**Editor's Note: Be sure to check out the V2M exclusive Report, "True Contenders: Cable MSOs and Business Communications Services, " which takes an in-depth look at the emerging battle lines being drawn between cable operators and their rivals in the business services market, and the technological and competitive strategies MSOs are employing to win.**
A fascinating new survey from TOA Technologies actually puts a price tag on those hours you sit around waiting for the cable guy or other in-home service technician.
In its third annual "Cost of Waiting" report, TOA determined that the total economic impact for time spent waiting for scheduled services is – hold on to your hat – $37.7 billion. Yes, that's billion with a "b." The study found that, over the past year, nearly three in five Americans waited for cable/satellite TV, Internet, utilities, retail home deliveries or other mobile workforce-related services. The $37 billion figure was estimated based on how survey respondents valued their own time. That cost of waiting, TOA says, is the equivalent of removing every working American from their workplace for more than two full days per year.
So it comes as no surprise that TOA Technologies recommends customer service be a top priority, "not only because it can negatively affect a company's performance but because poor service around wait times has financial penalties for a company's own customers," said Yuval Brisker, co-founder and CEO of TOA Technologies. "Waiting has a huge potential impact on both individual customers and the economy as a whole. Broadband, cable, satellite, retail and utility companies can actually help consumers save lost earnings at a time when so many people are looking for ways to conserve every dollar. All they need to do is respect the consumers time by reducing the 'wait window,' keeping their promises and arriving on time, sending the right person to do the job the first time and by communicating effectively throughout the process using every available means."
Survey respondents waited for service an astonishing four-and-a-half hours on average; that's two-and-a-half hours longer than expected. More than one-quarter of respondents reported lost wages and half said they wasted a sick day or vacation day to wait at home for a service or delivery. Eighty-one percent of people surveyed said the skill of a service technician is the most critical component in creating an overall positive service experience.
When you read this study, it's hard not to think of that classic Seinfeld episode where Kramer gives the cable guy the runaround.
TOA Technologies is a cloud-based provider of enterprise-class mobile workforce management and customer experience management software solutions.