Managing field service jobs is like running a small army. You’ve got to schedule appointment times that are convenient for customers. You must oversee a fleet of vehicles. You have to know where your employees are at all times. And those are just a few of the data points you must track.
With all of these moving parts, inefficiencies can easily creep in. However, these tips should help make your operations as efficient as they could be.
1. Group Jobs by Location
Each workweek, try to have the same contractor or technician handle jobs that are physically close to one another. That way, he or she will spend less time on the road, which in turn will lower your expenses. A field service software that gives you live mapping and map view routing can help you easily manage this.
2. Be Diligent About Maintenance
Keep excellent records on your vehicles and pieces of equipment. You should know when each item was last serviced and when it’s due to be serviced again. Also, per the owner’s manuals, replace parts as soon as they need to be replaced. By doing so, you’ll reduce malfunctions and breakdowns, which can wreak havoc on your customers appointments and your reputation as a field service business.
3. Make Sure Your Team Is Large Enough
Maybe you’re having a hard time fitting in all of the homeowners who want to hire you. Or maybe your employees are often late to their jobs. Either way, you may be understaffed. It could be time to recruit some new full-time staff members.
4. Temporary Employees Can Help
Certain months of the year might be especially busy for you. If so, you could hire temporary employees or freelance technicians. During some hectic times, you might even rely on apprentice technicians to take care of simpler jobs.
5. Schedule Extra Time at the End of the Day
It may help to give each of your employees an hour or so of “free time” at the end of each workday. That gives them leeway in case certain jobs take longer than expected; they won’t get backed up. Or they could use that time to handle emergency calls. When workers have nothing to do during those unscheduled hours, they could help you with vehicle repairs, equipment maintenance and other tasks.
6. Remind Your Customers
It’s easy for a homeowner to forget when a service technician is due to arrive. Obviously, it’s a huge waste of time for employees to show up at a residence when no one’s home. Text, email or call your customers at least 24 hours before a job to let them know you’re coming. Two reminders can be even more helpful. Look for help from software solutions that can give you automated appointment notifications and even “I’m on the way” alerts, to keep you organized and help keep your team and customers happy.
7. Depend on a Field Service Software Solution
The right field service software can perform many tasks automatically. They include scheduling recurring jobs, sending reminders, generating and delivering invoices, giving employees assignments, displaying the location and status of every staff member and tracking workflow. Plus, you can manage all of this information with a convenient mobile app. These digital solutions are much more efficient and accurate than manual methods. They cost less, too.
8. Get Your Whole Team to Send Updates
Once you have your software solutions in place, be sure that everyone’s updating their job progress throughout the day. As a result, you’ll find many ways to save time. For instance, if someone is behind schedule, you could send another technician to assist. If someone’s ahead of schedule, you could give that person an emergency assignment. WIth the right tool, your field staff can provide job statuses quickly with text-to-update features and integrated messaging system.
By following these pieces of advice, your home services or field services company should run more smoothly. You’ll see more satisfied customers and higher profits, and your team will thank you for it. As a bonus, you might even sleep better at night!
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Last modified: October 10, 2019