Companies like Amazon, DoorDash, and Instacart have revolutionized the delivery of goods & services on-demand.
For most appliance service companies, the reality of offering on-demand appliance repair is limited due to the shortage of skilled technicians and the industry wide gap in digital literacy.
Unfortunately, these excuses fall on deaf ears for many consumers. As they become increasingly accustomed to on-demand experiences, appliance service companies will need to step up their efforts and deliver hassle-free, digital interactions to their customers.
HOW TO COMPETE IN AN ON-DEMAND MARKET
Executing an on-demand service experience requires a perfect synergy between internal processes and technology. An on-demand business model requires flexibility and capacity in scheduling, proper staffing, and a slew of other variables that aren’t available to the average servicer.
Business owners need to ask: “How can I mimic an on-demand experience for my customers despite limited access to affordable software solutions and skilled labor?”
The answer is to create a culture of on-demand interactions as your primary business model. While you may not be able to offer same-day on-demand service, you can expedite your scheduling, follow-up, and communication processes to mimic the contactless experience.
OFFER MESSAGING & DIGITAL SCHEDULING
A typical appliance repair website will generate 60-75% of its organic search traffic from users on mobile devices. The high percentage of mobile users is startling when you consider the large number of service companies with websites that aren’t mobile responsive or optimized for mobile conversions.
If you’re still questioning whether YOUR customers care about messaging, you’ll really have to change your mind-set. A well-managed messaging system will allow you to handle more interactions at once, provide faster response times (no one is on hold!), and give consumers the convenient on-demand experience they desire.
TRY THESE 5 WAYS TO PROVIDE ON-DEMAND INTERACTIONS
Offer Online Scheduling
If possible, install an online scheduling option on your website that allows customers to choose their preferred service time and date. Rossware’s ServiceDesk & WalkAbout both offer this solution in their scheduling software.
Offer Live Chat
Offering Live Chat on your website is a great way to provide on-demand communication. Customers can chat with your office staff directly from your website. No long hold times, and no awkward, inconvenient conversations.
Be cautious when it comes to products that promote ChatBot solutions, as these interactions aren’t authentic and often leave customers frustrated by having to wait for a call-back. If your customer contacts you by chat, it means they don’t want to talk to you on the phone.
Use SMS (Text Messaging)
Offer text messaging as a preferred communication method over the old-school phone call. Research by AT&T shows that 85% of users prefer SMS messages over phone calls from businesses.
Turn on (and monitor) Google Messages & Facebook Messenger
Google Messages (a new feature on Google Maps) is yet another way customers can interact with your business using messaging. Be sure to enable this feature on your GMB listing. Also, monitor your Facebook Messenger for scheduling requests. Although we only see a small number of leads coming from Facebook, every lead counts!
Warnings & Cautions
- If you offer messaging, be prepared to have someone available to respond to requests immediately. Nothing is more aggravating than an ignored message!
- No single software solution is going to solve the problems of a poorly run operation. Before you update your communication model, hire an industry consultant to help you identify and solve your internal problems. Top industry consultants like the PDM Group or Appliance Service Secrets help appliance repair companies identify and solve operations issues. I also highly recommend joining the United Appliance Servicers Association so you can be matched with a peer group and take advantage of member-only business training.