Any owner of a field service business can tell you that service appointment efficiency is critical to a field service company’s success. Whether a business pays employees by the hour or by appointment, completing more service appointments increases revenue for the organization, and efficiency is key when looking to complete more appointments per day, per technician. Improved efficiency can also increase customer satisfaction, which is crucial for business survival and growth as happy customers will become repeat customers and a company’s best marketing tool.
FieldLocate, a leading field service automation software company, outlines ways field workers can be more proactive, reactive, and resolve problems faster by becoming efficient before, during and following service visits.
Before the Visit
Field workers can set themselves up to be successful by taking time every morning to review the day’s appointments. Being able to review appointments at a glance from wherever they start their day is important. Knowing what lies ahead in terms of the number of appointments, locations and appointment types allows technicians to be proactive and adjust appointments when necessary. Drilling into each appointment is also essential. While the basic appointment information is important, it won’t give full visibility of each job and may lead to a technician being unprepared.
Another way to be proactive prior to the service appointment is for a technician to alert customers of their status before reaching the site. While these courtesy calls are often done by the dispatcher, these alerts can be automated using a field service management system. With automatic alert systems, an email or text message can be sent automatically based on the schedule and the technician’s status. This gives customers the freedom to continue their day normally without blocking out a 2 – 6 hour window waiting for a technician to arrive. The business benefits by ensuring that the customer will be on site when a technician arrives – eliminating wasted down time if the technician doesn’t have access to the work site.
During the Visit
Don’t just assume you already know the solution to the issue when you arrive on site –completely diagnose the problem before prescribing the remedy. Double-checking the equipment and maintenance history before the visit provides insight into the potential problem, but once on site, technicians should take pictures and accurate notes of the work site. Being thorough on the first visit could eliminate the need for a follow up appointment, which could cost a business between $200 – 300 in operating costs.
Once a problem is diagnosed, an estimate must be presented to the customer—and the paperwork begins. While technicians were hired to fix things, they often spend the majority of the appointment handwriting estimates, invoices, and receipts. Eliminating paper work orders and invoices can dramatically increase the efficiency of a field service team and get technicians back to what they do best—fixing stuff.
Utilizing field service management software allows users to efficiently and accurately generate estimates by pre-populating it with required details, and access to a universal price book allows techs to quickly generate a work order, receive customer sign off and convert to an invoice without duplicate data entry.
Service organizations must ensure continued customer satisfaction if they want the business to succeed and grow. Prompt follow-up with the customer post visit completes the service call loop and can improve continued customer satisfaction. Using technology to email an invoice is an opportune time to ask customers to complete a satisfaction survey, which can be used to help track efficiency and satisfaction for the company and provide insight into areas of improvement.
Meeting customer demands has increased the pressure on field service companies to provide resolutions quicker and more efficiently. Utilizing technology in the field improves service appointment efficiency throughout the service call lifecycle – increasing customer satisfaction and retention and service revenues.
To learn more about how to increase service appointment efficiency, download the full “How To Be More Efficient Before, During, and After a Service Visit” eBook.
FieldLocate was developed with a specific focus on the needs of key service industries including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, pest control and other residential services. FieldLocate is specifically designed to improve the efficiency of these types of business with features that include appointment scheduling, automated timesheets, job location mapping, robust reporting and price book functionality. FieldLocate is an intuitive field service management solution that helps small to mid-sized businesses efficiently manage their field service operations, driving better business performance and reducing costs. FieldLocate automates manual, time-consuming scheduling, invoicing and recordkeeping processes so users gain real-time, end-to-end visibility of their entire field service operations. This easy-to-deploy, affordable SaaS solution can be accessed with a web browser or via a mobile app., giving business owners, office workers and field technicians access to critical business information anytime, anywhere. In the face-paced, dynamic work environments of the field service industry, FieldLocate helps businesses locate their field workers, appointments, customers and profits. For more information, visit www.fieldlocate.com.