The Great Debate. Is the customer always right? Some agree, some disagree.
Regardless of the answer, we do know the customer is important. Building an experience with a customer-centered approach is paramount to creating a successful business. In this episode, Jason Morjaria, CEO of Commusoft, joins us to speak on his passion for creating excellent customer journeys.
We’ll touch on:
The way in which we present our products and services has a dramatic impact on the profitability of that job.
This is Take Stock presented by Commusoft, the podcast where we bring together diverse experts and leaders to discuss the top trends, ideas and strategies used in the field service industry and beyond. Let's dive in.
Hello listeners and welcome to Take Stock. I'm your host, Charles Kay, and today I have the pleasure of speaking with an individual that many of our listeners will be familiar with. He's the founder here at Commusoft and has spent the last 16 years developing software and helping field service companies manage their jobs, scheduling and deployment.
I'd like to welcome our CEO, Jason Morjaria. Thank you for coming by.
Thanks for having me.
Well, I'd like to start off by getting to know you a little better and getting to know your background. Can you tell me more about how you got your start in field service and software development?
Yeah, no problem. So it's 16 years I've been now running Commusoft. And I realized the other day I was about 19. I was 19 when I, started the project. And that's really what it was. I was at a point where I had started a company and sold a company and it was all to do with music and that had finished and it was great.
And along came a family friend of mine who said, "Hey, you're probably bored now, I've got this plumbing company and we've got this horribly old DOS system. We really wanna improve it. We really want something that's gonna be much, much more modern. Can you help us?" And I was like, "no, that sounds boring." Off the back of doing something really interesting with music online, and this is pre-iPhone pre- fast internet as well.
It just didn't sound that interesting, and he sort of went on and was like, "oh, look, please," and we hung out a bit more as sort of individuals as friends. Over time we were talking about his company and I think one day I sort of said, okay, you know what, let me grab my laptop. So we were sat, I think, at his house having a beer.
And I was like, okay, tell me about how you work. And that is literally how the project started. It wasn't a company. It wasn't like I went out there thinking I'm gonna build a next big company. I was literally there trying to help someone that had a genuine problem about running his business, and I wanted to build something to solve that problem.
Fast forward, basically a year, it took me a year, in and out of writing some of this code and we had something that was tangible. You could use it, you could run a plumbing and heating company off it. And his business, there were three directors, three owners of the business, and all three of them fell out.
And so the challenge I had was I had this year's worth of work, where I was developing a piece of software specifically for plumbing companies. And my main user, my main set of users had all fallen out and sort of all gone in their separate ways. And that was a bit of a waste.
And so I sat down and thought to myself, what can I actually do with this? How can I get someone to use it and get value out of it?
Mm-hmm mm-hmm .
And so I went into the, what was the yellow pages at the time? Again, I know it's gone online now, but what was the yellow pages. And I wrote down a hundred names of a hundred plumbing companies in London, and I wrote them all letters.
So I posted a hundred letters, post office people definitely looked at me like I was mad, and I just sat and waited. And what was amazing is I had one person respond, gentleman called Ian Paddock and he called me and he said, Hey, Jason, got your letter, come into the office and let's have a look.
And so a few days later went in and met Ian for the first time, showed him what I'd built. And he said, you know what, sign me up, let's try this out. And that was 16 years ago and he still uses it today. They still use it to manage their business on Commusoft today. Fast forward 16 years with 80 plus people with three offices in three continents.
What a beginning. It's so interesting that it started not from a place of making the next big thing, but just solving a genuine problem that somebody had and bringing along a solution.
And I think that's quite important. I think starting a business is hard. I think it's become easier in the last few years.
There's more tools. There's more things out there to make it easier, but, but really is a hard thing to do. And if you don't love what you do and if there's not more to it than just making money, for example, then you'll probably fail simply because when it gets really hard, you will, give up.
