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Did you know that a fully-grown elephant is capable of um, releasing 300 pounds of “excess baggage” every day? I can’t even imagine the work it took to find that out, or even the scale that may have been used! Apart from the awful visual that may be in your head right now, why is an elephant an interesting analogy when we consider the day-to-day running of your business and your service management system? Because, everything that becomes big and unmanageable, has small and manageable beginnings. Let me explain.
Before elephants become 12,000 pound animals, they are only about 200 pounds at birth. You could be mistaken when looking at an adorable baby elephant and wanting one for yourself, but then it grows, and it grows… One day you look up and there you have a full-grown animal that is difficult to manage, and in order to create that much waste, it eats A LOT.
Delivering an efficient and modern service experience to your customers has followed a similar pattern. When you start out with one or two technicians and a handful of customers, scheduling maintenance, invoicing, accounting and sales were all manageable tasks. Your growth and success meant that you added more customers, contracts, and service and admin staff. Most businesses started out using a variety of systems to manage those tasks. QuickBooks for accounting, Perhaps Act! for managing sales, spreadsheets, and other services, and some off the shelf scheduling software to manage the activities of the service technicians. Often there is an enormous amount of paperwork that goes with the business. As you continue to grow, the time it takes to keep all of these systems running, consumes hours of administration time.
Compounding issues is that customers have become accustomed to a more automated interaction with their business partners. It may sound like an unfair comparison, but when you buy a product from Amazon, you have instant access to information, pricing, past orders, shipping details, account details, among the most obvious. Amazon may be the gold standard of customer experience, but more and more clients become frustrated if the information they need is not instantly available to them. Workflows that require customers to call for information such as calibration certificate information, details on the last service or maintenance call, equipment details, or even a billing inquiry, now become seen as “old school” when compared to the likes of Amazon.
A common misconception with running a service business is that these items become more efficient as you grow and scale. In reality, they become less efficient. As you add service technicians, sales people, and back office administrators, you start to have managers, and staff turnover, and eventually you rely on employees to “learn” a process that is not documented. When a customer calls, they can be looking for any one piece of information that may not be easily accessible to the receptionist. They then typically go about interrupting the work of other employees to gather information.
Amazon did not set out to be the gold standard of customer service. They simply wanted to allow customers to “self service” their account information, and allow their employees to focus on their day to day work, whether that is sales, service maintenance, or accounting.
Where the baby elephant comes back into play is that many companies have started to realize that these various systems are hampering their ability to service customers. The elephant has fully grown, and it’s demanding your attention.
Miracle Service is a service management software system that helps automate your service technician scheduling and call management, sales activity, certificate management, meter billing and accounting integration. We make it easy for your customers to get information, and allow your employees to focus on their business— making them more efficient. In short, we take care of your elephant.