The customer experience matters, and today, what many home service customers are demanding is contactless service calls. From a standpoint of driving revenue, the challenge of executing a contactless service call lies in the circumstances that prohibit normal social interactions that typically help technicians make the sale on service options.
A technician is not only there to address immediate problems but to identify other potential issues and make the homeowner aware of all available solutions. Oftentimes this is a very conversational process, “Here, let me show you.” It’s a trust-building process that they go through and it’s often a matter of discussing proposals or recommendations and then illustrating them on either a personal tablet or even on a piece of paper.
But a contactless service call typically means that you’re wearing a mask at all times and maintaining a minimum of six feet of distance from the homeowner for the entire service call. That process of building trust with the homeowner and walking them through problems and potential solutions while making them comfortable with your recommendations is much more difficult with limited facial expressions and the inability to show examples of the problems or solutions being discussed. It’s an added challenge for service technicians dealing with homeowners who are often overwhelmed and frustrated by the issue itself.
That’s why home service contractors need to explore how new consumer technologies can be applied to service calls to radically improve the experience for homeowners. For the foreseeable future, contactless service will be the expectation of homeowners, and it’s important for contractors to embrace that and get good at delivering it. This can mean embracing the idea of 100% contactless service delivery through comprehensive virtual solutions that can enhance end-to-end customer experience and allow safer delivery of essential services.
A homeowner’s desire for contactless service can be met by providing a remote option, where the homeowner could first try to solve their issue directly by following the direction of third-party expert technicians through a virtual visit. This could eliminate the need for a technician to come to their house at all. It’s the ultimate contactless resolution.
Virtual communication is a powerful tool, but most contractors are trying to get technicians out in the field to do their work and fix issues. Many home service issues are complex and require a professional to be physically present to address them. That said, I don’t think any homeowner necessarily looks forward to the experience of dealing with home service and repair issues. It’s nothing they usually plan for, but it’s something they have to do. And obviously they want to know what’s going on, and they want to know what their options are to fix it. They want clarity on those things.
By providing remote consultations for diagnosis and troubleshooting through live video chat, the services can save time and reduce the anxiety of home visits for homeowners. As for contractors, it’s a way to weed out money-losing nuisance calls, so that technicians can spend more time running profitable calls.
It can also help the contractor capture an expert diagnosis of the issue, before they even send a technician out to the field. By receiving an expert diagnosis on what the issue is, it can be very helpful to a dispatcher who has to decide who’s the right technician to send out and what parts are needed to fix it in the field. There is no better time for remote service support than after hours. Contractors can use the services to screen out minor problems remotely. Homeowners save time and on-call techs can stay at home. It saves the contractor the money and headache of dispatching technicians for nuisance calls and saves the technician from that dreaded 1 a.m. phone call.
It’s a fundamental paradigm shift. Most contractors are trying to get their technicians in homes, instead of first sending potential customers to a third-party service that can help homeowners solve their problem remotely. It’s counterintuitive on the surface, but there are some homeowners that do genuinely just want truly contactless service and are happy to pay for it. That generates goodwill and a willingness for a repeat call to the contractor for future needs. Since contactless service calls will continue to be the trend for the foreseeable future, the most successful contractors will be those who can offer the most innovative customer experiences.