TIME LOSS, PART EIGHT:
Readers have seen that I’ve been writing a seven-part series on TIME LOSS: how almost everyone either lies or guesstimates ETA—estimated times of arrival—for trains, planes and automobiles.
Home service people do it, and dentists and government services, and…well almost everybody!
We can never get a handle on how long it will take to do anything, or get anywhere, or determine when the service people will come to repair our appliance or install a cable.
The economic impact of waiting for in-home services among consumers and businesses has just been published in in international survey.
The survey is the third annual by the polling firm, Zogby International. The company asked people in the U.S., Britain, Brazil and Germany how long they usually had to wait for people to come to their homes and service appliances etc.
The respondents were furious because most of them had to:
- take time off busy work schedules
- lose pay
- take a vacation day
- take a sick day
- get stressed out, frustrated and angry
- often not see anybody show up at all!
- reschedule appointments
Often with the same results!
Fifty-eight % of Americans said they waited an average of more than four hours for service calls last year. That’s on each service call, not cumulatively over several calls!
It amounts to more than 2 days of lost work for every American worker.
Often, people used vacation and sick days waiting at home for cable installers, appliance repair people, and service reps of all kinds.
BAD RESULTS FOR EVERYBODY
Poor customer service regarding ETA has many ramifications:
- Financial penalties for clients
- Financial penalties for suppliers and service firms
- Loss of confidence in businesses by “fed-up” people
- Loss of productivity for whole countries
Here’s a list of the countries and the biggest complaints:
- USA–cable guys were the worst. More than a quarter of respondents reported lost wages and 50% wasted a sick day or vacation day to wait at home for a service or delivery.
- Britain–grocery delivery was the worst.
- Germany–reported the longest wait time: more than six hours (an hour more than in 2010).
- Brazil–reported the angriest “waiters.” They posted complaints on-line, and used social media to criticize the tardy service providers. 22% of Brazilians refused the late service; 40% of them left home in frustration and 36% rescheduled an appointment.
WHAT SERVICE PROVIDERS SHOULD DO
Yuval Brisker, a commentator for the Zogby survey firm, said of companies who are being complained about: “All they need to do is
- respect the consumers time by reducing the ‘wait window’
- keep their promises and arrive on time,
- send the right person to do the job the first time and
- communicate effectively throughout the process using every available means.”
The report said that:
“It costs businesses $330. annually (based on respondent estimates) for every lost customer and can cost many times that to re-acquire them.
“On the other hand, improving customer service via advanced technology tools can cost less, help retain more customers and provide great rewards on brand value and overall reputation.
Of the respondents surveyed, 70% stated that they would recommend a company solely on the fact that an appointment was on time …
…while the skill of a service technician and their initiative to go above and beyond, were among the most important aspects that positively impact their opinion of a company.”
WHAT WE SHOULD DO!
So, when you get $#@&^%- off at service providers, or people who guesstimate how long it will take to do anything, or lie to you because they want to get your business, don’t play along with them.
Don’t buy into their fraudulent promises.
Choose suppliers who will keep their promises and arrive on time. If they can’t come on a particular day, ask them to tell you when they CAN come.
Then you can take THAT morning off to deal with the problem or installation or repair or whatever the hell it is instead of waiting around fuming and losing precious vacation time.
I know you’re upset about this. Everybody is.
Act on the information.
Don’t stand for it any more
Your time is too valuable.
If you would like more information and help on time and time management, just sign in the box at the top right hand of this page.
You’ll get on my free email list and you can immediately download my complimentary 40 page book FOUR QUESTIONS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
I know, it sounds dramatic.
Well, it IS dramatic.
While it doesn’t directlty address the subject of time, it does so indirectly, and it touches on even more fundamental questions.
It is free…sign up.
If you hate it you can just tell it to stop.
It will. It’s good like that.
HERE’S A LIST AND LINKS TO THE PREVIOUS SIX POSTS IN THE SERIES.