By Sarah Nicastro, Creator, Future of Field Service
This week we had a home security upgrade installed by Vivint. I always find it interesting to be on the receiving end of a field service experience because I’m more intimately aware than many of what’s being demanded of these companies, what the areas of focus are in terms of innovation, and what technologies are available to them to streamline and improve the customer experience. I liken it to my level of awareness when I go to a restaurant having worked in the restaurant industry for many years – when you know what to watch for, you are a tougher critique than the average bear.
That said, while I was quite frankly expecting my overly critical eye to poke holes in the Vivint service experience, there was really no opportunity to do so. The company’s execution of the service experience, from initial outreach through follow-up, was really quite impressive. Being that it went so well, I thought it would be worth sharing what I appreciated about Vivint’s service.
Convenience, Communication & Timeliness – I am one of those people that prefers to be able to book appointments electronically whenever possible. For this appointment, since it was an upgrade to our existing system and required a discussion about the extension of our contract, I appreciated the fact that a Vivint representative emailed me in response to my inquiry to ask when a good time to call and discuss would be. When we spoke, they offered various service windows and once we’d agreed on our terms and selected a window, I received confirmation of the appointment by email – including an overview of what work would be done, four-hour appointment window, and length of the visit. I then received two reminder emails, one a few days before the appointment and one the day before as well as an email providing us with the information of who our technician would be.
The day of the appointment, our technician called me 45 minutes before his arrival to ensure we were aware he was coming and that the appointment time still worked for us. He was prompt in his arrival and upon arriving reviewed with me in detail what he planned to do during the appointment, how long each step would take, and confirming the placement of the systems we were adding. The communication from Vivint and the technician himself was comprehensive and clear, and the timeliness of the technician much appreciated.
Efficiency & Effectiveness – Our appointment was about three hours long. The technician began with a review of the work he intended to do, confirmation of the terms we’d agreed to, completion of contract, and a rundown of the order in which he’d be completing the job. He asked permission for every area of our home he needed to enter, ensured we agreed with the placement of systems and details of wiring, etc., and then got to work. He worked efficiently and effectively from his iPad and completed the appointment about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. All of the “paperwork” for the installation was completed electronically, using a combination of signatures on the iPad as well as a facial/voice recognition survey to accept terms and ensure the technician had accurately relayed the information.
Technician demeanor & soft skills – The technician was very upbeat and friendly, from his initial phone call prior to arrival through to completion of the job. He explained things well and asked for questions along the way. He was polite and respectful of our home, putting booties on to cover his shoes as soon as he entered and asking permission as he needed access to areas of the house. I asked him toward the end of the visit if he liked working for Vivint, and emphatically said that he did – he explained that he worked for a competitor prior and that Vivint is preferable. He noted that he feels his direct management really cares about the technicians and ensure they feel valued. I asked if he was happy with the technology they use, and he said yes with few exceptions – surveys like the one he gave me upon completion of the contract with facial/voice recognition, he said, are new and seem to still have a few kinks to work out.
Post-visit follow-up – Vivint’s post-visit communication was equally good as its pre-visit outreach. We received a survey via email within a day of our appointment asking for insight on how our visit was. Luckily, we had nothing but good news to report, but this is an important step in allowing those that do have constructive feedback a method to relay it. My only suggestion here would be to add a text delivery of the survey as well since I’m more apt to take a few moments to reply to a text than open an unnecessary email.
Management of COVID-19 sensitivity – We’d scheduled this upgrade prior to the current COVID-19 crisis reaching the point it is at now but decided to keep the appointment rather than rescheduling. Vivint’s management of service given the unprecedented circumstances seemed thorough, including:
- Email communication prior to the visit outlining the steps the company is taking to ensure safety of its customers and employees
- When our technician called prior to the appointment, he asked if anyone in the house was experiencing any symptoms of illness and explained that, if so, he needed to reschedule
- Our technician wore an N-95 mask the entirety of the visits, put booties over his shoes each time he entered our house, and wore gloves any time he touched anything in our home
- Our technician explained that in addition to those precautions, each Vivint technician is required to complete a health assessment before beginning each shift
Well done, Vivint! It may seem reading this that all service organizations should be providing equally satisfactory service, but in my experience that simply isn’t always the case.