How Telcos Can Offer On-Demand Service while Reducing Costs

“Your technician service window is between 9am and 5pm. Please be at home and ready for your service technician to arrive during that time.”

Signing up for internet can be miserable. Being forced to take a day off work and wait around all day for a technician to arrive can be boring, frustrating and feel like a terrible use of one’s time. To top it off, sometimes the technician isn’t even able to finish the job, or can’t even show up in the first place because earlier jobs took longer than expected. There must be a better way!

It turns out that not only is there a better way, but consumers are wise to it, and are starting to expect it. That’s right: we’re talking about on-demand service. Just like Uber, Deliveroo, and any number of other on-demand apps, the future of home tech service is on-demand.

But, you say, maintaining a large enough number of professional technicians (and their vehicles) to be able to promise on-demand service would be financially catastrophic! That is surely true: paying hundreds or thousands of full-time professionals to have them effectively on retainer would certainly be a very expensive proposition and bankrupt most companies. But there’s another way.

Welcome to On-demand Service Delivered Through the Crowd

For retailers and companies having this dilemma, the crowd is the answer to all their needs. First of all, the nature of the crowd means someone will always be available. No matter the time, if you’re drawing from a big enough crowd, someone will be ready. And the best part? Unlike a full-time employee, you don’t need to pay them if they aren’t on a job! You only pay for the part of the time that they’re actually working. Suddenly, all this extra overhead doesn’t seem that terrifying.

This flexibility benefits in both directions: you only have the techs you need. In non-crowdsourced situations, a sudden, unexpected increase in demand may cause huge backlogs of work for your technicians. However if you can quickly and dynamically increase the number of technicians you have in the field in response to demand, you can continue to offer quality, fast service to your customers. A flexible, crowdsourced pool of amateur technicians allows you to dynamically increase your techs in the field to deal with unforeseen increases in demand.

At the same time, tech and the devices we use have gotten to the point that many people are able to use them and set them up, not just professionals. While a professional service technician will still be necessary for some jobs (for instance, jobs requiring some type of electrical or construction work), many devices are more or less plug-and-play. But people still need service. By employing tech-savvy locals, you get the best possible option: reduced costs, increased coverage, and your customers benefit from on-demand service. It’s not always necessary to hire a professional.

Smart resource allocation

Utilizing the power of the crowd also helps with making sure you’re putting your important techs where they need to be. Since professional service technicians are an expensive investment for your company, you want to utilize them effectively. However, as we’ve already mentioned, many tasks they’ll be called for may be relatively simple tasks that can be taken care of more cheaply by someone from the crowd. By collecting some information about the task in question beforehand, you can make sure that you allocate your best techs to the hardest problems and leave the simple stuff for the part-timers.

Improving service while reducing costs

There you have it. By turning to the crowd for most of your support tasks and saving your experienced, professional technicians for the truly complex ones, it actually is possible to offer improved, on-demand service while simultaneously reducing overhead.

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