HomeServe USA - A Study in Mobile Field Technology
Company: HomeServe USA
Company Description: HomeServe is a leading provider of home repair service plans to assist homeowners with plumbing, electrical, heating and AC system repairs when they need it the most. HomeServe has helped homeowners in the US since 2003 with over 3 million customers and handling 2.5MM calls annually with a <30 sec av. speed to answer & 98% claims satisfaction rating!
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Use of Technology in Customer Service - All Other Industries
Nomination Title: Best Use of Technology - Enhancing the Customer Experience - A Study in Mobile Field Technology
Tell the story about how technology has improved your customer service initiatives since the beginning of July 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
HomeServe assists homeowners with over 500,000 emergency repair jobs covering plumbing, HVAC, electrical and gas for over 3 million customers each year. To accomplish this, we have a mix of both directly employed service technicians and a network of over 1,100 contractors across the country to meet the demands of our customers. It is therefore our job to take the customer’s call, identify the nature of their problem, confirm coverage and deploy the job to a HomeServe technician or network contractor as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Although the process to deploy a job to a directly employed technician is and has been fairly automated, it has traditionally been a manual process with our contractor network, many of whom have their own deployment teams, technology and processes to route the job to one of their technicians in the field. Because of this, it often required for the front line agent to call the network contractor while on the phone with the customer, in order to confirm they could accept the job. If the front line agent was unsuccessful in deploying the job, it would be forwarded to another team to handle the deployment which degraded the customer experience. In addition, it often took contractors over 8 days to close a job through our web portal which impacted our ability to know the real-time status of a job. Although our manual process worked well when the company was smaller, our sustained double digit growth rate over the last several years made it clear that a more efficient, customer friendly approach was necessary.
To address this challenge, in late 2015 HomeServe collaborated with a small start-up company to begin deploying a new mobile solution called DispatchMe. DispatchMe is a mobile field service management application designed to integrate existing backend systems and processes. It provides both web and iOS/Android applications for use on mobile devices in the field and allows contractors and their technicians the ability to easily accept jobs, schedule them with the customer and provide real-time status updates so that our Operations team can monitor progress from our Command Center. The application also alerts the customer each step of the way through SMS text messaging. For example, when the job is scheduled, the customer receives a text message with the appointment date and time which can be saved to the calendar of their smart phone. When the technician is on their way to the customer’s home, they can simply press the “On My Way” button which sends a text to the customer with a link to a web site where the location of the technician and their estimated time of arrival can be tracked. The customer can also call or text the technician in advance if there is something they may need to know before arriving on site. After completing the job, the technician can simply click “Appointment Complete” which sends another text message to the customer to complete a one question survey on the technician’s performance.
The results of implementing the DispatchMe mobile solution have been significant. It has helped reduce the time to deploy a job by almost 30 seconds, both improving the customer experience and saving over $300,000 annually in agent handle time. In addition, technicians are now closing out jobs immediately after they are complete, which has reduced the average time a job is open from 8 days to less than 4, thus providing our command center with better visibility to jobs requiring escalation. Customers are also much happier because they know when the technician is on their way and can provide immediate feedback on the job after it is completed.
We at Homeserve are thrilled that this industry leading solution has revolutionized the home emergency repair experience in a way that matches the ever increasing expectation of our customers and are proud to nominate it for this prestigious Stevie Award.