Field operations: The hidden ROI of customer engagement

Streamlined communication workflows have proven to reduce inbound calls, increase first-time access, and speed up appointments - all contributing to significant operational savings.
ROI of last-mile tracking and automated customer communications for field service appointments

Customer expectations are shaped by their experiences across other sectors. Real-time updates and tracking are the norm for deliveries and rideshares - so why should service appointments be any different?

That’s why Localz makes it easy for businesses with a mobile workforce to implement:

  • Real-time appointment updates via SMS, email or landline
  • Live ETA tracking through a web-based portal
  • Two-way communication between the customer and technician
  • Post-appointment feedback in a quick and simple format

These measures are designed to make customers’ lives easier. But the ROI goes far beyond customer experience.

Streamlined communication workflows have proven to reduce call centre volumes, increase first-time access, and speed up appointments - all contributing to significant operational savings.

Find out how much your business could save through increasing customer engagement.

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Reduce inbound call volumes

The most obvious benefit of customer communication is a reduction in ETA chase-up calls.

 

ETA-chase-up-call

 

Appointment reminders allow the customer to plan their day, while On My Way alerts confirm that the operative will be there soon. A link to last-mile tracking leaves no doubt when the technician will arrive.

With timely alerts and self-service appointment details, there’s little need to contact the support centre. And the results speak for themselves.

Utility provider Welsh Water saw an opportunity to improve customer experience with real-time updates and tracking. When these measures were introduced, “where’s my technician” calls for waste water appointments decreased by 50 per cent.

 

How much could your business save?

For a typical field service company, an inbound chase call costs around £7.50.

Imagine that your company has 100 technicians, working 4 appointments per day. Now imagine that 25% of those appointments result in a call to your contact centre. That’s 94,000 appointments and £176,250 of avoidable phone calls.

A mere 30% reduction in calls would equate to savings of £52,875 across the year. Thousands of pounds that could be used to support customers who really need it.

 

Reduce failed appointments

Missed appointments are the costliest side-effect of a lack of communication. Each no-access appointment wastes precious work hours, fuel and administrative costs.

 

missed-appointment-knocking

 

It’s impossible to ensure 100% first-time access. But many missed appointments can be avoided with well-timed communication.

United Living Property Services (ULPS) found that missed appointments were proving costly. They opted for a solution powered by Localz to increase access rates and improve the customer experience.

ULPS estimates that real-time customer updates have reduced their no access appointments by 45%. Jonathan Evans, Business Improvement Manager at ULPS explains:

"The difference we have seen has been significant and the results have been really beneficial to our business. We have improved productivity, both on the road and in the call centre, and reduced associated re-work time such as additional travel and time spent contacting customers to rebook appointments."

 

How much could your business save?

Our clients tell us that failed appointments cost upwards of £88, and that typically more than 12% of appointments result in no-access.

For a company with 100 technicians, working 4 appointments per day, that’s 11,280 missed appointments per year, amounting to £987,000 wasted.

An achievable 30% reduction in no-access visits would equate to savings of £296,100 across the year.

 

Reduce the need for outbound calls

In many operations teams, the onus falls on customer service staff to request feedback after an appointment. Some companies also rely on third-party survey tools to measure customer sentiment.

 

outbound-call-centre

 

These measures can be costly, and tend to sample feedback from only a small pool of customers. Since feedback is requested hours, days or weeks after an appointment, it’s unlikely to be actionable.

By sending an automatic feedback request after each appointment, you increase the pool of actionable feedback while reducing the need for outbound calls.

Utility provider Welsh Water had previously relied on schedulers to request customer feedback after every appointment. The company adopted Localz’ feedback solution to automate the feedback process.

Once a job is completed, the customer receives an SMS linking to the web portal, where they can provide feedback and choose whether they would like a follow-up phone call. This allows Welsh Water to identify satisfied customers who do not need an additional phone call after the appointment.

Of the customers who provide feedback, 83 per cent use the opportunity to opt-out of “close the loop” calls from Welsh Water. This saves customers time and allows support staff to focus resources where they are needed, resulting in significant operational savings.

 

How much could your business save?

Let’s look again at our example company with 100 technicians, working 4 appointments per day.

If the company collects feedback from a small sample (7.5%) of appointments, that adds up to 7050 phone calls, or £52,875 over a year.

If automated feedback removes the need for 75% of these calls, that’s a saving of £39,656.

For companies currently relying on third-party survey providers, a customer communication solution with built-in feedback will generate significant savings overall.

Increase customer satisfaction

Making customers happy is a worthy end goal in and of itself. But for utilities and housing providers, there are financial and regulatory incentives to improve customer satisfaction.

Repair and maintenance appointments can be stressful for customers, and potentially damage the ongoing relationship with their provider. Delivering a good appointment experience should therefore be a priority for companies concerned with customer experience.

Localz solutions reduce anxiety on the day of service and minimise disruption to the customer’s day. Here’s what one end-customer had to say about their experience with real-time tracking:

 

"In one click I could find out all the information in relation to my appointment which I found really useful. I have never seen an energy company provide a service like this and am really impressed by the level of customer service, which I wasn’t expecting at all"

OVO Energy end-customer

 

The value of customer communication

If that seems like a lot to take in, this infographic summarises the key takeaways:

CUSTOMER-COMMUNICATION-ROI-INFOGRAPHIC

Of course, these costs and savings will vary depending on the services you provide, the number of appointments you schedule,  and the skillset of your technicians.

We also shouldn't forget the more intangible benefits of an excellent customer experience: increased satisfaction, reduced churn, and increased trust, to name but a few.

To calculate the potential ROI of customer communication for your business, talk to a Localz expert today:

 

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