Running a successful field service business can be challenging.
Just think about the number of factors to put into consideration when drawing up a single day’s timetable. The number of technical staff, their skills, the geographical area to cover, and many other factors must all be considered.
Given the complexity, firms today often leverage field service scheduling software to help get the right people onsite for field service tasks.
Here are five reasons why getting the right field service technician for the job through field service scheduling automation is crucial.
Reason 1: Maximizing Productivity
A well-managed field service operation ensures that technicians are assigned just the right amount of work each day, based on skill level.
There will be very few incidences of the workforce being overworked. This not only improves productivity but also raises job satisfaction levels.
Underutilization of skills is also prevented. Staffers who have days without getting tasks will often feel frustrated from a lack of work.
Good field service operations have ways of conveying real-time information to field teams with field service scheduling automation. The dispatch center can convey changes or cancellations to field teams as they happen. This helps to minimize downtime.
Reason 2: Meeting Customer Expectations
Getting the right person for the job instills confidence in the eyes of customers. The right person will diagnose and fix the issue at hand reasonably fast.
Knowledgeable technicians often go the extra mile to break down the problem to customers and explain how they intend to fix it. They also give tips on how to prevent a problem from recurring. They do not have to do this, but they enjoy it. It helps build a relationship with customers who become loyal to the company.
Therefore, a good scheduling system forms part of the greater company target of growing customer loyalty.
Reason 3: Analyzing Usage of Resources
Field service scheduling software offers greater advantages beyond assigning tasks. It allows visibility into utilization of resources such as fleet vehicles, company time, and inventory.
If a particular part in the inventory is being damaged too often during repair, the service team may need retraining. If certain parts do not last as expected, it may be a sign of supplier fault. If teams are staying stationary for too long without getting tasks, then the company may be over-staffed.
Such things are hard to analyze when scheduling is done on a whiteboard or in Excel spreadsheets. Decision making is easier when enough data has been collected.
Reason 4: The Chance to Convert Service to Sales
The right technician can help boost sales for your company. They are constantly meeting clients and building trust on behalf of the company. They can recommend changing of parts or purchase of new products altogether.
This can be a great way to grow company sales. Technicians should receive proper training on how to recommend new products and services to customers.
There should be a way of following up leads created by your technical team to avoid losing out on revenue opportunities.
Reason 5: Driving More First-Time Fixes
When a field service company can get the right technicians on site with the right tools, it improves the first time fix-rate immensely. This not only saves the company money by avoiding sending multiple technicians but also increases customer satisfaction.
With the right field service scheduling software, the technicians’ specific skills are taken into consideration in the scheduling process.
A good example would be sending an apprentice technician to do preventive maintenance such as oil changes. A senior technician would be sent if complex repairs are due.
Tips on Field Service Technician Scheduling
Besides field service scheduling software, there are a few important pointers that companies must pay attention to.
Determine the required skills for field service technicians
First, the company must determine the right mix of skills technicians are expected to possess. This list should be updated as more data from the field is collected. It should inform the hiring decisions, as well as the training and development programs within the company.
In addition, the company does not have to go beyond the staffing budget. It can have a few full-time technicians plus a few who come in whenever service demand rises.
Define the scheduling workflow strategy
A field service organization must have a strategy on how to handle its workflow. It must be clear what informs decision making on how teams are spread out or assigned tasks. Are teams split based on routes? Are they split based on functions and skills?
Each organization is different and copying another company’s strategies will not always work. A pest control company can probably afford to ask customers to wait a day for a technician to come. But a large production company cannot afford to halt operations more than a few hours. Communication is important so that all the moving parts of an operation work toward a common goal.
Get the right dispatcher leading the field service team
Having the right dispatcher is important because they act like a captain for the ship, issuing instructions and ensuring they are followed. A dispatcher should have a good understanding of what the technicians’ work involves, including the time and skill required for various duties. They must also be good at customer service so that they can handle customer calls gracefully.
The organization must empower the dispatcher by having a dashboard from where they can trace the locations of teams, the sources of customer calls, and all other necessary information to make decisions and answer customers’ questions.
Picking the Right Software
As highlighted, getting the right field service management software will not only increase productivity of your staff, but it also helps minimize time wastage. Field service scheduling automation allows the collection of useful information for insights on ways to improve workflow.
In the end, decision making around inventory, time management, hiring, training, and rewarding of your field technicians will improve massively.
If your company needs help with field technician scheduling software, check out Service Pro from MSI Data.