Is Your Service Company Closed for Business Online?
- January 17, 2015
- By: Vonigo
“Back in 15 minutes!” That’s what the sign on the sandwich shop said, both times we tried to go. It was my friend’s favorite little neighborhood stop – he swore by their tuna melt, telling me it was the best in the city. But I would never give it a third try. With so many restaurants in this big city to choose from, why would we go back to this establishment that seemed so unwilling to help us part with our lunch money?
As we slunk away across the street to my friend’s second-favorite lunch spot (which was open and served up very fine tacos) I wondered why so many businesses operate like this, making it difficult for customers to actually use them.
It’s a phenomenon I call “Closed for Business” – and it applies online as well as in the real world. Annoyingly, it’s the default position for far too many companies’ websites.
We’ve all seen those forms on service companies’ websites where you’re invited to put in your information, including a message about what kind of help you need (even if you’re not quite sure what the problem is – you only know that something’s stopped working) and maybe a good time to call you back.
Eventually, the company will get back to you. If they can do it in under 15 minutes, they’re in the top 1 percent of companies out there. Most companies think they’re doing well with a call back within 24 hours. Some can take up to three business days or more just to respond.
And of course, that’s just the wait to get a response; playing phone tag or emailing back and forth can easily eat up more hours or days and in the meantime, your problem is probably getting worse. If a customer has got a plumbing emergency or your washing machine has lots its get-up-and-go, there’s no way they’re going to be happy with that kind of stress. They want a company that will give them service when they need it – that means right now.
For customers who have better things to do with their time, an online form promising a call back within 24 hours isn’t going to cut it. Fortunately, you’ve got a more timely alternative to keep them happy.
It’s Easy to Be Open For Business with Service Options, Real-Time Scheduling, Call Center Support and More
This “Closed for Business” problem is what Vonigo aims to solve for our customers. Instead of wasting time on the phone going over service options, customers can instantly see what they can get, just ticking off boxes for the service they need.
Customers can get an estimate at the same time — critical for those who will perpetually be on the fence, shopping around until they see real numbers. Savvy customers will want to do price comparisons and by making it convenient for them to get instant answers, your company puts itself into strong contention. With the estimate total right in front of them, they may feel confident about adding on other services that come under their anticipated spend-threshold. Whether they book online or offline, that can lead to higher billings overall.
Online Booking is Convenient — and It Works!
Location-based online scheduling also makes bookings easier for both the customer and the company. The customer sees available time slots for service in their area and doesn’t think about the times that are missing — a way of managing expectations. Meanwhile, the service company doesn’t need to check once again whether it has the resources in a given part of town or region to do the work; if Roger the technician is only available in Riverdale between noon and 5 pm, then customers in Riverdale are only going to see that – and then they can choose within that availability.
There’s no more need for the time-wasting back and forth that’s a huge time-suck on administrative resources. The customer knows exactly when you’re available and gets the service they want, when they want it. That’s what it means to be “Open for Business” online.
Now, if only that local sandwich shop would get on board with this…
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