If your customer support relies on field teams, you must manage them as efficiently as possible. A single well-managed team can give you the effect of two teams that aren’t fully focused on productivity.
The thing is that while these teams are in the field, their discipline and commitment are unreliable. With the help of field service management, you’re getting more insight into what’s really going on without actively monitoring them via camera (or a representative). This means that you get to value their privacy, show them trust, and keep an eye on them at the same time.
Still, how do you make improvements to this system that will make it futureproof? Here are several suggestions.
To check whether your field service management system is affecting your overall efficiency, you need to find the correct KPI to track. The two most important metrics here are:
The FTFR is the first-time fixed rate. This determines how likely it is that your technicians will be able to resolve the problem the first time they encounter it. This is the most crucial factor from your clients’ perspective, seeing as how it brings them to the resolution of the problem quickly. For you, it reduces the unnecessary costs, seeing as how every unsuccessful field trip increases the operational cost of your business. For the same reason, this metric determines the eco-friendliness of your practice.
Another thing worth mentioning is the MTTR – mean time to repair. This is how long it will take for any problem to be resolved. It is a period from the moment when the problem arises to the moment at which it is resolved. The lower the time, the higher your corporate efficiency. Also, if the MTTR is low, you can get by with fewer teams, seeing as how they will have the same operational efficiency.
By just tracking your field services, you will get a lot more control over these operations than you usually would have. It helps you keep track of your team’s movements over a territory that you operate on and allows you to make alterations on the go. Second, it helps you determine the most efficient routes, reducing traveling time and traveling efficiency. The fact is that this aspect is quite similar to fleet management, with the biggest difference in time that the team spends on a specific task.
Real-time Info and Response
The most important thing for you to keep in mind is the importance of a mobile field service management app for your organization. This is really the only way to update your staff’s schedule and make sure that they’re aware of it in real-time. It is also much easier to make a report when you have a full history of your customer on a map (alongside any service history or active/expired warranties).
This is even important from the standpoint of your budget, seeing as how automatic calculation of billable work might help you make more accurate fiscal projections. When it comes to repeat work, you must track previous estimates and quotes to avoid outraging your clients by repeating the same course of action (and hoping for a different outcome). Remember that if you’re a business doing with a large number of clients, the latter becomes a real problem.
If your technicians require materials to do their job, it is usually a good idea to track the inventory of the fleet, as well. Why? Well, because it helps you get a better idea of the actual costs of the project. First of all, it allows you to see which materials you’re running out of the fastest.
Second, it allows you to identify employee theft, misappropriation of resources, mishandling of resources, and several similar behavior types. Think about it, if the same kind of customer complaint results in the use of different resource types every time, there’s definitely something suspicious. There’s no reason why the same team would approach the same problem in a different way (especially if the previous time resulted in a success). We’re not saying that this is proof of theft, only that there’s a strong possibility of something sketchy.
Talk to Your Teams
There are a lot of teams that data can’t capture on its own. In these scenarios, you must talk to your teams and get their unique insight. For this to work, you need to fully commit to this communication process.
First, you need people you trust in the field. There are a lot of scenarios where their report might not match the customer feedback. No, the customer is not always right, but if you have the reason to doubt your team (from previous experience), things will become a lot more complex rather quickly.
Second, they need to feel free to admit their mistake without fearing any repercussions on your part. This will increase their honesty level and their accuracy when it comes to reporting. For you, this increases the odds of getting the truth out of them.
Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that talking to your employees will help you solve some issues before they escalate. In a case where we’re talking about a situation that can cause a preventable injury, this could make a world of difference when dealing with compensation lawyers. The thing is that this is not an issue that a lot of enterprises address until it’s too late.
The last thing worth mentioning is that all of these steps have a certain dose of consistency-dependence. You can’t check the inventory just once or talk to your teams once per year. To give effect, these measures need to be repeated at regular intervals. In other words, how do you make your field service system futureproof? By constantly reevaluating it and implementing new changes. It sounds quite simple, but it takes quite a bit of work and commitment.