Field service is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and industry players are facing tough competition to stay ahead of the game. While the strategy team can lay down the best of plans to run the business successfully, the field team always faces certain challenges to keep up with them, which reduces their productivity, hampering the business’s profitability.
Higher field service productivity translates to being able to make the most of your field service technicians’ time and assets while reducing your operating costs. The good news is that there are some proven tactics to do so and generate a better bottom line. Let’s look at some of them below:
Table of Contents
1. Smart Scheduling
With a limited number of field service technicians available to complete multiple service requests, it becomes important to have a professional system in place that allows you to quickly assess the technician’s skills and assign one for the job. Have your customer history, technician’s live location, skillset, optimal routes, etc., on hand to enable smart scheduling and dispatching. This ensures a shorter appointment window and higher job completion rate leading to greater field service productivity.
2. Mobile Workforce and Easier Administration
Field service management requires a lot of coordination, logistics, and fast decision-making. Therefore, for easier administration, build a mobile workforce and move the data recording process to a seamless field service software. Your mobile workforce will appreciate being able to submit reports on the go ensuring on-time submissions and no lost information or orders, making your field service management efficient.
3. Customer Service History Data
If your technicians know everything about the customer they’d be working with, they will be better positioned to provide a personalized customer experience, thereby enhancing customer relations. Managing customer data centrally on a field service system can help you quickly access all the important information, thus streamlining business processes and delivering a standout customer experience. The result? Improved business bottom line.
4. Accurate and Timely Invoicing
To keep the business running profitably, you need regular cash flow, and raising accurate and timely invoices is pertinent to it. To remove any scope of errors while invoicing, you can deploy an invoice generator on your workforce’s devices which can be connected to a central field service management system. Track all the generated invoices and payment statuses at the back office so that the field technicians can focus on enhancing their productivity more.
5. Seamless Communication with The Customer
The assigned field service technician is your customer’s touchpoint. You don’t want the customer to go through a dozen IVR calls to resolve a simple query. So, if you don’t already have a monitored communication channel between the customer and the field technicians, then it’s time to get one. For instance, if a field service engineer is running an hour late than the scheduled appointment time, a simple feature like call, live chat, SMS, or email will help the customer give a heads up, thus preventing customer dissatisfaction.
6. Measure Your Progress
Note your field service productivity metrics like appointment time, the number of jobs done per day, lead time, inventory, etc.,today, and set a goal you want to reach in the near future. While you execute ways to improve your field service productivity, don’t forget to track the results regularly to understand what’s working and what’s not. Accordingly, if you need to make certain changes to your plan, do so in good time.
7. Streamline Processes with Automation
One of the best ways to increase your productivity is to deploy an automated field service software centrally and on each field technician’s smartphone or tablet which makes work order management, scheduling, dispatching, timesheet management, etc much easier. With the right field service software, you can stop worrying about managing recurring tasks and focus on more important things to amp up your field service productivity.
8. Efficient Inventory Management
For improved field service productivity, your inventory management process should be flawless. Make sure that you have all inventory and stock-related details to dispatch the required servicing parts to the site location at the right time. If your inventory is poorly managed, your response time will be delayed, leading to a bad customer experience and diluted profitability for your business.
9. Continuous Learning & Development
Continuous training of your technicians is necessary to ensure that they are equipped with all the latest information and skills. For example, if you install a new field service software or make upgrades to your current system, you need to train your field technicians on all the technology improvements and processes. Use a combination of online and offline training and schedule the sessions in batches outside working hours to not interrupt the daily field tasks.
10. Speedy Response Time
In the era of fast service delivery, customers expect an immediate response to their requests. Having access to your filed technician details through an automated system can help you create optimized schedules and routes in real-time. You can then assign work orders to reduce waiting time for customers and the effort taken to travel to the site location. Increased responsiveness leads to a good customer experience which is essential to a business’s success.
Proper management of your field service team may be challenging but it is completely achievable with a few enhancements in your processes and an evolved way of working. With the right system, well-trained field technicians, regular tracking; your field service productivity can drastically increase making your business highly profitable.
Akhil Rajan is a Customer Success Specialist at Zuper, an intelligent workforce management platform for service-oriented businesses. Working with customers on a daily basis, he has a deep understanding of their needs and pain points and so he is able to contribute to the marketing strategies for Zuper with the content he writes. He writes on topics like how to increase workforce utilization, how to reduce the service turnaround time and increase workforce efficiency, customer adoption, cost reduction strategies, etc – to name a few. He is often found buried in books or playing chess in his free time.