And I think what, for me, my journey has not really been about, building a business. It's been about building a product, building a project that ultimately helped the people that wanted to use it. And in this case it happened to be field service companies, ,
There was no design for me around, oh, I desperately wanted to build software for plumbers and gas engineers and HVAC engineers and fire security engineers, et cetera.
It was really more about speaking to one person trying to solve their problem, speaking to Ian, looking to solve his problems. And then it just carried on and carried on. I went to university, I continued to run Commusoft at university, sort of writing code and talking to clients throughout the day and at night.
And then two years into my four year course I basically went to the head of the business school and said, "Hey, I'd like to run the company full time for a year, what do you think?" And they said, "Oh, well, that's not really a done thing." So I said, "Well, if I don't do it, I'm gonna drop out." And so fast forward another year, I ended up dropping out of university anyway.
Mainly because we had taken on board so many clients at that point, it was becoming difficult to do both. So I think, again, it was a natural progression, it wasn't something that I set out to do which is, which is, yeah. Why you can definitely take the good with the bad.
Can you tell me about your experience starting out and selling your software as a sole proprietor. And can you tell me about the transition from selling yourself to building a sales team?
Yeah, it's a good question. A good story for me. I think when I first started, I knew nothing about sales or marketing really, and I made it my interest, my passion to learn as much as possible. Not necessarily because I needed to be the best salesman or needed to be the best marketer, but actually, because I wanted to hire great sales people and hire great marketers.
And it was one of those things that for me, if I can't at least show that I can talk the talk and walk the walk. Then, anybody that joins the business, I'm not going to be able to have a conversation that makes sense with them. They're gonna be telling me things and explaining how they want to work, and I'm not gonna be able to keep up.
So quite early on, I made it my mission, not just in sales and marketing, but all other parts of the business as well, but I wanted to at least stay on top of trends in marketing and in sales. And even now I still do sales training with the sales team, I still put myself on sales courses.
I did one a few weeks ago with our head of sales that was all about improving questioning and how you question within the sales process. And I think it's important for any business owner to stay on top that. But the truth was when I first started, I didn't know much about this. And as I said, I learned and I learned sometimes the slow and the hard way, just by purely experimenting.
We tried a lot of print marketing and when people would call us up, I was very product focused. I was so proud about the product I was selling that I really didn't speak to the problem that that person was solving, I just regurgitated hundreds of features that the product did, and especially the ones that we just finished and just released.
It was like, oh, look, I wanna show you and tell you about all this stuff. And that the transition really when building a sales team was to take my ego and my interest in the product out of it and really focus down on the client, what the prospect, what they are asking, what they want and try and make sure that the sales team, whilst they can be passionate about the product, they actually don't necessarily need to know every tiny detail about the product. What they need to know and what they need to understand is: what is the person on the end of the phone, most likely to want to know, what problems are they most likely to have? And how do we solve them? Not necessarily purely with, oh, this specific feature in the product, but generally, how do we solve them and how can we prove that we sell it or solve them in that way?
And so I think the main transition for me was stop talking about the product and start talking about the pain.
Right. It's instead of focusing on fancy gold star new features that the product may have, even though it's of course, as the business owner, relatable to you and something you know well, it's about getting into the mindset of the client and fixing that pain point, and really making their life a little better with the product that you have.
Yeah. And I think you start recognizing this when you start buying things as a director, owner manager, whatever your position, if you are on a sales call and the other person is selling to you, mm-hmm, you start to recognize that you start to recognize that, , if they start talking about the product and it has no bearing or interest in what you specifically want to solve, you switch off.
Right, you might be listening, whether it's a software product you're buying, whether it's a service, whether it's anything, it doesn't really matter. But if they're talking to you about some part of their products or service, that doesn't directly talk to the pain that you have, you just turnoff, you switch off and they effectively lose that sale.
