ServiceBench Signs HomeServe

August 23, 2018 
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By Sylvester Criscone, Vice President of Contractor Management at HomeServe USA

When it came time to upgrade its field service management system, the home warranty company turned to Asurion's ServiceBench unit for a cloud-based service platform that could connect its customers, contractors, and service center team, helping them to make sure that the right contractor is assigned for the job and that they show up at the appointed time.

Editor's Note: This column, by HomeServe's Sylvester Criscone, is the latest in an ongoing series of contributed editorial columns. Readers interested in authoring a contributed column in the future can to see the Guidelines for Editorial Submissions page.


We've visited a lot of customer service centers and service delivery shops over the years, and although some of the technology we've seen has been dazzling, most of the places don't seem to have a customer-centered focus at the heart of the technology they use. Not with our business. HomeServe is in its second year of upgrades to our field service management system, and we don't take lightly the importance of this system in the interactions we have with our customers. This upgrade is a step change in our relationship not only with our customers, but also with our contractors.

We looked carefully at our legacy applications, which had served us well over the last decade. But after realizing that it would be prohibitively costly to make them fit our needs and today's customer expectations, HomeServe turned to ServiceBench, a cloud-based application that would allow us to put the customers' needs first, while also making work flow easier for our contractors and our service center team. (Editor's note: ServiceBench is a longtime sponsor of Warranty Week.)


Solving Pain Points

HomeServe serves 3.6 million customers and has 5.6 million service contracts across the U.S. and in parts of Canada. When a customer calls our flagship customer service center in Chattanooga TN, they most likely are experiencing an urgent, potentially costly home repair emergency and need help as quickly as provide.

ServiceBench helps us address one of the main challenges in service delivery and what matters most to customers, assuring that the right contractor is assigned and shows up when promised. ServiceBench allows our service center agents to visualize and quickly identify a contractor's availability.

Using our contractor scoring analytics, ServiceBench also helps ensure the best contractor for each job is dispatched based on capabilities, location and customer service record. The system provides our new Network Operations Center, within the Chattanooga facility, the visibility to ensure delays are prevented and ServiceBench integrates with other applications to enable timely follow up with the contractor if there is a risk of a delay.



The implementation of the partnership with ServiceBench was led by our Contractor Management team with strong cooperation and support by HomeServe's IT, Project Management, Call Center Operations, and, of course, the ServiceBench team. In fact, one of the founders and key executives at ServiceBench, Louis Rose, was part of the project team. This enabled implementation challenges to be clearly understood and addressed with a sense of urgency.

Stakeholders in the project were highly engaged and met daily to ensure testing was completed in a timely fashion. Results and plans were communicated quickly, and any issues identified were logged, prioritized and resolved.

Because it was such a big change for HomeServe and our contractors, we rolled out the implementation of ServiceBench in a phased approach, onboarding territories in a series of waves. As each wave was implemented, one-on-one site visits with our key contractors around the country helped ensure that they were prepared for the new application. ServiceBench also helped us customize materials to train and onboard contractors.


Meeting Our Goals

The overall goal of implementing ServiceBench was to transform our most significant customer interaction while driving efficiencies and lowering costs. These goals were achieved with impressive, measurable results which drove the following:

  • Improved customer satisfaction through visibility of the entire customer journey, from deployment through completion of the job.
  • Reduced customer call-backs by 13%.
  • Improved customer satisfaction for appointment availability.
  • Increased visibility to key performance indicators and contractor service levels.
  • Improved reporting and dashboarding capabilities.
  • Implementation of contractor invoice adjudication rules to ensure compliance with agreed upon rates.

Automating the dispatch process greatly improved our customer experience. By the time the customer hung up the phone with a HomeServe call center agent, they knew which contractor would service their repair and when to expect the contractor on site. Because the job dispatch is communicated instantaneously to the contractor, they are able to quickly follow up with the customer with any questions about the customer's problem or to modify scheduling.

Also, ServiceBench supports a near real-time data extract capability to enable secondary analytics. By pulling data and loading it into HomeServe's data warehouse, operations dashboards and reports were created that improved visibility into how we are impacting and improving the customer experience.


Customer Satisfaction Data

The numbers show that ServiceBench has had a significant impact on service delivery and has provided key improvements that were not possible with HomeServe's legacy service management handling system.

A key feature of ServiceBench is the ability to show availability of contractors. After the implementation of ServiceBench, a year-over-year sampling of satisfaction survey response results for our contractors improved from a 9.13 to a 9.21 out of a possible 10. In addition, the job rejection rate of contractors was reduced by 53 percent.

Most importantly, the "best contractor" key performance indicators seemed to be a strong indicator of a successful customer interaction. Customer dissatisfaction based on appointment availability was reduced from 2.6 percent to 1.8 percent -- an improvement of 30 percent.

Service delivery is the key to HomeServe's business. HomeServe is growing every day, so we're glad to have a technology partner like ServiceBench that can grow with us and evolve as the technology and customer expectations evolve.

ServiceBench has put HomeServe in a much better position to meet customer needs today, tomorrow and well into the future. With ServiceBench, we can evolve our data analytics capabilities and take the customer experience to the next level so we never let a customer down in their time of need and always exceed expectations.