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One Way to do an Estimate, Until Now…

There is only one way to get an estimate done for work on your house or business. Typically, it involves making a phone call and scheduling an appointment for someone to come out to evaluate the work and provide an estimate. Since everyone was always taught to make sure to get three estimates prior to selecting the best “man” for the job, imagine that 2/3 of the estimate appointments are unnecessary expenses.

This approach has been the only way to run a construction, installation, or a maintenance business. But, does it have to be this way?  Fortunately, the technology has evolved in a way that can be taken advantage of to reduce the expenses and inefficiencies that have been regarded as the norm of the daily tasks. This technology is real-time video.

Imagine the customer calling to request an estimate and the customer service agent on the phone being able to see what the customer sees during the call. Instead of appointments, which inconvenience the customer, an experienced agent on the phone can guide the customer to explain what the customer needs. During the conversation, the agent can instruct the customer to demonstrate the full scope of the desired work in real-time in order to offer an estimate remotely. This is a very efficient way to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction.

Certainly, there are business owners who would argue that they have to be in front of the customer in order to offer and estimate and close the “sale” and this type of the technology would not fit a traditional business mindset. However, when looking at larger, fast growing organizations that would like to scale their operations to expand their services across a large geographic area, with large fleet of vehicles and field resources, and standardized business processes, there is a need to find ways to efficiently scale the operations without incurring increased expenses and management costs.

Let’s look at some examples how real-time visual communication can help derive value from everyday customer conversations. Whether a restoration, painting, cleaning, kitchen, HVAC, and even warranty support, all of the organizations require an initial visit to gauge the size and scope of the effort. Having an ability to preview the workload during the call allows triaging the customer’s needs in order to prioritize a dispatch of the field resource to a qualified customer based on verified, detailed information.

In addition, real-time visual technology serves as an ideal differentiator which demonstrates a higher value of service comparing to the competition. With social media providing better visibility and recognition for businesses that offer better quality of customer experience, any efforts to make the services better and more convenient for the customer improve opportunities for growth.

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