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Customer Service: Lowe's and the Doll Bed

Customer service is one of those elements of any operation that we all talk about, a lot.

In field service it’s particularly important, because customers whom experience bad service tell their entire social network, and they don’t buy more in the future.

Field service organizations invest significant capital in technology and process and human resources in order to improve their cost structure, their efficiency and productivity, first time fix rates, and cycle times, all of which impact, ultimately, how satisfied a customer is.  However, are there other items, other metrics, which we should look at to judge customer satisfaction – for example repeat buying decisions and positive social media posts?

My family is in the midst of a significant real estate remodeling project, not so much a ‘remodel’ but more like ‘gut it and put it all back’. We’ve been buying a lot of products from the home supply vendors in town and in particular from the big box retailers, Lowe's and The Home Depot.

The latest products I ordered were matching bath fixtures from Lowe's, whereby the experience was on par in regards to  their website to place the order, subsequently receive emails indicating order processing and shipment. Since Lowe's has integrated the shipping carriers, I was able to link to the shipment and see delivery status at Fedex.com. My boxes came when promised. It was a standard, expected experience.

However, what a the difference when the products arrived. Each box was printed with different images. One was a doll bed, the others were animal masks and a puppet stage. The images were totally off the wall and totally unrelated to bath fixtures or Lowe's. I didn’t even notice as a matter of fact. But, my child did. She spent Sunday evening cutting the boxes and decorating them.  It was like the refrigerator boxes turned playhouse we all remember as kids, but 2015 style. Happy child = happy mom.

So what does this have to do with customer service? I will remember that my products were easy to buy and came in on time. But, I won’t necessarily go to my social networks and state that. But, I will remember the cool boxes that my child had fun with, and will post about those.  I will also be more inclined to shop again at Lowe's.

Back to field service though. We just published a new infographic based on research by Bill Pollock of Strategies for Growth. It talks about the top KPIs measured by best in class field service organizations. The usual suspects are there, including revenue, costs, service revenue, MTR, first time fix rates, etc.

But, some field service organizations have realized that creating truly happy customers is more than fine tuning its own field service operations. Sometimes, in transforming the business model to a customer-centric model. It’s not just the technology, like our own field service management platform, which drives the KPIs in the right direction.  It’s the softer processes that drive a culture of customer advocacy, creating customer success to drive ultimately the repeat buying decisions.

In our webinar on Wednesday, May 20th, learn about how one of our client partners, AIG Warranty, uses technology, including our own ServiceOperations platform, to manage a 3rd party contractor network. In the follow up white paper, we’ll share how AIG has transformed its administration business to one that creates customer advocates and happy, satisfied customers.

 

 Register for the Webinar

 

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