And I think when you recognize, in yourself when you are, when you see that in the experiences that you have, it's much easier to go back to your sales team and tell them about that experience and say, look, this was something that I've just gone through on the phone. Don't make this mistake when you are talking to our prospects.
Absolutely. In that same arena, what are a few things you aim to achieve with a sales strategy?
I think the two things that have come up, and this is something that we've learned more and more recently is: qualification is key. Don't be afraid to qualify someone out.
The job of sales, in my opinion, isn't to sell to everyone and it isn't to convince someone that they have a problem that you can solve. The job of someone in sales is to find someone that has the problem that you can solve, has the money, the time and the interest to solve it now, and have a conversation with them.
And so I think this idea that we have to every opportunity, every MQL that comes up, we have to sell to, I think, is fundamentally wrong. And I think what that does is it puts undue pressure, stress and strain on those SDRs, those sales people. And what we should be focusing on is good quality conversations, where whether we qualify them in and say, yes, you're a good fit. Or we say, actually, you're not a good fit. For example from a Commusoft perspective, if your business predominantly manages projects, big installation works you're not a good fit for us.
You'd be better off going to another company where they specialize in that, , Hundred thousand 200,300,000 dollar job, that's not necessarily our sweet spot, our sweet spot is gonna be something else. And I think if you have that conversation early with a prospect, they'll actually thank you for it.
Not only do we do two things. the first thing is we don't waste the prospect's time . If you turn around at the beginning and say, you know what? I don't think you're a good fit for these reasons. Most of them will thank you and be on their way.
And in some cases they might come back. I mean, I have had it where I've spoken to smaller businesses and said, look, I don't necessarily think you are a fantastic fit for this, at least not yet. And then in two or three years time, you get a phone call to say, Hey, I actually moved to this other company.
And we are, I think, a better fit and then we make a sale. So I think being honest with the prospects early on, I think is really valuable. But I think also as salespeople, we don't wanna waste our own time and, going after somebody that should never and will never buy from you doesn't make any sense either.
Right? This is a bit of a trite phrase, but honesty is the best policy. If you can be upfront with somebody and forward with somebody it'll be beneficial for both parties and probably benefit the company in the long term.
Yes, a hundred percent.
In terms of the field service industry specifically, what do you think is missing in regards to sales?
I think one of the interesting areas for field service that has struck me for 16 years is that in most cases I find the field service industry as a whole is a number of years behind the rest of the world. And what I mean by that when I first started 16 years ago, I talked about this, this project Commusoft and everyone laughed.
Yeah. Plumbers don't need digital calendars, how ridiculous. 2011, we brought out the iPhone app. We were one of the first to build an iPhone app and everyone laughed. Oh, they're not gonna use a mobile app. That's ridiculous. And now look
So funny to hear in hindsight now.
And, and the funny thing is it makes logical sense but the industry is just a few years behind. And for sales is the same. My belief is that we all, and I use that sort of generically software firms, all sorts of other different companies out there. Typically when we invest in sales and sales people, we have sales CRMs, right? We have a product, a piece of software that helps us track control and manage our sales.
What we call that is a process, right? It's a repeatable process that takes a prospect through a number of stages. We seemingly lack that in the field of service industry. Most businesses will say they have some sort of pro process, but I would argue that's quoting or estimating.
It's not selling. Most businesses what will they will do is they will receive a phone call or get an online inquiry to say, Hey, I'm interested in X job being done. And they will move heaven and earth to get somebody out there either that day, that evening, the next morning to quote. And I use that. Air commas not that you can see that, but sort of air quote marks.
They'll send somebody out to quote and one of two things will happen. They have somebody that's more dedicated to doing this, in which case they'll send somebody out. And within a couple of days, they will actually send out a quote. Or more likely, unfortunately they will send somebody out, but then never get a quote or wait week or two weeks or three weeks, or even longer before they send out an actual price to the customer.
