- How much time is saved with vision technology?
- Seeing the issue helps the 24/7 on-call service with emergencies.
- Vision frees up more experienced field technicians to focus on complex issues.
- Visual assistance promotes sustainability and technology adoption for your brand.
- Where is the customer service revolution?
While searching on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) site on the term “customer service”, the phrase “act as if you like your customer” comes up. Basically, this is the same idea as “treat the customer as a friend”. All well and good, you should be kind while talking to your customers on the phone when they have a problem in their house. Having a lovely disposition is certainly more challenging when your staff gets 70 calls daily, but the sentiment is there. Of course, you want to treat your customers with the proper respect, patience, and dare I say “love” that you would show to someone very close to you. Fifty years ago, this might have been an acceptable customer service strategy to use with your clients. Unfortunately, in today’s world, with hundreds of homebuilders in your local area to choose from and people expecting superior quality service for the money, your customer service strategy has to stand out.
The key to the best customer service in the home building industry is using available technology. This was true 50 years ago when a person could call a 1-800 number and get connected to the service center for free and tell the operator about their problem. It was also true 100 years ago when one could write a letter and have it answered within a month or two. Today, most people have smartphones. While you can send a text or email through the phone, you also have a powerful camera that can connect you to the service center. The video functionality of the camera allows the service desk agent to see exactly what the issue is you are describing and come up with a resolution. Our company TechSee has perfected this operation for the property management industry, and it is called visual assistance technology.
The top three homebuilders in the US are currently invested in and utilizing visual assistance technology from TechSee every day. The number one reason for this is because it saves them and their customers time. A call is picked up by an agent, they ask to connect with the customer’s smartphone through an SMS link, and after 30 seconds they have eyes on the customer’s problem. You have just saved 10 minutes of a detailed explanation along with the follow-up questions. If the problem is simple to fix (i.e., a flipped circuit breaker), the agent can highlight the area that needs attention by drawing directly on the customer’s phone (augmented reality), and guide the fix remotely. If a problem is more complex, the agent can send a tradesperson out to the customer knowing precisely who to send and what tools and materials are needed.
How much time is saved with vision technology?
Directly viewing the problem allows the customer care rep to see exactly what action needs to be taken, increasing the chances of first-visit fixes. The rep no longer needs to rely on a verbal explanation from the homeowner. One of our homebuilder clients reports that their average resolution time has been reduced from 20 days to 6 days using visual assistance. The local Customer Care Manager in Houston explained that not long ago they used to get on the road to visit local customers with issues three or four times a day. A typical round trip would take them a couple of hours, and sometimes for a routine job that could have been fixed in minutes. If they arrived and found the work was more complex, they needed to schedule a second visit for a tradesperson. By seeing the issue on the first call through the phone, the time saving was substantial on the company side and much appreciated on the customer side. Customer care reps can solve many more homeowner problems on the phone and avoid a home visit, allowing them to service more customers. Proving this point, our homebuilder client says that visual assistance technology helped improve their first-time fix rate by 46%. Needing a second visit for the same issue has become a rarity.
Seeing the issue helps the 24/7 on-call service with emergencies.
A new home usually comes with a 10-year warranty and is built to last. This fact doesn’t prevent damage from occurring, whether by accident or through extreme weather. Immediate visual attention must be paid to setbacks, such as water leaks, affecting the house structure. In a stressful emergency, the homeowner doesn’t always know how to describe their problem coherently. Viewing the issue gives the call center agents instant context into their case and will help them send the right tradesperson to help.
Vision frees up more experienced field technicians to focus on complex issues.
Homebuilders lack the time to fully train newer service technicians. Even experienced outsourced tradespeople sometimes need a second pair of eyes on an issue. The older, more experienced experts that can no longer serve remote locations can still support technicians in the field remotely with a visual connection. Junior technicians making a home visit can also have backing and guidance if they don’t fully understand how to fix an issue.
Electronics within the home are far more complicated now because of internet connections (IoT) that control systems like the HVAC, security, and lawn care. Visual guidance from telecom and device specialists is often necessary to advise a service technician remotely. Every time visual assistance helps solve one of these problems, another expensive visit wasting time and expenses is avoided.
Visual assistance promotes sustainability and technology adoption for your brand.
A builder that champions sustainability is appreciated among new homebuyers. Is your company doing its best to reduce its carbon footprint? The avoidance of truck rolls and multiple service visits not only saves time and money but also reduces carbon emissions. The reality that your company is incorporating the latest technology into the service process also makes an excellent point for potential homebuyers. Everybody wants a builder that is leading edge and responsive to their eventual needs.
Where is the customer service revolution?
This post began with a dig at the concept of modern customer service in the homebuilding industry. In fact, at every point in time, homebuilders have incorporated technology into their efforts, from the concept of indoor plumbing to IoT sensors to open car garage doors. It’s time that the service side of the industry used every available technology in order to offer their customers faster response. Homebuilders’ customer care managers mention time as their top commodity on the job. Visually identifying issues in people’s homes saves time by bringing immediate context to the situation and allowing them to proceed directly to a resolution. This context enables them to communicate more effectively and efficiently with customers, between internal service people, and service contractors, saving time at every stage. Think of it like this: if the best way to treat a customer is to think of them “as a friend”, isn’t it better to see your friend on a video call for the context that it brings than just hear their voice on the other end of the line?
Schedule a demo for a free consultation with our experts to see how this technology can benefit you.