‘Four-hour call-out’ is curse of coffee equipment service industry

Caffeine Limited

Coffee machine specialist Caffeine Limited has unveiled a special maintenance package that aims to offer a practical alternative to the “unreasonable” four-hour call-out promised by many service firms, according to its managing director.

Justin Stockwell said Caffeine’s initiative delivers a planned preventative maintenance contract backed by emergency call-out with the highest possible first-time fix rate.

It is designed to ensure machines are regularly maintained to maximise coffee quality and consistency as well as machine ‘up-time’.  The package can be tailored to each site.

“What operators want is minimum downtime and a reasonable contract cost,” said Justin Stockwell, managing director of Caffeine Limited. “Regular maintenance is key but it’s also vital that, when things do go wrong, customers know they will be up and running as quickly as possible.

“The trouble with a lot of companies servicing coffee machines is that they promise more than they can deliver. The four hour call-out is the biggest issue. It’s unreasonable and what’s more it’s not practical. So what you get is an engineer arriving inside four hours, but saying he can’t fix it because he doesn’t have the part, so he’ll be back tomorrow. That may tick his ‘inside four hours’ box, but it just ends up frustrating the customer – and the machine isn’t fixed.”

Caffeine’s service package avoids the pitfalls of the four hour call out guarantee – although in busy urban areas, it often achieves it, said Mr Stockwell. It is guaranteed to be on site within 24 hours and claims to boast a high first-time fix rate of 98.8%.

The service is available on all Gaggia, Conti and Schaerer coffee machines, plus a selection of other brands, and aims to get operators out of trouble when their machines go down.

Services provided can range from a simple front-end maintenance to a full workshop service and descale. “Our job is to make sure those machines are pumping coffee. So we aim to give the customer what they want – their machine, working, in the shortest possible time.

Mr Stockwell said that Caffeine’s service desk, meanwhile, could also provide telephone support for troubleshooting issues that can be easily fixed without an engineer visit or unnecessary charges.

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