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Survey: Mobile technology becoming a must for service professionals

Feb. 13, 2018
The upshot of a survey from Verizon Telematics is that if you're not tech-savvy, you might lose business to the next service provider who is.

Customers are coming to expect technology such as work or smartphone-based applications — and the conveniences they can deliver — of the service providers they hire such as plumbers, landscapers and HVAC companies, a new survey commissioned by Verizon Telematics found.

Verizon Telematics engaged KRC Research to conduct the survey. KRC polled 1,016 U.S. consumers regarding 506 service professionals working in five industries including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); construction; landscaping; plumbing; and trucking/delivery.

A few key findings were that most — 79% — of consumers said they expect service providers in these industries to be tech-savvy, and two out of three said they would not re-hire a technician or company that isn't.

Some of the most common problems/complaints consumers have concerning these services were:

  • Unexpected costs (34%);
  • Services taking longer than planned (31%);
  • Quality of work less than expected (26%); and
  • Late arrivals or missed appointments (25%).

Meanwhile, from the service professional's perspective, the study found these professionals are recognizing tangible benefits from the use of apps and mobile technology. A strong majority, 70%, of service professionals polled said they recognize that technology adoption must be a top priority in order to ensure future business success.

Nearly 8 out of 10 service professionals now using mobile technology for things like coordinating their work or communicating with customers reported an increase in customer satisfaction. In another strong indicator, 69% of service professionals in the survey said their sales have increased thanks to mobile technology use.

Industry-specific findings from the survey include:

  • 61% of truck/delivery drivers said they believe connected vehicles provide "an immediate return on investment";
  • Nearly all — 92% — of HVAC service providers said they increased productivity by using mobile technology;
  • 63% of construction workers said mobile tech boosted customer satisfaction and 53% said it increased sales;
  • 89% of plumbers polled said adopting mobile technology should be a top priority for their companies this year; and
  • About 40% of landscapers said they're worried they'd lose customers without the ability to provide clients with text updates.

"In an age where nearly everyone has a smartphone, customers expect that mobility, connectivity and tech-savviness will extend to the home service vendors they choose to work with," said Jay Jaffin, chief marking officer at Verizon Telematics. "By simply connecting their vehicles and technicians, businesses can anticipate changes to schedules, handle more last-minute jobs, send a different technician to the next job is one is running late and most importantly, drive huge gains in customer satisfaction."

About the Author

Aaron Marsh

Before computerization had fully taken hold and automotive work took someone who speaks engine, Aaron grew up in Upstate New York taking cars apart and fixing and rewiring them, keeping more than a few great jalopies (classics) on the road that probably didn't deserve to be. He spent a decade inside the Beltway covering Congress and the intricacies of the health care system before a stint in local New England news, picking up awards for both pen and camera.

He wrote about you-name-it, from transportation and law and the courts to events of all kinds and telecommunications, and landed in trucking when he joined FleetOwner in July 2015. Long an editorial leader, he was a keeper of knowledge at FleetOwner ready to dive in on the technical and the topical inside and all-around trucking—and still turned a wrench or two. Or three. 

Aaron previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

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