We always talk about how field service companies have now become totally mobile, with top notch field service mobile solutions and devices that support it. And yes, the benefits that have accrued from the so-called phenomenon of “field service mobility”, have been massive for most companies.
But let’s break that down for a bit and see what life would be like, without mobility.
There are still a number of companies that haven’t adopted mobility. Let’s see what challenges they face.
So a regular field service organization encompasses three roles majorly – that of the technician, the dispatcher, and the service manager. Automation for all these roles essentially revolves around their responsiveness. How promptly they are able to respond to customer calls and complete service schedules, is what makes all the difference. The field agents spend most of their time out attending service calls and traveling, while the managers need to assign tasks to the technicians and ensure the timely completion of jobs.
In order for a regular field service company to do the above-mentioned jobs efficiently, there are several challenges that they go through. They are:
Non-Availability of Real-Time Information …
Field service technicians, at any cost, need real-time information about the tasks that are assigned to them. They need to be constantly updated with any changes in tasks, inventory and also information related to the customer location.
They might need to make calls while executing a work order at the customer site, to enquire about stock availability at the office or availability of other parts and equipments with their colleagues nearby.
Similarly, the dispatchers also need to ensure that the right technicians are available at the right places at the right times. They need to know in real-time, where a particular technician is, what he is currently doing and what the status of his assigned job is so that they can assign jobs accordingly, leading to faster and more efficient attending of customer calls.
Leading to Reduced Productivity and Efficiency …
The field service technicians, at the end of the day, need to report their work to the main office. In a paper-based reporting system, the technicians need to take down all the nitty gritties of their work, including any material or labor expenses incurred at the site, on their service sheet, and it might take days to get invoiced.
Apart from this, the technicians may not always get the exact location information for their clients, in which case they might need to contact the customer for more details through call or email.
Furthermore, on the absence of any kind of service history for a particular client, it may be difficult for technicians to address issues arising for the same client or even similar clients.
And in Turn – Low Levels of Customer Satisfaction
As more or less an implication of lack of real-time information, customer service calls may not be promptly addressed or responded to. Moreover, due to lack of service history or information on stock levels and the like, the technicians may take more than a single visit to solve customer issues. All of these have a negative impact on customer retention.
Manual and paper-based work reporting can also lead to delays, not to mention errors, upon redundant manual entry of important information. Poor organization of work on the whole, can be a total turn-off for customers, amounting to their dissatisfaction.
As a result of low productivity and reducing customer satisfaction levels, the profits take a serious hit as well.
The traveling costs may rise because of the repeated visits to the customer site.
Duplication of efforts in work reporting can lead to increased overtime. It can also lead to delayed and inaccurate invoices from errors creeping in; all leading to further losses.
So now you know just how important technology and mobility is in field service. Contact us to get these issues resolved.
What are some of the issues that you have come across in your field service business?
We would like to hear.
Your field service technicians are the frontmen of your field operations. They are the ones who drive your services, making sure that your client’s problems are fixed well and on time. They basically keep your customers happy.
The least you can do is, to provide a happy work environment for them, and decrease employee turnover. Invest your time and money in them and you will see the results.
Also, as the demand for highly skilled field service agents is on the rise these days, hiring new agents would be difficult and expensive as well. Hence, you need to retain your already existing talented technicians.
Let’s see how field service management software can help in the retention of loyal employees:
Mobility goes a long way
Field service software is certain to make the jobs of your technicians much easier. And if it has an integrated mobile solution, then you can have your worker efficiency scales shooting up in no time. Here is how,
- Real time work schedule information – With mobile field service solutions, workers can get alerts, real-time information about work location, status, changes to their schedule etc., which saves them from the time and effort of having to get back with their providers, through a phone call or in person.
- Tracking inventory – Workers get to track the tools and equipment with the customers as well as with their providers easily, and manage their work accordingly.
- History of work order – Your field agents get to track the history of work orders related to a particular client, which gives them the confidence to approach the client with a new work that they would probably need, as they can always look back for references.
- Real-time status and work time updates – Mobile solutions enable your field agents to update the status of the work done by them, and also the duration of time they spent on the work, in real time, instead of calling or going back to the office in person.
- Access to instructions – Field agents can refer to instructions available in the mobile field service solutions, either as text or in the form of videos, whenever they get stuck. They can also check if there are other field technicians nearby, that might be available to give them a hand.
You can probably add a dozen more points to this list as you can see how much of an impact, mobile field service solutions can have on the work life of your field technicians. It makes their work easier by at least 50% undoubtedly.
This makes it possible for them to get jobs done faster, and take up more jobs and grow in terms of efficiency and capacity . Every employee would want to stick to a job that allows them to grow.
“Working with good colleagues, challenging job assignments and opportunities for career growth and development are among the top reasons for employees to stay with a company” – Raymond Noe, author of the book Employee Training and Development.
Adopting field service software alone, might not be completely effective, unless coupled with adequate training. While it may seem to be an obvious thing to provide initial training for the new software, you also need to provide routine training on updates as well as new tools and repairs. It helps them stay up to date on the latest technology in field service, as well as on common product issues thereby helping them improve their skills. If necessary, you can have online training sessions, or demonstrations, or provide news on product issues, tools and new repair procedures through your mobile field service solution, so that your field agents can access it from anywhere and any time they want.
Work appreciation is sort of a given for retention of employees of any business. Similarly, your field service technicians need to be appreciated for their work regularly along with providing them with the necessary training and knowledge. This makes them feel worthy and happy, which reflects in their performance as well. In the end, your clients will also be happy with your field agents’ work, which is ultimately what you want.
Many companies across the field service industry have been using field service software for improving their services as well as employee retention rates. Talk to our field service management software experts to adopt the right solution for your business and retain your field agents.