And for almost all businesses, that's sort of it. Some may have some sort of automated, reminder. Hello, Mr. Customer, we sent you this quote a week ago, , would you like to accept it? But that's not a process to me that is just simply getting out and quoting.
That's not selling, in my opinion, if selling is all about understanding the pain the customer has and matching your products and services to it, then I think we miss a lot of that kind of information gathering and communication that happens in our cases, Commusoft, early on, we would call it qualifying. And I think a lot of the field service businesses they missed that.
They think, ah, they need a new HVAC unit. Let's get out there. You can have a good, better, or best option, which one do you want? And I think we spend so much more time or they spend so much more time focused on the products and how it's gonna be installed and a bit more of the technical detailing they miss the soft detail of.
Okay. Why is it that you want a HVAC unit? Is yours broken? When do you turn it on? When do you use it? Your previous HVAC unit, what did you say think was good about it? What did you think was bad? And all of a sudden you start opening up these pain points. The customer has that allows you to position your products and your services in such a way that that customer will only want to buy from you rather than buy from any one of the 2, 3, 4 other contractors that they've invited in to actually provide a quote for them. So I think a repeatable sales process with sales skill with some sort of sales skill, right? It's teaching the people that go out to have a more quality conversation where we qualify these prospects well, before we just rush out and send out, an estimate or a quote.
Right. It seems like there are a few key factors here to, to success being a, primarily a repeatable process. Information, like you said, qualifying and speed to be frank, not being days or weeks late with a quote.
Absolutely. I mean, most people will make decisions quickly if you give them the opportunity. And I think if you are a company that spends two weeks getting out a quote, one of your competitors have done it in half the time or a quarter of the time or the next day. In which case you are gonna miss out.
Absolutely. It's the year 2022 and most folks these days are used to next day shipping. I don't think that many folks have the the patience to wait weeks or, or days for, for a quote.
As far as growth with field service businesses, what's keeping businesses, small unprofitable and hindering growth.
I think that will all depend on one key factor and that is people recruitment. I think the industry as a whole has naturally suffered from a lack of talent in the market. There's a lack of people necessarily coming into some of these trades businesses and that can have a detrimental effect. You may be phenomenal at selling, but you don't have the capacity to then do those jobs.
So that's one area where it's not necessarily direct sales, that's hindering them, but it is the fact that they're trying to recruit and hire really great talent to actually execute on that work. I would say, though, even if you have that problem, there's a limiting factor in the way in which we quote. The way in which we present our products and services has a dramatic impact on the profitability of that job.
Now, good businesses will know how much time, what materials, what their margins are, what their labor rates are. If you're discounting how that affects all your margins. Good companies will know that, but I think they still miss a trick where we could be upselling and cross-selling services and products.
And you don't often come across that within field service businesses, it's not something that is quite so prevalent, even in the more advanced businesses where they are spending time, thinking about how they sell more and how they sell better. And I think some simple examples are, and we see this in, in the rest of the world, right?
When you are buying something. And you get offered. What seems like a trivial upgrade, if you've ever bought a new car, you'll see this. You've committed to spending what is a large sum of money on a brand new car and the salesperson at the last minute says, well, have you considered leather seats or this stereo's fantastic, but you can have a full touchscreen one for another $250. Well, $250 in the scale of a brand new car is almost nothing. And so what we find ourselves doing is making these quick simpler decisions that naturally uplifts the ticket price of that sale for that car company.
And I think we should be applying that same technique into field service, right? Hey, if you buy this new boiler, did you know if you sign up for £10 a month afterwards, we'll actually service and maintain that and keep the warranty on point for you: do you wanna sign up now?
People are all in that decision making, buying mode. And so upselling these small things can have a huge impact on profitability. And I think smaller companies unfortunately tend to typically not all, that's obviously a generalization, but typically as I've seen, tend to make prices up a lot more, they tend to go, oh, roughly it's two days work
so it'll be about this. Rather than specifically knowing their margins. And they very rarely have a repeatable process in place where they can upsell either small products or services on top of that sale to actually increase the margin on the whole thing.
