Customers’ biggest complaint: waiting for a service technician, or worse, having a tech arrive late. It’s a failure of smart scheduling, route optimizing and dispatching, back-end organization, and, most importantly, customer service. How do you avoid this pitfall?

Here are a few stories from our archives that illustrate how important narrowing and meeting  service appointment windows is — and how companies have been able to achieve it.

  • Top 5 Customer Complaints: Waiting! | Darren Weiss | Sept. 13, 2012
    The overlong service appointment window is the No. 1 customer complaint when it comes to field service, according to TSIA researcher John Ragsdale.
  • The Cost of Waiting for Service | Corey Lewis | Nov. 9, 2011
    Americans lose more than $37 billion over the course of a year waiting around for field service workers to show up, according to TOA Technologies of London.
  • How Comcast Killed the Four-Hour Service Window | Darren Weiss | Jan. 18, 2012
    Six months after it pledged to halve its four-hour service window, cable and Internet provider Comcast says its technicians have shown up on time 96 percent of the time — mostly through adopting dynamic dispatching systems.
  • Time Warner and the Race to Close the Service Window | Ian A. Stewart | Feb. 7, 2012
    Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 provider in the country, took the service window war another step earlier this year, offering a “white glove” service program for customers who buy the $190-a-month cable package, promising exact-appointment times.
  • A New Twist: Evening, Weekend Appointments | Ian A. Stewart | March 21, 2012
    MediaCom, a relatively small cable provider, announced in March a few new wrinkles to the service window conundrum: Extending service hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., offering weekend service, and certain 30-minute service windows for early-morning and afternoon appointments.

More: Roundup: How Tablets Can Boost Productivity in the Field.

Click here to download a free whitepaper, “Five Steps to Make Field Service Profitable.”

ABOUT Ian Stewart

Avatar photoIan is a veteran journalist who has covered sports for various news outlets. Previously, he was managing editor for an electronic-book publishing company and a public relations writer.