Quality service and quality products are what every field service management business strives to deliver. It can be a challenge for any business to deliver quality service. And it can be an even larger challenge to define what quality is. Quality isn’t something you can plug into your work order software and get a metric back. It’s defined by your customers, your managers and your technicians.

There are many different ways to build a quality program, and many are starting with work order software to do so. However, for field service management businesses, there are plenty of questions to ask yourself, and your customers, to define quality. What is quality service to you, might not be enough for your customers. So, here are some questions to ask when concerned with the quality of service you are offering.

How do your customers define field service management quality?

This question is likely to be the most important question to ask. That’s because your customer’s opinion matters the most. You can believe you have a quality product and quality service, but if your customers don’t think you do, they won’t be calling you for service. So, how do your customers define quality themselves? Does that mean they care about faster service over higher first-time fix rates? Do they define quality service as preventative maintenance contracts that are automated and ensure their equipment stays working longer? Or, do they care more about the parts and equipment you sell?

It’s very likely that the definition of quality will be different for each of your customers. So, tracking many different metrics, such as first-time fix rates, mean repair times, and quantity of parts sold, are import in your work order software. Tracking the type of service you offer the most will reinforce the quality of service you offer. If more customers are turning to you for installation project work, it quite possibly means you are offering a quality service.

Is your field service management business ready for quality?

This may seem like a weird question to ask because every business should be ready for quality. However, some field service management businesses are not ready to start a quality program because they haven’t built the infrastructure or have the processes in place to offer quality. Ask yourself, is your business still using manual processes? Are you still using paper-based work orders and whiteboards for scheduling? If the answer is “yes” to those questions, then your field service management business isn’t ready for quality service programs.

With work order software, manual processes and paper-based work orders are removed from electronic work orders and cloud-based solutions. Firstly, using a work order software puts everyone in one portal. Secondly, you’re automating your entire process. Thirdly, you’re changing your entire process to a way that makes you better prepared to offer quality service.

Does quality need a different plan than your business plan?

A business plan is essential for any field service management business to succeed. It’s essential for any business for that matter. However, is that enough for you, or should you also have a separate plan for quality as well? Actually, you need both. And they should be working together, not separated. You need an overall business plan, but you also need a plan for the quality levels of service you want to target. If you want to hit a high first-time fix rate, how are you going to get there? And how is that going to affect your overall business? By using work order software, how will that ensure work orders are completed faster and invoices sent out quicker? And how will that affect your overall business and the cash flow you have? A quality plan and a business plan should go hand-and-hand in the field service management industry.

How far should you go to implement quality?

This may seem like an odd question, as too much quality isn’t a bad thing at all. However, what you want is the right kind of quality and achieving it the best way possible. For example, if you are hitting high first-time fix rates, but your technicians are always late because they are driving back to the office to grab parts, are you really providing quality service? You can’t sacrifice quality in one department for quality in another and call it a success. So, when looking an implementing quality using work order software, it has to affect every aspect of your service delivery.

That means having a high first-time fix rate but giving your technicians a field service mobile app to check all their work orders on in the morning so they can grab the parts they need. And then giving them turn-by-turn navigation to help get them to the job site. As well as optimizing their route so they are spending less time driving and more time making repairs. Achieve the right kind of quality by making changes across your entire field service management business. Don’t sacrifice one area to please another.

How can you monitor quality?

Quality, as we said, can’t be defined in a number. There is no quality score your business can generate using Business Intelligence modules. You can look at business directors and Yelp for quality reviews by customers, but that doesn’t dive deep into your field service management business, and just gives you a warm feeling on the surface.

So, how do you monitor quality? By using work order software and tracking things like your first-time fix rate, products sold, mean travel and repair times, and technician utilization. By setting up Key Performance Indicators, your business can hit all the targets you set for quality. If a technician is slipping, you get real-time information to adjust and provide training to increase quality. Don’t let your people slip and quality suffer. Track all the KPIs that are important to your businesses quality and adjust as you need to keep your customers happy.

Start a quality program today!

Quality doesn’t happen overnight, but it can start today. Field service management businesses need to be more concerned about the quality of their service more than ever before. With increased competition in the industry, customers have more options to choose from for the service they want. And customer values have changed in that, customers are willing to pay more for quality service. In fact, they prefer it to a discount service they can’t trust. Track your quality today with work order software and monitor the success of your business. Ask the right questions and design a quality plan that works for your business.

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