Right. It goes back to some of those key factors you were saying before a repeatable process, gaining qualified information on the client and the product that you have.
And that the field service seems a few years behind the rest of the world. And it would truly benefit businesses to treat field services like another product, like a car, or supersizing your cheeseburger at the McDonald's.
Absolutely. I think, , We are starting to see it. I mean, even clients of hours I've had conversations with recently are starting to ask the, the right type of questions about how they can sell better and how they can sell more. And that's a great turning point for me because it shows that the early adopters are taking note, are starting to put things in place, are starting to make those changes.
Naturally when the early adopters do it, the rest of the market does follow. The same with the iPhone in 2011, when people were still printing off paper job sheets, even though there was this thing called the iPhone out there, and you could install apps on. And we saw the transition happen, there was the early adopters that wanted to go a bit more mobile and see what that was like. Even though the software was very early in its infancy and that pushed the rest of the market forward. And I think if you look at. The UK market, the European market, the US market, obviously all at slightly different places in terms of this level of sophistication when it comes to selling.
But I think none of them have quite gone as far as hiring sales people, training sales people as sales people, rather than focusing on the technical skill of understanding what products they need to be installing and how they're gonna need to install them. So I'd like to see the repeatable process and I'd like to see the skills side of it improve.
All right, Jason, that sound means it's time for our rapid fire segment. Part of our show where we get to know you, our featured guests on a more personal level, the stakes are high. The time is short and we need to get to know you fast. Are you ready?
Okay. Here we go. Jason, what is your ideal sunday dinner?
Wine or vodka? Choose one.
Okay. What is your favorite yoga pose?
What is your favorite country that you've visited so far?
And finally, what is your favorite sports team or sports professional
Williams. F1 team.
All right. All right. Well done. Well done. That was an excellent round. Wine or vodka that seemed like a pretty difficult choice for you. Can you elaborate?
Yeah, I know. I'm a big vodka fan. I have like lots of different types of vodka, but I enjoy wine more. I think, maybe going out and stuff with friends, vodka is good, but right now with a newborn baby, a glass of wine is a little bit easier to stomach than vodka, which is a bit stronger now.
Absolutely. Is it a red or white? A French, California. What are we talking?
Oh, what I was, I was, we were drinking Californian wine recently last weekend, just gone. We were drinking Californian wine. Love it very much. Probably red I'm if I'm gonna choose an evening with food, definitely red yeah, every day.
Awesome. Well, thanks for participating. And let's get back to our interview. I'd like to transition here to another topic that I'm sure is near and dear to your heart, the customer experience, the customer journey to begin. Can you define what customer journey is?
Yeah, absolutely. So for me, a customer journey is very simple. It is a specific interaction that a business has with its customer. And in and itself, you may not consider important, but when you group and take all of those customer journeys together and you combine them, that becomes your customer experience. How many times have you worked with a company? And they have a phenomenal website.
They have a fantastic set of communication after you've ordered something, but the product doesn't turn up on time. It's a few days a week late and they don't tell you about it, or it comes damaged and you try and return it and they make it very difficult. All intents and purposes, you've had some good customer journeys.
The website was easy to use. That might be the first customer journey, the checkout process was good. That might be the second journey. The email you got confirming your order was interesting. It had relevant information, all this sort of stuff. And that was a good customer journey. The returns process or the fact it was late and you didn't get communicated with was a bad journey
and therefore your overall experience isn't necessarily positive. It might not be negative, but you're not glowing about working with that business. So I think in terms of customer journeys, some people definitely miss them. They, some people don't focus on don't focus on every.
One, they might focus on what could be, , defined as the big ones. But I think, yeah, it's important to understand that every touchpoint you have is a journey of some description.
