Did you know that by 2022, the global field service market is expected to grow to $4.45 billion? That’s nearly $3 billion in expected growing since 2016, when the market was worth $1.78 billion. And inside the market, you have plenty of opportunistic field service organizations who are looking to get a piece of that growing pie, however, just over half of field service businesses are still doing things manually in their day to day lives.
That means sifting through paper work orders, trying to schedule their technicians using an outdated system such as whiteboards in the office or through Outlook, and those technicians in the field must spend valuable time completing those work orders and get them back to the office so they can be turned into invoices, which could take days or weeks.
Advances have been made in the field service industry, including plenty in field service management software, along with field service mobile apps, Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology and integrations with other software to help streamline much of the service delivery process. More than ever before, big data is now easily trackable and usable with analytical tools, and scheduling and dispatching technicians is now just a click of a button away.
If you think it’s time to investigate what a field service management software can do for your service delivery, it may be helpful to understand some of the red flags that generally come up with other field service organizations to evaluate where your organization stands today. Especially if they are not running any kind of field service software and are maintaining with the manual approach to service delivery.
Red Flag: Your technicians are constantly late
Customer loyalty is starting to shift, as customers are expecting better service for their money and they aren’t afraid to find someone else who will meet their expectations. Any slip up in service can cause a customer to open the phonebook and find another service organization to handle their needs, and generally the first reason they do so is because technicians are arriving late for their scheduled appointment.
Field service management software includes plenty of tools to ensure technicians aren’t going to be late and your customers don’t sit around all day waiting in that dreaded 9 to 5 window. For starters, when scheduling, dispatchers can see their technician’s full schedule, so they can properly assign jobs to their schedule without overbooking. This can help narrow down when exactly they will be available for a job, so customers aren’t waiting.
Field service dispatch software also comes with GPS routing tools to help technicians get to their job faster, avoiding any major delays, while dispatchers in an emergency can select the nearest technician geographically to a job site to ensure the travel time remains low.
Red Flag: You have a low first-time first rate
According to the Aberdeen Group Research, the most common complaint of customers is when a technician doesn’t resolve their issue the first time and has to come back. That means the customer must wait around again and the problem still isn’t fixed. There are many reasons for a low first-time fix rate, including sending the wrong technician who doesn’t have the proper skills, inadequate information for the technician going, or no access to parts to finish a repair. Whatever the case me be, a high first-time fix rate will go a long to keeping customers satisfied.
Field service software helps in all those areas, as dispatchers can search by skill set to ensure the technician responding to the job is the one who knows how to fix the issue. With a field service mobile app, technicians can also track the parts they need to finish a repair and if needed, access manuals and older service history to help them with the repair, so they can leave the first time with the issue resolved.
Red Flag: Lack of visibility into your technicians
Technicians are the life blood of any field service organization. They are the faces of the organization with the customer, and the ones doing the work that generates the profit. With them being so vital to the organization, one key problem is that there is no ability to track what they do in their day to day lives to optimize their performance.
We’ve already talked about technicians being late and not resolving issues on the first try, but it may not be because they are bad at what they do, but because they don’t have a chance in the first place. With the data collected from a field service mobile app, problems can be noticed, such as a technician is travelling to far between calls which makes them late, or that they are spending too much time on administrative duties instead of repairs.
Manual processes offer less insight into the productivity of technicians which can harm the ability to change what is wrong with the delivery of service.
Red Flag: Not offering a standard, consistent service to customers
One thing that will have customers calling back is consistent service. They want to know that when they call you for the first time or tenth time, that the service you provide will be the best it can be on each visit. It’s hard to do that, however, if technicians don’t have the tools to be consistent and if information is being lost. When a customer requests a quote, or notes are added to an account on a piece of paper, someone must catch that information to process it.
One way to create consistency is to make sure everyone has the same access to the same information. Field service mobile apps allow technicians to access all the service history they would need, while quoting tools make it easy for them in the field to provide a quote, without having to jot down information and have it turned into a quote later.
And to keep consistency high, mobile apps come with advanced checklists that have required answers, making sure nothing on a service call is missed, or else the technician can’t close out the work order.
Field Service Software Can Take Down Those Red Flags
If you want to retain customers and offer high levels or service, getting away from manual processes is a must in the field service market. Turning to a field service management software will change how your organization delivers service and make you a more empowered organization who will be able to deliver the best customer experience each time they walk onto a job site.