Posted at 1:00 am on 06/13/2014 by Dr. Rahul Razdan
Service providers ranging from
professions as disparate as pet groomers, cpas, or golf pros have the challenge
of optimizing their schedule in the face customer expectations. Part of the
difficulty is that various customers value their time very differently. Let’s
consider three parties:
Sensitive Customer: A busy business owner or executive who values their time,
and are typically willing to pay more for expedited service.
Conscious Customer: Meanwhile, a retiree may well have the luxury of time, but
is very sensitive to price.
Provider: Typically, a service provider lives in a world where there is either
high demand or no demand. The task of optimal scheduling is very very
difficult, and the consequences of getting is wrong are dire. Further, if the
service provider is mobile, all the problems of travel are added to this issue.
Is there a solution? Yes. There
is patented research from the University of Florida and implemented in the
Ocoos (www.ocoos.com) platform
which has indeed solved this problem.
How does it work?
The crux of the solution is
that the Service Provider offers two prices for the same service.
price consists of offering the service at a fixed time/place at he discretion
of the customer.
discounted price is offered for scheduling an appointment where the time/place
is confirmed 24-hours earlier at the discretion of the service provider.
The use of this method has the
Sensitive Customers gets what they want. The schedule/ place they desire, and
they are willing to pay more for it.
Sensitive Customers get what they want. They are able to tradeoff their
flexibility in time for a pricing discount.
Providers: Using the flexibility of the price sensitive customers, they are
able to load-balance and manage locational flexibility. If the population of
time sensitive customers is high, they can raise the delta in pricing between
the two. This results in either more money or a shift of some to the Price
Overall, the business
interactions between the players is much more efficient because it is not
limited by one pricing structure.