Absolutely. It's a daunting task for a business to have every single part of the customer journey locked up. But it's important it gives the customer that feeling when they see that advertisement, when they see the logo of the business, it evokes a certain feeling positive or negative
a hundred percent. I mean, you can usually say a few brand names and most people say, yes, they're fantastic to work with. Usually Amazon is a good one, right? It's a good one because, and see, they might be a bit controversial, but in my personal experience, anyway, every time I wanted to send something back, instant, easy, here's a barcode go straight down to there, that's where you dropped your package off. Or, Hey, we'll send someone and they'll pick that up and they'll bring the box with them.
And I think the fact that it's so consistent and the fact that they don't quibble about things. Hey, I've opened it, but only wanna send it back anyway. No problem, just send it back. Gives you that warm, glowy feeling and I think you're completely right. It's ni on impossible to wrap up every journey, especially for smaller businesses. Amazon is obviously a massive entity with thousands of people that can focus on all these little details and as smaller businesses, it's a bigger task to try and do that but not impossible. I think it just requires you to be interested enough and to focus on it. And at the end of the day, it's going to separate you from your competitors because the world is definitely more competitive. Whether you're talking about software, field service, or anything else, I think price plays a part in people's decision making, but I think more so now is how that business made you feel, how that business treated you, how easy it was to work with. And I think we, as a society, generally are starting to recognize that we will pay more for convenience and ease.
Absolutely. And will pay more for convenience, for ease and the assurance that we know that the product or service is going to arrive on our doorstep or be of a certain quality. Can you tell me of a time an anecdote, perhaps you had a specifically bad customer experience?
So I will tell an anecdote that I've said to before, but only because it's so relatable to field service, I think. And it was my sister. My sister moved into a new apartment and she wanted to have a number of plug sockets moved. Right. Simple job. She didn't really know what she was doing. So she wanted a professional to come in and move half a dozen plug sockets. So not a complicated job. She called I think, six different contractors, not all in one go, she called one or two to begin with and said, Hey, what would it cost to move these plug sockets? And all of them said, look, let me come round, have a quick look, and then I'll get you a price. And the first one turns up that evening and it's quite impressive really; you get a phone call at sort of four o'clock and you're there by 7:00 PM. And this person turns up, looks around and says, no problem. Let me get you a quote.
Couple of days later, the next, the second guy comes, let me get you a quote. She waits a week. Nothing. She calls them. Hey, have you, have you got my quote for me? Yeah it's coming, it's coming. She waits another week. Still nothing. Emails them. Calls them. Hey, have you got the quote? Oh yeah, we'll get to it. We'll get to it. So she calls some other contractors. Hey, will you come round and have a look at this for me? Yes, no problem. She gets one quote back, which was astronomical. I mean, unless they were sending five people around for five days, moving half a dozen blog sockets really shouldn't have cost that much.
And I said to her, the thing is they probably don't want the job. That's the reality. Yeah. They don't want the job. And so they've quoted really high just in case you accept it because then, they're making a lot of money on it. And the reality is she didn't have a single good experience. As I said with customer journeys earlier, you can do one thing, right, but you can do one thing wrong and it ruins your whole experience for your customer. And this is a perfect example of that. They were coming around that evening. The next day. They were really good at coming round and quoting, but they weren't very good at the actual paperwork, putting the price together, sending it across, understanding her problem and her pain. And providing a service that matched that.
And so in the end, I think she didn't get anybody to it. I think it took weeks and weeks. Nobody came back. And then all of a sudden, an electrician rang her up and said, Hey, I'm going away on holiday and I could do with a few quid in cash, how about I come tomorrow? And I'll do it. Is that what the world's coming to? And it got us talking about this other customer that obviously didn't want the job, it was a ridiculous amount of money for it. And, what I said, it'd be better if they just were honest, Hey, this kind of job really, isn't what we do this, isn't the type of work that we typically take on. And so I'm gonna just say, we're not gonna quote for it. Yeah. I'm not gonna waste your time. We're just gonna say, like, we're not gonna quote for it, but if you have these types of problems in the future, that's what, where we were experts and that's where we can really add value. And therefore, if it's this type of thing, definitely give us a call back. And actually that honesty. Would've meant that she didn't spend her time looking at a quote, thinking this is ridiculous.
