The field service industry is experiencing exponential growth in demand, which is crucial for customer satisfaction. However, this growth also brings forth challenges and opportunities for managers who are responsible for managing and improving processes within their organization.
Whether you’re a small business owner or an enterprise with thousands of customers, one of the biggest challenges is optimizing the field service process. You’ve got a quality service process in place and your customers are happy, but you need to do more. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product or providing a service — maintaining your core processes is the key to success.
The pressure to deliver on time and with the highest quality is immense, and it affects both you and your customers. To be efficient and effective, you must provide excellent service that meets or exceeds the expectations of your customers.
But with hundreds of customers and a never-ending list of challenges, finding the best solution to help you manage your operations can become an overwhelming task. Fortunately, there are plenty of field service management solutions available that can help you streamline your processes and make improving performance easier than ever before!
Managing your field staff takes a bigger part of your FSM optimization. At the end of the day, managers have to take responsibility for managing their field service staff. What if you are unable to manage your field staff efficiently? The worst thing is that it can cost you dearly when your customers become concerned about your reliability.
This is precisely why you need to implement these tips to optimize your field service management system. We have curated the best tips which will help you excel in the field service industry and make your business more competitive.
Track the right KPIs
Understanding what’s happening in your field service company is vital to being able to improve your efficiency. You need to be able to track performance, manage KPIs, and ultimately have a better idea of how your company is performing overall.
The right KPIs will help you measure the efficiency of your teams so that you can track where things are going well and where improvements are needed.
There are two of the top key performance indicators (KPIs) for field service teams, which help determine how effective a field service professional will be in their role. The goal is to increase both FTFR, CSAT, and FSU
- FTFR(First-time fix rate): A good field service organization needs to know how well its employees are performing in the field. This is evident in knowing how often customers’ problems were resolved, as well as how long it took for those problems to be resolved. It’s critical that employees are trained properly so they can make an impact whenever they go out into the field. Higher FTFR indicates higher customer satisfaction with reduced cost.
- Customer satisfaction score: Field service managers spend most of their time keeping track of the number of customers. They will analyze voice calls and collect data to find out which products were damaged by the field personnel, and how often they are satisfied with their services; this is what is measured by CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score)
- Field service utilization: Field service professionals are constantly challenged to find ways to raise their efficiency. Of course, many different outside factors affect efficiency, but FSU holds particular importance for field service managers because it’s the only widely used metric that measures how much time your team spent working in the field. It’s calculated as a percentage by dividing the total time spent in the field by the total hours worked.
Minimize Manual data entry
A common issue in the field service industry is how much time employees spend entering data into their computer/paper. One survey shows that a whopping 52% of companies still rely on pen, and paper to record information instead of using automated tools. That’s not just time-consuming — it’s inefficient from operations and cost perspectives as well.
This is where field service management software can help. From improving job data collection, geofence-based time capture, lead management, and reporting. You can quickly view live employee data like location and past visit history, you will be able to manage your workforce from a single screen, provide real-time visibility, and garner higher customer satisfaction.
Route Employees More Efficiently
As the service industry experiences a shift in location, the likes of roads, bridges, and runways are becoming a sought-after commodity. The process of service order routing can be rather complicated, but it’s important to remember that the end goal is to make sure technicians are efficient.
Efficiency here can also mean reducing fuel costs and labor costs by optimizing routes; therefore, managers need to ensure that they’re helping field employees properly so they’re able to take the best route possible. This means that managers will be investing in ensuring their field service employees have efficient routes to their destinations.
Suggesting routes or even assigning service orders without knowing the employee’s location are a few challenges that managers may face without any field service management software. With better route knowledge, field employees will be able to perform efficiently both in terms of faster service and mileage.
Diagnose Issues More Quickly With Service History Insight
Service history insight enables you to diagnose issues quickly by giving you diagnostic information. This means less time spent finding old service tickets, vague notes from prior techs, or no meter reading data at all.
To maximize efficiency and effectiveness in the field service industry, you need to have a dynamic reporting system in place. And field service management software will help you access your field employees’ work history, the number of hours, locations visited, happy clients, etc. This provides a holistic view of the field employees at different locations and their service history.
Improve Communication Within Your Business
The field service industry is always evolving and changing, so you need to ensure that your team stays aware of what is going on, and knows how to communicate with each other in a quick, efficient way. This can be hard when you have a lot of responsibilities and different teams working together day after day.
If something comes up to change a technician’s schedule, these updates must be made on the fly — and that can leave employees in a difficult situation. Changes might need to be made as quickly as possible, but if employees aren’t given the information necessary to complete their job until the last moment, it’ll probably cause a problem down the road.
