The Story of the Heating Engineer and the Contact Centre

Top tips from CALLCARE on how boiler and the heating engineer can increase their business while boosting customer satisfaction levels at the same time.

heating.engineer.image.feb.2017According to recent data by telephone answering service provider CALLCARE, it had revealed that the majority of calls (30%) made to utilities providers and boiler engineers in winter are to do with chasing for an update or making repeat calls to report the same incident.

This is a two-fold problem that could be seriously affecting the customer satisfaction of these businesses. Existing customers will be becoming more annoyed that they should continuously chase up engineers about the same problem leading to some dissatisfied customers. Engineers are potentially missing out on new business because they are dealing with so many repeat calls.

The problem is much more pronounced in winter than in summer, as these calls increase by up to 50%. If people are without heating or hot water, it is expected they would want to get the problem fixed as soon as possible so it’s vital to have a plan for this sudden influx of phone enquiries.

On average, a customer service call to the contact centre relating to heating and boiler services takes three minutes. During this time, an adviser will validate, triage and troubleshoot the call. Their next step will be to dial out an engineer; this takes an average of three and a half minutes. Sometimes operators will have to contact two engineers, which adds another minute onto the time. Overall, the process can take around 7 and a half minutes to complete, however it can be longer in some cases

This breakdown of what exactly goes into the initial phone call shows that there is a great deal going on ‘behind the scenes’ once the customer has ended the conversation. It takes time to locate the right person and hand over the call, and to ensure that all information is relayed properly.
How to get around this problem?

1. Prioritise the right jobs

The most urgent jobs should be given top priority; these are serious situations where the problem needs to be fixed as soon as possible. In winter it is likely that everyone will think that their call should be a top priority, but as long as you have a system in place internally, this will help to improve efficiency across the board.
Perhaps prioritising by location would also help to ease the workflow. Calls that are further away from the ‘command centre’ should be bumped to the top of the list, as it will take engineers longer to reach them. ETAs can be communicated on an individual basis, which is something that we will come onto in a little while.

2. Implement more efficient call handling processes

People will call a company about the same job because they are looking for an update. They want to know how long they can expect the problem to go on for, so it is clearly a frustration when peoplecan’t get these updates easily. But if many people are doing the same thing, then a backlog can start to develop as there aren’t enough advisers to meet the demand.

In a recent survey by CALLCARE, more than half of people (51%) stated that their biggest frustration with call centres was being placed on hold for long periods of time. This frustration is only going to intensify if it happens every time they call.

Overflow call handling services allow businesses to maintain high levels of customer service in the moments when they need it most. Retaining your current customers is just as important as bringing on new ones, so make sure you’re giving everyone the same high level of service and an undivided level of attention 100% of the time.

3. Improve communication

Companies who would prefer to try and field customers away from the telephone need to come up with a method of giving them the information they need online. One way this could be achieved is by implementing a tracker system on the website. Once a customer has raised an issue, a specific page on their account could be updated with a new message, or even a text message or email service that tells them when an engineer has been dispatched and the estimated time that they will arrive.

This kind of process might take a little time and money to get right, but it will be worth it in the long run. Not only does it show customers the commitment to making their journey as smooth and painless as possible, but it is also a great selling point for potential new customers. Prioritising customer service, satisfaction and happiness is never going to be bad for business.


Additional Information

callcare.logo.2015Established in 1998, CALLCARE specialises in offering a high-quality and flawless telephone answering service to businesses that want to ensure they never miss a call from their customers. They provide bespoke packages across a number of different services to ensure all your business needs are taken care of.

For additional information on CALLCARE visit their Website

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