And she's never gonna call them back. Right. If she had something that they actually wanted to do, like if they only, for example, did full refits, full rewires of a home and that's all they really wanted to focus on. If they had said that and said, look, this isn't the kind of job, but this is the kind of one we do do if she needed a full refit, maybe not this property, but the next one, she might have gone back to them and asked them for a quote for that. Whereas now she's had this bad journey, she's had this bad overall experience and therefore we'll never call them back. And that is obviously a lost prospect in the future for them.
Right. In, in terms of the sales process, it seems like a number of these companies and individuals started out very strong. They came over, they were over at the, the apartment soon. But there was no follow up. There was no actual closure of the sale or no quote sent. And it, it comes down to what you said before honesty with, with honesty, whether they could get the job done, or if not recommend somebody else perhaps. That builds trust with the customer and that, that will keep customers coming.
Yeah, absolutely look, it's, there's nothing wrong with saying to someone that we are not right for you now, but maybe later we're right for you. We talked about this earlier, qualifying someone out and I think trade businesses have this, in my experience, this sort of idea, if I had 30% margin on this, I don't really want the job. So I'll add 30% margin on it. If they accept it, that's great. I get 30% extra margin.
But actually, I mean, unless that person is desperate and has no other choices whatsoever, which I can't believe in this day and age that exists, then they're not gonna accept your extraordinarily high quote. And therefore you've just burnt a bridge to a prospect or a potential customer in the future because they'll never come back to you. And I think honesty qualifying them out. They're more likely to think, , what? That guy was really good. He told me that he wasn't really a suitable person for this: I trust him a little bit more than the other five cold contractors that have called in and I know nothing about.
At least you've got that going for you. And it's not gonna lead to a sale every single time in two years time, but it does happen. I mean, I've seen it with Commusoft. I'm sure trades businesses that are doing that. And sort of being honest are seeing the results as well.
Absolutely. To flip the script here. What about a time that you had exceptional customer service and a great customer journey?
I'm gonna go with Bulb. Bulb is an energy company. In the UK, they they provide gas and electricity. And the story goes, I moved into an apartment about four years ago and the builder that developed the building didn't really hand the building over very well. And by that, I mean, I had no idea who was providing my gas and electricity. And after about six months I had realized I'd not actually paid a gas or electric bill. No one was billing me for it. But I thought, , I need to find this out. I can't just leave this. And so I started ringing around different providers to just see. Eventually about three or four months later, I found a provider. Oh yeah. We, we are the ones that provide that.
It's like, okay, well, do you, should we not, should we not sort that out? We need to pay for it and all the rest of it. And the reality was that the builder, because there were, there were a business, they had put me on like a commercial gas and electricity company. Right? Which made no sense. Obviously it's a domestic property, I'm living there. So I said, explain this to them. They said, fine. No problem. We'll we'll transfer you. Anyway: the bad experience cause this, the good and the bad. The bad experience was that the transferring was painful. Hundreds of phone calls, months, six, seven, eight months of just trying to get this done.
And it was going nowhere. So I rang Bulb who are, as I said, a bit more of a techy, bit more of a modern company, or at the time of, they seem to be and said, Hey, I've got this problem. Can you help? And this is all over an app, right? There's a chat over the app. And then person on the app said, okay, just gimme your meter, give me the serial number on your meter. I said, okay, here you go. And then he said, let me come back to you tomorrow morning. I said, okay, fine. Tomorrow morning. He messaged me back exactly nine o'clock in the morning and says: All sorted, you've transferred over, we've given you the refund on it, because you shouldn't be paying commercial rates. We've moved you to Bulb, and this is what your monthly fee's gonna be going forward. And so it was that easy.