With constant technology updates and improvements, it can be easy to overlook the importance of information sharing between all layers of your business. A business involved in field service has many moving parts, including employees, consultants, and contractors. But with the right software and training, you can improve your efficiency while also creating a more professional workplace.
By implementing a field service scheduling tool, you can easily track the progress of all your technicians and identify those who are falling behind schedule. This will keep your team on the same page, so they understand what work needs to be completed and how to fix any issues before they become larger problems, and it will help you save time and money.
Location tracking Offers customers the ability to track technician location.
When you have field workers serving customers at different locations, tracking their location becomes essential. It’s one thing to update your customer on their scheduled appointment, but it’s quite another to let them know the ETA.
Nearly 89% of customers are expecting companies to use on-demand technology to schedule technicians and are even willing to pay a premium for this service.
This not only serves as an additional tool to help you improve customer service but also helps you save money and increase productivity. As you no longer need to chase after workers who go missing from the office or ETA callbacks which are not related to the work being done at their respective locations.
Furthermore, if it will keep you updated with the routes your field workers are following, suggesting the shorter or less crowded route will become easier. It also plays a part in field worker safety and when an emergency like a road accident or vehicle breakdown, you can easily put a help team in place.
Greater Visibility Into Pricing & Policy
In the field service software industry, it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure your company has a greater amount of visibility into information. The ability to automate billing and invoicing processes ensures greater efficiency and makes it easier for your staff to work without worrying about following up with clients or calculating pricing manually.
Consider how frustrating it is when you get an inaccurate quote or the customer is unhappy with their invoice. With a field service management solution supporting this industry, customers can receive an accurate quote and rate directly from the field service tracking system. This ensures that you always know what they are paying and allows you to communicate with customers directly if any issues arrive. You can streamline your business, manage costs, and improve profitability.
An additional feature to look for in your field’s service management software is document management capabilities. You may have spent countless hours working on your SLA and policies, but did you ever think about how easy it would be for them to understand those contracts if they had a digital copy of those agreements? A field service management solution provides easier and faster access to customers’ contracts, making it easier for both parties involved.
Provide Frequent Customer Updates
To maximize customer satisfaction and minimize customer downtime, ensure that you keep them in the loop. With field service software, clients can get the right information at the right time, be it a time change in scheduled appointments, price update, or change of field executive, etc.
One major use of field service software is to notify customers, managers, and field employees of essential updates. If you’re working in the field services industry and have ever had customers who reschedule appointments, you know the frustration and time it takes to find replacements. Not only is it time-consuming, but it also burns space in your calendar.
The field service platform allows you to send reminders, text messages, and phone calls to both field employees and customers. This will reduce the chances of last-minute rescheduling requests or cancellations, saving time and money.
Train Your Dispatching Team Well
Maximize efficiency through hiring and training for the field service industry. You can’t take shortcuts when running a field service company and ensure you have the best dispatching team. Your team is a major factor in your ability to do business, so invest in their training process for the best returns.
Statistics show that approx 72% of mobile workers confirmed that they have received training on how to be empathic with customers and to increase customer satisfaction rate.
Practical and legal rules are important not just in the field service industry, but in any industry that requires customer-facing employees. Without clear rules and guidelines, there is a high probability of mistakes or breaking of legal rules.
This leads to wasted time and money for both the business and its client. A clarification around rules allows you to avoid bad customer experiences while also ensuring that your field employees follow all the rules.
And make sure all of your team members have the same information and procedures. Not only that — training your field employees will help them tackle difficult situations or even keep them safe. This will ensure consistency and accuracy throughout every job submitted; which will save you time and resources.
Streamline customer approvals
If your company is a service provider, the manual customer approval process can take longer than expected. Most of the field service industry is bound by paperwork, as customers prefer to manually sign off on every job. But the industry demands efficiency to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction and revenue.
The process of waiting on customer approvals while working on an order can be discouraging for a technician’s productivity, leading to low morale and turnover in an employee pool.
This friction may be reduced, however, if you incorporate a solution that streamlines the approval process in the field by adding field mobility. An integrated work order management system that provides real-time updates on authorizations can automate the approval process, reducing paperwork, and data entry and moving things faster.
Optimizing efficiency in field service operations should be a key priority for any organization. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your field service team is running at peak efficiency and delivering services to customers quickly and efficiently.
By implementing the right software, you can make sure that your field service business is running smoothly and efficiently. But before you dive into the search for the right tools, you should know your field service challenges. Once you are on the way to finding the solution, there are plenty of ways to increase productivity in the field service industry. With the right scheduling tool or field service management tool and resources in place, you’ll be able to offer excellent customer service while maximizing profits for your organization.