Five ways to improve your Field Service Performance
Service organisations are under increasing pressure to show rapid ROI, effective cost management, and solid productivity gains as they seek to service their customers well whilst simultaneously delivering net positive value to their business. You can’t hope to run an efficient field service organisation ‘on the fly’. You must be focused firstly on the customer, what their expectations and actual experience with your service organisation is, and then underpin this with supporting objectives, measures and programs.
Let me elaborate. As I say, you must be ‘customer-obsessed’ in the first instance. Good customers are hard to come by; they can become your biggest fans, your most profitable accounts; and they often bring new customers into your business through referrals and endorsement of your quality. Look after them. Here are five things you can focus on to improve your field organisation.
1. Manage your customers
So, way number 1 is… manage your existing customers as if your business depended on it, because it actually does! Set and manage expectations; give more than what is expected; ask for feedback regularly (without being annoying); and laud them amongst their peers. Making your customers feel important, engaged and thrilled with their relationship with you will make dealing with the inevitable issues that arise a much more manageable experience.
2. Fix your first time fix rate
Way number 2 is about your actual field service performance. Improve your first time fix rate. This is arguably the most basic and important of all field service metrics. Your customers do not want your technicians telling them they need to schedule a return call because they don’t have the parts, tools, or skills to fix the original issue. Improve your first time fix rate and your customers will love you.
3. Provide your Field Workers with the right tools and information in the field
Way number 3 is about ensuring your field workers have everything they need – in the field – to do 100% of their job from the field. This really boils down to their mobility solution. Ensure that all work order details, instructions, diagrams, schematics, customer information and special instructions, etc., are all available in an easy to access and easy to digest manner from the field device. Your field workers need to be able to work offline as well as online, and access people and (remote) information directly from their tablet or smartphone.
4. Improve workforce utilisation
The fourth way talks to schedule and route optimisation of your field force. Having your resource utilisation honed like a finely tuned machine; your resources scheduled optimally and routed in the most efficient manner possible; with the right technicians deployed to the right customer at the right time, will truly deliver significant gains in productivity, but also improve technician satisfaction, as well as customer engagement. We all love it when a plan comes together, and that’s the feeling you get with schedule and route optimisation.
5. Forecast future service demands
The fifth way we’ll talk about today is to try and forecast the future needs of your service organisation, so you can meet those needs without having to scramble, and negatively impact on your service level performance. This may be as simple as seasonal trends. For example, are your air conditioning call outs going to increase by 25% as the weather starts to heat up? Or it may be to do with internal company activity. Are new product installations forecast to increase 10% as the result of a new marketing campaign and end of quarter sales push? Stay connected with the trends and forecasts that impact your business and try to prepare for them.
Running a field organisation is not easy. Focusing on several key metrics and objectives however, can help make it a smoother and more responsive experience for all concerned – especially your customers.
Best of luck in your service endeavours.