and is exactly why we developed the Hive Quick Response platform. Here’s how our platform can help you create a better work environment, enhance your customer experience, and significantly minimize all those phone calls:
Each service requests comes in digitally with all info needed up front and contains two photos of the issue so your team can better understand the problem before a tech even gets on site. Having the right information, issue and photos electronically eliminates one call from the start.
Each service request also has a GEO stamp showing the unit’s exact location. This eliminates yet another call.
From here, a work order can be easily opened to reflect the correct machine and job type. At this point, a technician with the correct expertise will be dispatched, minimizing the number of tech calls.
Let us help you! Ask for a demo today to learn how Hive Quick Response can save your customers and your service team time by reducing phone calls and emails.