The cost of waiting at home for deliveries and services is £2 billion a year, according to a study by TOA Technologies.
The annual “Cost of Waiting” survey found that in the past year seven million people had waited at home for retail home deliveries along with cable/satellite TV, Internet, utilities, or other mobile workforce-related services. And 19 per cent had lost wages as a result of waiting in.
The survey was conducted with 1006 UK adults, and found that people expect retailers and service providers to be able to provide wait windows of less than two hours. However, the mean actual wait time was 4.3 hours.
It calculated that the annual cost of waiting per individual per annum is £177.11 – based on respondent-reported values for their time.
British consumers waited in 3.6 times for goods or services in the past 12 months. Over a third (34 per cent of respondents) waited in five times or more.
The cost to business also came under scrutiny. Some 14 per cent of consumers said they had cancelled a service or product because it was not delivered within the promised wait window, while 12 per cent who waited longer than expected switched to a competitor, and 36 per cent left their homes before the delivery or engineer had arrived.
The cost to businesses per year in cancelled goods and services is estimated at least £755 million.
While a negative customer experience can have significant financial consequences for firms, arriving for an appointment within the allotted time-slot has significant benefits. Of the respondents surveyed, 77 per cent suggested that an on-time arrival had a positive impact on their perception of a company and 64 per cent of consumers that waited in said they would recommend a company for an on-time arrival.
However, if a company is just 15 minutes late, the number of respondents that would recommend that company to a friend dropped to just 22 per cent.
TOA’s ETAdirect provides a complete platform to manage the mobile workforce with a focus on improving customer service by delivering easy to use mobility and management applications that enable service providers to get the right technician, with the right essential skill set and level to appointments within a narrow, guaranteed service window.
TOA chief Yuval Brisker said: “Companies can positively impact people’s lives by offering more flexible scheduling, more guaranteed appointment times and more advanced technology coordination tools to assure on-time arrival.”