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Thread: Anybody know a good customer notification system?

  1. #1
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    Anybody know a good customer notification system?

    Does anybody know of any software or apps out there that would automatically notify the customer about when the technician will arrive or let them keep checking the arrival time status throughout the day? Kind of like what Safe Light Auto Glass does when they send you a text message when they are on the way and you can track their location, but throughout the day.

    I think it might be a nice touch to able to automatically send out a text message to the customer after they are entered into the system. The message would have a link in it to their own private webpage where they can see the technician's name, maybe picture, license number, expected arrival etc..... And this would automatically update in real time any time the user checks it. So if they had a 3:00 appt, they can check at any time through the day to see if it has changed. When that appt is next on the technicians list, the technician would mark it as next and another text message would automatically go out and this would show an almost exact time of arrival at that point and they can see the technician on a map driving to their home. If it is determined that the technician will be late, customer automatically receive a text message with adjusted eta. Technician doesn't need to do anything.

    I think customers would LOVE this. And possibly even more important, it would cut down on calls. And the biggest complaint is not really about being late, some customers understand that. It's about not communicating that fact properly that blows them up.

    ("you should have at least called" etc...)

    I've seen other software out there that lets you manage jobs in all sorts of ways, and some software lets you even see all of your trucks on a map and their schedule for the day. But nothing that I can find so far seems to handle customer communication about arrival times, and I could see customers value this, maybe even a lot.

  2. #2
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    What does Time Warner use?

  3. #3
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    An app would be cool indeed. This probably doesn't answer your question in anyway, but if I'm running late, I call them myself. It's not that hard, and I don't understand why technicians won't do it. "You should have at least called" yeah, no kidding. It's not like you couldn't, you just didn't want to. Most of the times, I've been better off for having called, than not.

    Also, with an app, do you really want your customer to see that the reason you're late is because you got pulled off to go somewhere more important than them?


  4. #4
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    I dunno about the following them on the map idea. I can already hear a customer asking me why i stopped for 10 min 2 blocks from their neighborhood. How do you politely tell them you had to take a dump?

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

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  6. #5
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    I'll stick with the personal touch of calling them. It only takes a minute, and it's what's missing from 'service' these days.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHAINIK View Post
    An app would be cool indeed. This probably doesn't answer your question in anyway, but if I'm running late, I call them myself. It's not that hard, and I don't understand why technicians won't do it. "You should have at least called" yeah, no kidding. It's not like you couldn't, you just didn't want to. Most of the times, I've been better off for having called, than not.

    Also, with an app, do you really want your customer to see that the reason you're late is because you got pulled off to go somewhere more important than them?
    Hi Chainik. Great points. I would call too, and I'm better off calling them before they call me, but I've heard some tell me they don't want to talk to the customer until they arrive and the customer settles down a little because at least the technician has arrived and their problem will start to be fixed. That's the only way I can explain that. Kind of like being pissed waiting for a dentist for 2 hours when you have a terrible toothache, but when you see him and you know he's going to begin to fix the problem, you become less angry. I don't know.

    And you're right, I definitely would not want any app that shows all of the appts that truck has for the day, the truck's location throughout the day. That would be a real mistake for any app to do. I would think that a software company would be smart enough to allow the driver to press a button when he KNOWS he's heading straight to his next appt, and THEN and only then, his next appt sees his location. And even that should disappear when tech marks that he has arrived. Why not? That shouldn't be too hard. I've seen stuff that does a lot more than this, but it doesn't handle the customer part and I'm not sure why this seems to be overlooked so far from what I can find.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimerian View Post
    I dunno about the following them on the map idea. I can already hear a customer asking me why i stopped for 10 min 2 blocks from their neighborhood. How do you politely tell them you had to take a dump?

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
    Good point. I would hope that any software or app out there was smart enough to think about that, and that they would make it that the tech never shows his location until he himself decides he is ready to go straight to the next appt. I'm looking for something where the customer can check in on eta at any time during the day rather than calling (keeping them out of my hair). And when they are truly next, AND the tech is ready, THEN the tech hits a button and shows his location and starts driving there. If it didn't do it this way, you're totally right, that would be a big problem, and if I find something, that's the first thing to ask about. Thanks.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    I'll stick with the personal touch of calling them. It only takes a minute, and it's what's missing from 'service' these days.
    What I'm going after is the ambiguity of the appt "windows", 1 hour, 2 hours, sometimes 4 hours. If that ambiguity could be cut down, customers might really like it. Sometimes an emergency or repair call doesn't allow you to know what the problem really is and how long it will take. So usually you don't want to slot too many jobs per day to each tech and maybe you start off with an estimate of one hour per job. But, things change all of the time, and that's obviously why there are "windows". But if the schedule becomes clearer and clearer as the day moves on, and the customer can press a text message link all day long to their heart's content and find out a better updated estimate, then that should cut down on calls. And as I see it, the estimates would "tend" to get better and better as the day progresses, even though there's always an unexpected thing waiting to happen in the appt before the next one you are giving an eta to. I don't think anything would ever be close to perfect, but I'm trying to think of ways where an edge can be gained, and I think customers would take this as important and would see it as a convenient and professional touch. But then again, if I find this, I wonder how much they want? That always seems to be the problem, and I'm not swimming in dough.

  10. #9
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    The only reason I'm really looking for something like this (assuming it's not too expensive) is that I saw a Safe Lite Auto Glass commercial. They tell when they are on their way with a text and give their eta, but they also show the tech's location on a map and his eta that keeps updating until he arrives. They don't show the tech's location until he is actually on the way, so they weren't that stupid and saw that problem. And this isn't even in an emergency situation, it's just an on location windshield fix. So I thought that might be a cool thing to offer, but maybe I'm thinking ahead of the game a little bit, because I don't see it. I see everything else, estimates tied to invoices, assigning tech's jobs, even calculating vehicle mileage and such (really expensive), everything about operations, but nothing really involving customer update communications in the process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eta4 View Post
    The only reason I'm really looking for something like this (assuming it's not too expensive) is that I saw a Safe Lite Auto Glass commercial. They tell when they are on their way with a text and give their eta, but they also show the tech's location on a map and his eta that keeps updating until he arrives. They don't show the tech's location until he is actually on the way, so they weren't that stupid and saw that problem. And this isn't even in an emergency situation, it's just an on location windshield fix. So I thought that might be a cool thing to offer, but maybe I'm thinking ahead of the game a little bit, because I don't see it. I see everything else, estimates tied to invoices, assigning tech's jobs, even calculating vehicle mileage and such (really expensive), everything about operations, but nothing really involving customer update communications in the process.
    How much do you think a program like that costs? according to the commercial it will even show the tech's picture.

    I GUESSING a computer program that can do that will be in excess of $10K, and quite possibly a lot more.

    I like the personal approach, If a tech knows hes going to be late to his next call, a quick phone call to the next customer is a nice touch. especially with senior citizens
    VICTORY

    or

    VALHALLA

  12. #11
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    I have friend with his own company that just started using Housecall Pro. I'm thinking about starting to use Housecall and you should check it out. It does exactly what your describing with customer messaging and my friend says his days are so much easier and better organized now that he's using it. Hope this helps.

  13. #12
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    Those programs are all part of the franchise software...pretty cool but I comes with a franchise fee---Stand alone stuff is out there, Ill be watching this thread as well

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