By Samir Gulati, ServicePower
The foundation of a strong field service organization lies in the confidence and competence of its workforce. Qualified technicians, when armed with the proper equipment and job flexibility, can increase first-time fix rates, improve sales, and enhance the customer experience. To efficiently handle customers' service requests, manufacturers need the tools to manage task assignment, and keep their workforce motivated. By empowering service technicians with functional, innovative software and managing them through a comprehensive workforce management platform, organizations can increase performance and deliver top customer service. Here are 3 ways to empower your field service technician for improved efficiency and customer service.
Field service organizations will reap many benefits from using a mobile management system. Primarily, a streamlined integrated system allows managers to equip their technicians with relevant work order data before dispatch. Field service management software allows organizations to optimize scheduling by automatically planning tasks for each technician based on skillset and location. Field service employees can instantaneously access work requests on their mobile devices and make informed decisions based on work order specifications and customer requests. By empowering technicians with all the relevant information and client service history before they arrive at the site, they will be able to prepare the proper tools, spend less time on-site and be confident in their diagnosis and solution of the problem the first time around without the need to coordinate with supervisors or schedule a return visit.
First-time fix rates are a critical measure of the success of field service visits. Seventy-six percent of customers have expressed dissatisfaction with field technicians for being unable to resolve a problem on the first visit. Providing technicians with a Gantt view of their service request and empowering them to make changes based on their schedules, locations, and parts availability allows them to optimize their schedule to improve efficiency as well as first-time fix rates. Technicians have the flexibility to personally reschedule jobs that would be impeded by part inventory or schedules and fast track service requests that are close in proximity if they have extra time.
An informed technician moves jobs back and forth to make sure they arrive prepared on-site to fully service the request and properly convey issues and repair timelines to the customer. Seventy percent of organizations cite customer satisfaction as a primary benefit derived from implementing field service management. Equipping technicians with the proper information through management software allows them to achieve greater success for the company. By providing workers with the capabilities offered by these digital tools, field service providers can reduce service call time, improve efficiency, minimize expenses, and improve customer satisfaction.
Sometimes, technicians need to work together to resolve more complex requests. Field service management software enables effective communication between team members in one centralized digital location. Remote collaboration is available to technicians via their mobile devices, making it easy to share photos and attachments and work through issues in real-time video and chat sessions. Helpful advice can be directed to less experienced technicians so that they may master certain obstacles and complete the service request. Additionally, technicians can communicate internally regarding inventory levels or requested parts for certain jobs. Connecting employees and contractors through one platform allow for the amalgamation of ideas and experience, allowing the workforce to internally inspire great work and effectively function without intervention from management.
Motivated employees ensure a company can deliver premium customer service. However, organizations must combat personnel fatigue to keep workers eager to manage their assigned tasks. Modern field service management software connects operators within a blended workforce through gamification– the practice of using gaming techniques within a pre-existing platform – to motivate consistent participation and long-term engagement. This process allows field service providers to utilize the best contractor network for their business and leads to overall higher customer satisfaction. Field service software gamifies service techs so that the best technician will be awarded more of the right jobs. This will leave technicians feeling fulfilled in their jobs and encourage field staff to engage in work order execution, leading to a lower turnover rate in technicians.
The goal of field service management software is to streamline technician oversight and service requests. Companies that cultivate a knowledgeable workforce and equip them with the proper tools should feel comfortable trusting their technicians to go above and beyond. An entrusted and empowered technician can enhance customer service and drive sales. The customer experience is not complete when the service is finished. Once the technician finishes the service visit, organizations must conduct a work assessment and obtain positive client confirmation. Field service management software enables technicians to own client services by simplifying and digitizing the assessment. Field service workers can submit repair reports, itemized service lists, and request a client’s digital signature, empowering the field operative to manage their tasks as well as the customer experience.
Customer satisfaction and perception of a company are largely based on their interaction with field technicians, as they are the ones conducting home visits to make repairs. Therefore, field service technicians are optimally suited to make personalized offers to customers about new products and machine upgrades. A trusted technician should be empowered to make an offer after assessing the customer’s specific situation and upsell a client from a service call. If informed and supported, a field technician is in the best position to leverage company products by minimizing the distance between seller and customer, driving revenue growth, and expanding the technician’s skill portfolio.
Field service work is more productive with management software because technicians are scheduled more efficiently and have access to all the right training and instruction manuals, tools, and information. Together, through one central platform, employees can collaborate and motivate, while enhancing their technical knowledge. An informed and connected technician is one who is empowered to unleash their team’s full potential by building relationships and providing the best customer service possible. If you want to learn more about how you can empower your workforce through field service technology, talk to an expert at ServicePower.
About The Author
Samir Gulati was appointed Chief Marketing and Product Officer at ServicePower in 2017, where he is responsible for all aspects of Marketing and Product Management, including market strategy, product roadmaps, demand generation, product marketing, and corporate marketing. Samir brings over 25 years of experience in global product and marketing leadership roles in technology companies.