It was that easy, right? And, and the reality was this huge energy company and I won't and name them; this huge energy company either too big or didn't empower their people enough to make decisions and get stuff done for their customers. And so not only was it infuriating, not only did they not transfer me to their residential arm of the business, right? Cause the two didn't wanna talk to each other, but then they probably lost me as a client forever. Because now I'm never gonna go back there because I've had that bad experience. I've had a number of bad journeys that led to a bad experience.
Whereas bulb came in. Save the day, knight in shining armor and made it super easy for me to work with. And even if I found now a cheaper supplier, I would definitely think twice about moving just simply because they communicated super well. When they said they were gonna do something, they did it. They said they were gonna talk to me the next morning. They did talk to me the next morning and they solved that underlying pain that I was having with a service and a product that I was happy to pay.
Absolutely. A as opposed to some of the poor customer experiences you were talking about before, it seems like Bulb was entirely customer and client focused and not company and profits focused they're solving issues.
Absolutely. And I believe that if you are focused on solving those issues or those people, for those, for those clients: profit will come. It's a consequence of doing the first thing really well.
Right, right. It's it's problem solving first then, as, as you said, a consequence as a result, profits will come.
What would you say are a few key components of delivering a positive customer experience,
Communication and trust. And we've briefly talked about these anyway, but if you don't communicate even bad news, then your customer, your client is going to be frustrated. They're going to be annoyed. They're not going to have a good customer journey. And trust. If you can't say it as it is, even when it's bad news, people are not going to either respect you your company or what you are having to offer. We're all in business, things go wrong, that's, that's natural part of life. Nothing is ever a hundred percent every single day, nothing ever goes a hundred percent to plan. But if you could be honest about it, you can explain yourself, you can communicate clearly; more often than not, I found clients, prospects, even staff are going to be understanding of that and allow you to make it up to them, allow you to deal with whatever challenge you are having. Give you the time to deal with that challenge.
Whereas if you fob them off, if you lie, if you try to cover it up, if you blame somebody else, you are only heading down, , a more difficult path. I believe, as a software company, just a slight anecdote with there, it's very easy, especially as we work with other software companies, to blame somebody else. It's very easy to say, ah, this integration isn't working because X, Y, Z company has a problem or was down for maintenance or they've changed something. And whilst it's important to maybe explain that to the customer, I think it's more important to say, look, I know this has happened and really is whilst it's not necessarily our fault, I'm gonna make sure we solve it for you. I'm not gonna throw you in the middle between us and them. I'm gonna get in there. I'm gonna do what I can to try and actually solve this problem for you. And I think, again, being honest, being clear and communicating well is ultimately what we all as customers want.
It's about communication trust. And as a company taking ownership of the problem and making sure the paramount issue is solving the problem or the pain point for the customer.
As we wrap up, I wanted to get some final thoughts from you as far as the future of field service and within the scope of customer journey and sales. What do you think the future of the trades holds?
I think we are going to see better quality sales. I think we're going to see people improve their skillset. I think they're going to be better at selling. I don't think it's a dirty word. I think trades businesses, field service companies need to understand how to sell better. And I think we're going to see tools that help these field service companies provide a repeatable process that's consistent every single time. So that way you don't have scenarios where you're turning up quickly, but not getting a quote. They will be repeatable. It will be much more automated in terms of, reminders and, and communications and things. But ultimately it will be a process that the business can design to their needs, and that can be repeatable so that whether you are dealing with half a dozen inquiries or thousands of inquiries a week or a month, you'll be able to handle that volume.
Absolutely. Well there you have it folks. We've reached the end of our time together today, but in closing, I wanted to give a big thank you to our featured guest, CEO and founder of Commusoft, Jason Morjaria. Jason, thanks for coming on.
Thank you very much.
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