BURLINGTON, Massachusetts, June 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
For many businesses that provide deliveries, installations and service calls to customers, more than half of the service work is handled by third-party contractors. These road warriors are often the only face that the customer sees and are essential for enhancing the business. The rise in the power of the consumer is causing increased demand for businesses to provide a seamless customer experience, regardless of who is providing the service. Yet new findings from a ClickSoftware (NasdaqGS: CKSW) survey of more than 200 companies shows the partnerships between businesses and their contractors are not as solid as once thought, and major service gaps are weakening company reputations and increasing the cost of service every year.
The main drivers of customer dissatisfaction are communications and quality failures. The failures are on both ends of the spectrum with 89 percent of contractor managers reporting that third-party contractors should be more transparent and communicative in order for the business to succeed. At the same time, many key performance metrics are not being regularly measured by businesses due to the lack of visibility into the contractor's workday. Key survey findings include:
- Contractors are Brand Ambassadors - More than 90 percent of businesses surveyed agree third-party contractors' performance while on a service call is just as important in maintaining and improving the business as marketing itself. Businesses want the contractors to do more, with 80 percent indicating contractors could do more for client satisfaction.
- My time is valuable - The most numerous complaints about contractors (66 percent) in the past six months dealt with scheduling issues. It's not just late arrivals, but also early arrivals that caused customer frustration, return visits and missed appointments. One third of the complaints (38 percent) emerge from a contractor arriving late. While businesses realize this is an issue, almost half (45 percent) of contractor managers do not consistently measure scheduling as part of contractor performance.
- Missed appointments and poor quality hurt business reputation and increase costs - The study found that 21 percent of contractor service appointments result in return or repeat visits. Despite the majority of businesses focusing on matching the appropriate contractor skill set as when allocating service calls.
- Contractors poor service impacting the bottom line - The costs of the contractors' poor performance are rising year over year according to those surveyed and that's impacting the bottom line for many businesses. The study found 66 percent of businesses believe that the majority of the costs associated with repeating work are largely due to poor performance of third-party contractors. That is why businesses value the quality of work over customer feedback/satisfaction, on-time arrival and even time spent to complete service projects when retaining contractors.
"The survey findings show businesses who are using more third-party contractors, are seeking new methods to optimally manage the workflow of these contractors to adhere to service level agreements, improve performance and have better visibility into the service delivery process," said Stephen Timms, ClickSoftware's President of Americas. "Technology, such as ClickSoftware's Service Network for Contractors, is available to help manage workflows and transform the way businesses operate and deliver services. Our solution provides these businesses with the ability to view service activities and third-party resources in real-time to improve efficiency, more effectively serve customers, build brand reputation and avoid mistakes that have plagued the industry for years."
This survey was conducted online through Online Panel, Research Now Panel, which is ICC/ESOMAR compliant within the United States between April 15 and 23, 2015 among 200 decision makers within departments that deal with third-party contracting and targeted directors and managers of services, customers service and operations, and looked specifically at the following sectors: manufacturing (installations); home services; retail and utilities. To view the detailed survey results, download a copy of the survey report. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact [email protected].
ClickSoftware (NasdaqGS: CKSW) is the leading provider of automated mobile workforce management and service optimization solutions for the enterprise, both for mobile and in-house resources. As pioneers of the "Service chain optimization" concept, our solutions provide organizations with end-to-end visibility and control of the entire service management chain by optimizing forecasting, planning, shift and task scheduling, mobility and real-time management of resource and customer communication.
Available via the cloud or on-premise, our products incorporate best business practices and advanced decision-making algorithms to manage service operations more efficiently, in a scalable, integrated manner. Our solutions have become the backbone for many leading organizations worldwide by addressing the fundamental question of job fulfillment: Who does What, for Whom, With what, Where and When.
ClickSoftware is the premier choice for delivering superb business performance to service sector organizations of all sizes. The company is headquartered in the United States and Israel, with offices across Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit http://www.clicksoftware.com. Follow us on Twitter.
SOURCE ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd