Cable Operators

Costs of Waiting for the Cable Guy

11/07/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

When cable and telco technicians miss
an appointment window, customers don’t just get royally annoyed
— it makes them feel like they’re losing real income.

American consumers wait for service appointments from
cable, satellite, telco, utility or other providers for an average
of 4.3 hours, which is 2.5 hours longer than they expected, according
to a survey commissioned by TOA Technologies, a
provider of mobile workforce-management software.

In the U.S., the average individual cost of waiting is $243 per
year, according to the TOA survey. That amounts to a total cost
of $37.7 billion for the total time spent waiting for in-home services,
when applied to the entire American workforce. About
27% of those surveyed said they lost wages and 50% wasted a
sick day or vacation day to wait at home for a service or delivery.

Of course, if a service technician needs to perform work inside
a customer’s premises, there’s no way around the need for
a homeowner to be present. But TOA CEO Yuval Brisker said
on-time performance can go a long way toward making consumers
happier.

The TOA survey found that 70% of respondents said they
would recommend a company if an appointment was on time
— but that drops to 27% if a service technician is 15 minutes
late.

The longer a technician is late, the more likely it becomes
that customers will start griping online: After waiting for one
hour, almost half of respondents
(49%) said they would have posted
a complaint to a social media platform.

“People are more vocal now,”
Brisker said. “They’re going on social
media to complain about their
service.”

TOA claims it has a solution
that directly addresses the issue of
missed service windows. The network-
based software dynamically
assigns a technician with the right
skill set and truck inventory to a
given job, based on location and
time parameters.

Major U.S. customers of TOA include
Cox Communications, Cablevision
Systems, Bright House
Networks, Suddenlink Communications
and Cincinnati Bell. Competitors in the workforce-management
area include Arris, CSG Systems and Ventyx.

The online survey was conducted Sept. 9-15 on behalf of
TOA by IBOPE Zogby. The firm interviewed 1,026 U.S. adults
who said they waited for at least one service or delivery appointment
in the previous 12 months. The margin of error is
3.2 percentage points.

October
November