Many customers have stories of poor field service, whether waiting for your cable to be fixed, getting some minor electrical work done, or having an issue dismissed by a technician. Although field service is often unpredictable, there are many ways to improve your operations and provide the best customer service. Making a few tweaks and adjustments will result in far more efficient field service processes and will allow your business to serve as many customers as possible. This article discusses some of the most pressing issues that harm field services, and provide solutions for optimizing and modernizing your business.
Reduce Travel Time
The time spent on the road moving from one job to another, or back and forth to the office is often the most detrimental inefficiency of all firms. It is a waste of both time and money. Creating efficient schedules is the first step in reducing travel time, and ensuring that all technicians are traveling small distances between jobs is key. Optimizing schedules, and more importantly, making last minute adjustments to schedules required to reduce travel times is essential. Considering scheduling and dispatch programs or software may prove to be the most effective solution to this problem. In addition, bridging the communication channel between the technicians and dispatchers will work to increase the information flow. Taking advantage of GPS routing technologies and mobile phones can greatly reduce travel time as well.
Slash the Number of No Fault Found Dispatches
A technician may be dispatched by the company to go and fix something that could have otherwise been fixed by the client in the first place. In order to reduce the number of No Fault Found Dispatches (NFFD), ensure that your company’s office and dispatch team is carefully taking customers through the diagnosis, detection and solutions before sending a technician. In order to effectively use your technicians, dispatchers must be trained on simple matters in the field to better understand the severity of a given issue, and to make the best decision possible regarding how to respond. Reducing the number of NFFD trips provides more flexibility for your technicians and eliminates unnecessary and preventable mistakes.
Increase First Time Visit Completion Rates
Also known as First Call Resolution (FCR), this refers to providing technicians with the most appropriate tools that will ensure problems are solved on the first visit to the site. Studies show that repeat visits to an existing client’s premises cost an extra 24% on top of the initial total cost delegated to the task. Although there is a high likelihood that a new task may not be completed on the first time visit, minimizing the time for the next visit would see the company save a substantial amount of money in the long run. Repeat visits also do not help with client relations, and are often regarded as a hindrance or disturbance. First time completion rates improve customer satisfaction in the long run and this is vital in customer retention.
Integrate Mobile Solutions
The telecommunication industry has greatly benefited from integration of mobile resolution in their networks. This is where there is no need for a field technician since problems are diagnosed, detected and fixed via the network, eliminating the need for a technician. Although this an ideal solution, many issues cannot be fixed remotely, and require a technician. Providing dispatchers and operators with thorough training on diagnostics and detection, you may be able to save time and effort, opening up your technicians for more pressing jobs.
Consider Dispatch Scheduling Software
Rather than relying on traditional modes of communication and paperwork that bog down field service workers, consider implementing a dispatch scheduling software. A variety of software options now exist and cater to all types of service construction businesses. These programs aim to optimize not only scheduling, but are also equipped with other capabilities like GPS Routing that allow dispatchers to better track and monitor where any given technician is at all times. Instead of making multiple trips to the office, technicians can access schedules online, and dispatchers can make easy alterations and adjustments throughout the day. For information on what software will best work for you, consult our Top 10 Construction Software Solutions list as well as our Top 10 HVAC Software Solutions list.