Measuring Your Company’s Success Through a Distributed Approach to Customer Support
There are many ways to define a successful home technology company. Years in business, profitability, number of employees, or quality and size of typical installations are a few of the more common metrics cited. But at OneVision we see a measure of success that is widely undervalued in our industry: the ability to provide clients with best-in-class service in a scalable, distributed, and redundant fashion.
Put another way, if you’re the company owner or sales professional ask yourself a simple question: Do my clients reach out to me directly, and as a first point of contact, when a service incident arises? If you’re like most in our industry then you answered yes. Maybe you see this fact as inevitable, perhaps even necessary to your long term success. These are your clients after all, and surely they want to speak with you directly when there’s a problem, right? Not necessarily. Look at the situation a little closer and you’ll see that what your clients really value is an immediate response, consistent communication, and a rapid resolution.
Regardless of how you feel about your clients calling you directly it’s important to realize this creates a bottleneck. I can speak from experience because I’ve made the same mistake myself. Before OneVision transitioned to a national B2B, white-label service provider, we provided technology management services direct to homeowners. As the company began to grow I held tightly to my biggest and most long-standing clients, convinced that their satisfaction hinged on having a direct line to me.
However as business picked up it became obvious that I was doing them a disservice. I simply couldn’t keep up with the incoming requests and my clients were growing frustrated. As soon as I transitioned these clients over to my service team their satisfaction skyrocketed. My clients had a dedicated and knowledgeable team that could respond immediately to every service incident. And I got to spend more of my time focusing on building valuable relationships that contributed to the success of my company.
Although surprisingly rare in our industry, this distributed approach to service is common elsewhere. Think, for example, of your family doctor. It would be impossible for this physician to make themselves available directly to every one of their patients 24/7. Instead patients are given an on-call number and trained to use it from day one.
So long as these patients get a consistent response, no one questions the approach. Patients may expect to see their regular physician for routine visits. However in an urgent situation they are happy to talk to any qualified person, so long as the response is immediate.
This begs the question: why should our industry be any different? It boils down to a misconception. Your clients may view the fact that they can call the CEO or sales professional directly with issues as an indication that they will receive the highest possible level of service. This notion is easily dispelled by pointing out that what they in fact need is highly responsive, dedicated team that can respond 24/7 in the event of an incident. Seen in this light it’s clear that relying on the CEO to channel this communication is in fact the sign of a company that can’t scale. Eventually that company will become inundated and the client’s experience will suffer.
Implementing a distributed approach depends, of course, on having a solid service team in place. Training your clients to use a dedicated phone number and email for support does little good if “no one is home”. If your clients don’t get consistent results they’ll resort right back to calling you directly. However once it’s demonstrated that using a dedicated support channel yields rapid and predictable results they will do so without hesitation. For some companies this may be as simple as hiring a service coordinator and setting up a dedicated phone number and email address. However if you’re like most home technology companies then internal resources are at a premium.
Which is why so many CEO’s and sales professionals have assumed the de facto role of service coordinator.
This is the problem OneVision is built to solve. By acting as an immediate response, 24/7 support team on behalf of your business, we provide a missing piece of the puzzle creating an excellent experience and allowing you to focus on what you do best: building valuable, long-term relationships the grow the bottom line.
Through our daily work at OneVision we have the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of integration companies. Each company is of course unique. However our perspective as a close partner with these companies has revealed patterns that are hard to ignore. The most successful companies all take service seriously. They know how vital the long term care of their clients is to their businesses. Moreover, they realize that channeling this lifeline through a CEO or sales professional phone creates a major bottleneck, limiting the company’s ability to respond quickly and consistently to every service incident that arises.
By leveraging OneVision’s highly-knowledgeable support team, these companies ensure their clients are receiving are best-in-class support, 24/7, while they enjoy the fruits of building a truly successful business. Contact us today to see how we can help you!