Customers Top 5 Pet Peeves About Field Service

This post was prompted by an interview request from Darren Weiss at The SmartVan, a blog and news aggregator focused on field service people, process and technology (the resulting story can be found here). I dug out some customer survey work concerning the top customer complaints about field service, and used a poll to identify which of the five give you the most grief. Here’s what you said:

No surprise that the dreaded 8 hour appointment window remains the biggest complaint about field service. Unfortunately still common in the consumer world (ask my phone company), giving a customer an 8 hour window to sit at home and wait for a repair person is just ridiculous. Even without all the automation created in the last decade, you’d think “morning or afternoon” would at least be an option. And with mobile scheduling tools, getting down to a 2 hour window…heading toward an exact appointment time…should be in reach for most organizations.

The last time I had a problem with my land line, I received an 8 hour appointment window: 8am to 5pm. I started calling around 4pm when no one had showed, but they said they would definitely be there. They didn’t call me until 5:30 to say they wouldn’t make it, but they would be there tomorrow….between 8am and 5pm. If your customers has already spent an entire day waiting for you, and you didn’t show, the least you can do is give an exact appointment time for the next day. Another 8 hour window just adds insult to injury.

Having a tech not familiar with the equipment, and/or having to schedule another appointment to fix the problem, tie for 2nd place in biggest field service complaints. Especially if you already gave up an entire day with an 8 hour appointment window, being told they have to come back tomorrow is maddening. And from the provider’s perspective, it costs $1,010 for an onsite repair visit according to the TSIA field service  benchmark. If you can’t fix the problem and have to schedule a 2nd appointment, you are now up to $2,020 for the issue. Being ineffective can be very expensive.

Missing an appointment time without alerting the customer comes in 4th. This is another problem I encounter frequently. I live in a fairly remote area, and about 30 minutes after most appointment times, I receive a call saying, “We had no idea you were so remote. We can’t be there for another hour.” And they usually get lost finding me after that, especially since Google maps and every car navigation system puts me half a mile down the road in the middle of a forest.

It is a bit sad that of the top customer complaints about field service, having an unfriendly tech barely raises an eyebrow, with only 7% of respondents to the poll saying this was their hot button issue. I suppose we are so grateful to finally get a warm body onsite we don’t care how rude they are.  But it definitely impacts the customer’s perception of the brand, and their likelihood of repurchase.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the poll! And as always, thanks for reading!

Explore posts in the same categories: customer experience, customer satisfaction, field service, Technology

One Comment on “Customers Top 5 Pet Peeves About Field Service”


  1. […] research for the Technology Services Industry Association, conducted an informal poll on his “Eye On Service” blog. We asked Ragsdale, fresh off a nationwide tour to promote his book Lessons Unlearned, […]


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