An app tells us whether the pizza delivery person is already nearby, we can tell the parcel carrier when and where we want to receive a package, and we can see online and in real time when the next train is coming. But when it comes to appointments with craftsmen and technicians, we often have no choice but to take a day off and wait for him or her at home. In the worst case, the employee of the service company only arrives at the very end of the specified time window, takes a look at the broken washing machine and has to make a new appointment because he does not have the right spare part with him.
We were fed up with this lack of quality in the service sector and therefore founded the Germany-based start-up Appointrix in 2019. The idea: We help our customers to offer better services to their customers. Our first step was looking at why on-site services are often so unsatisfactory.
The problems already start in the call center or with the request form on the website. Here, far too few and not the right questions are asked. For this reason, the customer service department is unable to properly assess what needs to be done on site, how long it will take the employee to do it and what equipment is required. In addition, the routes for the field service employees are often still created manually with wall calendars and post-its, and the employees therefore spend too much time on the road instead of at the customer. The third problem we have identified is a lack of transparency about the current status of the service.
The solution: better route planning and communication
Our software products tackle all three challenges at once, offering a solution that covers the entire service process, from calling the call center to repairing the broken washing machine.
As a start-up it is important to set the right priorities. That’s why we decided early on to rely on partners and their proven and advanced technology in the area of route optimization and route planning. We chose PTV Group’s xServer components and integrated the Geocoding and Route Planning APIs into our software solutions. They automatically calculate optimized routes for the work force in no time at all, ensuring that the customers receive a specific appointment and that the technicians are in time.
Using PTV components has two advantages for us: On the one hand, we benefit from PTV’s good reputation in sales talks with prospective customers and on the other hand, we save ourselves the expense of development. This gives us more resources to develop innovative concepts that improve customer interaction and, above all, communication. Transparency is our primary goal here. So that the long and pointless wait for the technician is finally a thing of the past – worldwide. Because being a start-up, we naturally think big and want to become the leading provider of logistics-optimized appointment proposals – also thanks to PTV’s intelligent algorithms.