Making the Most of a First Impression

Customer Service

Very often customer service begins and ends with the service technician.

After all, they are usually the only contact that customers will have with your company. And sometimes a customer’s impression has already been formed before the technician even arrives on site. It’s daunting to think that something as important as customer retention or company reputation may have already been affected before a service tech walks through a customer’s door. That’s a lot resting on your technician’s shoulders!

I found myself in a relevant situation when I moved house in September and had to wait at my new residence for a technician to install my internet. I was originally told when I ordered the service that they would be there between 9am and 5pm – a long window to wait! However, the company called me at 9am to inform me the technician would arrive sometime after lunch. The technician himself then called me at 11am to inform me that he would be with me between 1pm and 3pm. A couple of quick phone calls freed up my morning to run errands and more importantly made a really good first impression on me.

No matter if the service call is at a home or business, there is always one question all customers have in regards to the technician: When are they going to get here?

How a company addresses this question can contribute more to customer satisfaction than the price or efficiency of the fix itself. In fact, this particular internet provider has already received two new customers from me because I’ve recommended them to family members. In this day and age, most internet services are similar enough in quality and price (at least in my neck of the woods). What had impressed me enough to recommend them was the customer service.

We can all relate to hearing, “We’ll send a technician out between 9am and 5pm”. And we can all relate to being stuck at home waiting for a technician to arrive, whether it’s for an installation or repair, because their estimated time of arrival basically spans the entire day. And more often than not, if you’re told they’ll be there between 9am and 5pm, without fail they will arrive at 4:59pm!

This can be just as frustrating when waiting for a technician to arrive at an office or place of business because office staff face restrictions such as ensuring the technician arrives within office hours and has sufficient time to make the repair. Perhaps they’ve had to cordon off a high-traffic, frequently-used area or rearrange meetings, not to mention being able to anticipate how long the broken equipment will be out of commission for so workers can plan accordingly.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, first impressions really can mean everything. 

It can be nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact time the technician will arrive at a service call, especially when they have other calls beforehand. Having communication with the customer either by calling or texting can go a long way in addressing a common complaint and ensuring they don’t feel like they’ve been forgotten about. The technician makes a good first impression of themselves and the company before they’ve even arrived. And as we all know, customer satisfaction is one of the vital building blocks for any business in achieving Best-In-Class. As the saying goes, “Your first impression is your last impression.” And sometimes a customer’s impression has already been formed before the technician even arrives on site.