This is a guest post provided by a contributor from TechnologyAdvice.
“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”- John Woode
Many service companies don’t have extra time to go back and fix a problem that should have been handled correctly the first time. A recent survey reveals that the top two determinants of brand loyalty are delivery and service. Some situations that may cause lowered satisfaction levels:
- Repeat visits: When you have to send a technician back to a site, it’s a waste of time and money. Whether customers get billed for repairs or their contract covers them, it’s a bad experience for the customer. For you, it’s a loss with regards to your time, money, and most importantly, your reputation.
- Unfit assignments: The home office sometimes sends the wrong person to do the job at hand. More seasoned workers typically have more experience and expertise than new workers. Perhaps the first technician was not able to troubleshoot and fix the problem or another employee may have a more detailed and in-depth relationship with a particular customer. Some techs know how certain clients want work performed. Although some individuals are better suited for certain jobs or clients, they are not always the ones sent out to the job site.
- Staff shortages or staff errors: In other cases, the issue is not necessarily sending the wrong technician. It could just very well be that the tech sent over was the only one available at the time or the only one the dispatcher thought was available. Or it may turn out that the home office inadvertently sent two top techs to the same out-of-town location, and didn’t realize the mistake until it was too late.
- Lack of historical documents: Let’s say one technician worked on a problem with a particular client and this person went through an extensive troubleshooting process. However, the next tech assigned to the client has no idea what troubleshooting has already taken place, and starts the process from the beginning, repeating unnecessary steps. Inevitably, the techs runs out of time before discovering and working on the actual problem. At this rate, if the company keeps changing out techs, it might take some time to identify the true problem. It’s also at the detriment of the customer’s experience.
The good news? All of these issues can be solved with field service management (FSM) software.
Improving Scheduling Efforts
FSM software will allow you to view everyone’s availability, so you can quickly schedule the right technicians. It’ll eliminate the possibility of overbooking or underbooking workers. Moreover, assigned techs can receive automated assignment notifications, so there’s no confusion. Automated assignment notifications ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding who is going where and when–no more “I thought you said Bob was going to ABC company . . . I don’t remember you telling me to go.”
Accessing Customer Data Wherever You Are
With FSM, you’ve got easy access to your customer records and can keep notes on clients or jobs. This is where you can realize details like “the same part has broken down 3 times in the past 2 years.” Notes like this would signal to the technician how he or she might approach the problem.
FSM can also help you keep track of other types of information that can improve your first-time fix rate. For example, if you work with businesses, you can note their hours of operations. One business may regularly close at 7 PM, but on Mondays, they close at 4 PM. Armed with that information, if it’s Monday, you know to either send a tech earlier in the day or wait until the next day.
Gaining Greater Project Visibility
Sometimes there are jobs that require several workers to complete various parts. If techs 1 and 2 completed their parts, but tech 3 didn’t, the whole project will come to a screeching halt. However, using the FSM workflow management feature, you can track each stage of a job from start to finish. This complete visibility of the workflow also allows you to track changes, and address problems as soon as they occur. Techs can send status updates easily and quickly through the software. Some software can even be customized to meet your company’s unique needs.
This level of organization not only helps managers keep track of what’s going on, but it creates order and consistency for all employees–both administrative staff and techs. Engaged workers are also the key to an organization’s success. A Gallup survey reveals that engaged employers aren’t just happier, they also perform better and that improves your bottom line.
Within FSM, you can also create and track equipment records for clients to help you proactively identify future service opportunities based on customer history. You’ll be able to see when it’s time again to service a particular equipment or product. This is especially helpful for businesses who offer routine maintenance services.
Want to keep track of employee certifications and learning history? Find FSM software that integrates with ith a performance management software. Doing so can ensure you keep track of employee performance, education, and job history to better assign tasks or jobs to qualified employees.
FSM software can make your organizations more effective and efficient while improving your first-time fix rates, in addition to your customer and employee satisfaction ratings. By optimizing these metrics, you can enhance your company’s brand and position your organization for greater success.
Terri Williams is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She has covered business and tech topics for a variety of clients, including The Economist Careers Network, Intuit Small Business Blog, Investopedia, The Houston Chronicle, Daily News Energy, and Homeland Preparedness News. Follow her on Twitter @Territoryone.
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Last modified: May 8, 2018