Getting your washing machine fixed, or deep cleaning your air conditioner or your house has never been easier than opening an app, all thanks to home service businesses. Its astounding growth reflects how the modern consumer is now firmly at the center of the supply chain, pulling goods and services to their homeplace.
But thanks to the tough competition, the growth of the market does not automatically guarantee growth for individual businesses. And with high demand comes high expectations. On one hand, consumers expect quality and standardized services at reasonable prices. On the other, home service businesses need to create the strongest impression they can have on their consumers.
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What really makes consumers keep coming back for more are delightful experiences. And if done right, the last mile (the point when home service executives get assigned appointments and travel to them) is where businesses can make a difference.
Five ways to ensure customer delight in home services
1. Allow maximum customization options to the consumer
A big reason why home services platforms are so popular is the level of convenience they offer. They can decide what and when they need a particular service. Some businesses even allow consumers to ask for the same executive for select services like massages. In the early stages, it would be possible to meet their needs through spreadsheets and phone calls. But when the number of service requests jumps to thousands, even millions, automation is the most suitable to efficiently handle these volumes. Last-mile technology solutions like Locus’ Dispatch Management Platform have features that can make this possible. It has a built-in time-slot management feature that can share a range of convenient time slots to the user, which is updated in real-time.
The platform’s Order Management capabilities then automate the capture and assignment of service requests based on many factors such as the type of preferred time slot, the nature of the service, skill sets of the executive, their existing workload, among others.
2. Empower your executives to work better
Service technicians are trained and experienced enough to perform a task in the optimal amount of time. What they are not trained to do optimally is to shuttle between two appointments in the quickest possible time. This is where the Locus platform’s key feature, Route Planning, steps in to save the day. Its powerful route optimization software can compute the quickest route between by factoring in 180+ real-life constraints such as distance, time taken to complete a task, traffic, road restrictions, service level agreements, among others.
When the distance and time taken to move to different tasks is reduced, it frees technicians to take up more appointments in a day, leading to savings in time and fuel spent, and an increase in productivity. It also works closely with Order Management to accommodate real-time changes in a technician’s schedule. For example, if a consumer cancels an appointment at the last minute, the Route Planning module is updated. It automatically updates the route of the technician to move on to the next task. Parallelly, the Order Management feature also reassigns the appointment depending on another date and time according to the consumer’s preference.
3. Stay on top of real-time updates
Sometimes, technicians get delayed or are unable to complete their allotted tasks for unavoidable reasons like a vehicle breakdown or road accidents. To keep things on track, it is important to have real-time knowledge of the technician’s on-ground situation. Locus’ Control Tower solution allows supervisors to see the real-time progress of hundreds of drivers through a single screen. Automated alerts and notifications inform supervisors of any potential delays before they occur and help them take the right measures.
4. Keep the customer in the loop
There is a real benefit to consumers being updated on the status of their appointments in realtime. It makes them feel involved in the whole experience and makes the waiting process more palatable. By contrast, keeping them in the dark about the status of their appointment, especially when delayed, is off-putting. This is a complete no-no, especially when the power of word of mouth can get easily amplified by social media. Tracking pages allow businesses to provide turn-by-turn updates to customers on their technicians. They can use these pages to communicate with the technicians and share any feedback and concerns to the business, which speaks volumes on how much their opinion matters.
5. Leverage data to spot last mile inefficiencies
Each day, home-service technicians generate vast amounts of data while carrying out their appointments. When aggregated for an entire fleet, this data holds deep insights on new ways to make operations more efficient. The Locus platform’s advanced analytics capabilities can bring out these insights and present them in an easily digestible manner through intuitive graphics on a customizable dashboard. Armed with these insights, home services businesses can continue to grow in new directions previously unseen.
The popularity of home service businesses will continue to soar, given that research suggests that the home services market globally is expected to reach $993.98 billion by 2025. But so will the strength of the competition. While top-quality services and competitive prices are must-haves, customer delight is also essential to being and staying the top choice of savvy, value-conscious consumers.
Know how Locus’ automated dispatch system for home services can help you bring about this delight