May 30, 2013

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Time Warner Cable Now Offers One Hour Service Windows, Text Message Updates in New York City

New York City customers are about to get something they’ve been clamoring for for a long time:

AS of today, Time Warner Cable is offering its customers in NYC one-hour appointment windows (through 10p.m. daily, through 11p.m. in Lower and Midtown Manhattan). We’re also offering expanded Saturday and Sunday appointments for customers who can’t take time off of work during the week.

And finally: we’re now able to text NYC customers the moment that a technician starts traveling to their appointment.

Our one-hour appointment windows are available in Manhattan, Staten Island, Bergen County, N.J. and Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Queens and Brooklyn will get one-hour windows in June. In most cases, next-day appointments are available.

We’re really confident in our service and operations improvements — so confident that we are offering a 30-day money back guarantee for new customers who switch to Time Warner Cable.

One-hour appointment windows are already available across most of our footprint. However, New York City kind of has this collective attitude that nothing is real or actually happening unless it’s happening in New York City.

If you’re interested to learn more about how we make one-hour windows work, I’d suggest checking out an excellent piece by a colleague who traveled with techs on one-hour windows in the Dallas area. Here’s an interesting excerpt, but I’d really recommend the whole post:

So how do they do it? How do TWC techs make magic happen? Homer says it’s partly thanks to a year-old software program called “Work Assure.” His fellow Dallas technicians affectionately call it “Arris”; which happens to be the name of the company that designed the software.

Arris provides Time Warner Cable dispatchers with real-time updates, including the number of techs in the field, their exact location and whether a job is taking longer than expected. If a tech is running behind and is likely to miss their next window, dispatch locates an available tech to pick up the appointment. It’s similar to the buddy system.

Along with high-tech software, TWC is also simplifying its approach. Service techs are assigned specific “management areas.” In simple terms, they’re assigned a territory. There are four “management areas” that make up the city of Dallas. On this day, Homer is covering neighborhoods in North Dallas.

In years past, it was not unusual to send techs clear across town, from one job to the other. By keeping them in one area, it reduces travel time, which greatly helps the techs keep their tight schedule. Of course, there are no guarantees. Techs are occasionally shuffled in and out of their “management areas” to assist each other or to fill voids.

“We’ve also reduced their work load,” says Rip Bollman. Rip is Manager of Technical Operations in Dallas and says the work load has been reduced nearly 20 percent, which allows the techs more time to make their next appointment. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle since time is of the essence in the world of one-hour windows.

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