Scheduling and dispatch may not have the same growth potential as other areas in the field service lifecycle. Mobile capabilities, reporting and analytics and billing and invoicing have significantly grown in capabilities and advancements. However, if you don’t get the scheduling and dispatching of your technicians right, there is no room to grow your business. In fact, you may not even have a field service business for long. That’s because, at the foundation, dispatching and scheduling technicians are critical to the success of the entire business. If you don’t get your people where they need to be, and on-time, customers are going to look elsewhere for someone who can.
Field Service Scheduling Software Manages Schedules
When service requests come in, the balancing act for dispatchers is to find a time to schedule the call. The manual process would have them looking at whiteboards with technicians’ schedules, checking Outlook email for scheduling information, or paper-based schedules and calendars. Those are slow processes and leave room for error if changes weren’t documented properly. When a customer is on the phone, you want to be able to pull up a schedule and give them an exact time they can expect someone.
Calendar and appointment management is paramount if your field service business is going to succeed. Especially if you want to take on more clients and increase your workload. That’s why field service scheduling software has been called the bedrock of field service management. That’s because you can’t take on more customers if you don’t have your scheduling perfected.
During the scheduling process, dispatchers can narrow down the workforce of technicians to those who match a skillset. Scheduling is made easier and more effective, as you are removing the schedules of technicians who can’t complete the service call. From there, you can see an entire calendar of their day, week or month and what they already have booked. Now you can relay that information to your customer and give a better timeframe for when they should expect service.
Field Service Dispatch Software Gets Your People on Site
A great field service dispatch software can be the difference in how many services calls each of your technicians can take. Your technicians’ schedules are not set in stone and neither are your dispatchers. They should be as fluid as water when it comes to scheduling and dispatching. That’s because changes happen, emergency calls come in, other calls get cancelled, so you need to be able to adapt on the fly. So, with a field service dispatch software, you can be as fluid as you need to be.
It all starts with optimizing your technicians’ schedules for the day. It can be as simple as moving service calls around to fit more into their eight-hour day, removing any idle time that they may have. Idle time is time that can be spent working on other calls. If you have multiple little breaks during the day, that’s one or more service calls they could be taking. With a drag and drop system, however, it’s easy to move calls into the position you want them. Or, you can reassign them to someone who has openings in their schedule in order to better optimize your entire service department. Field service dispatch software gives you complete control over your entire workforce. It’s amazing what you can do with every schedule of every technician at your fingertips.
Routing Your Resources to the Job
Scheduling and dispatching have seen improvements inside field service dispatch software. It hasn’t all been left to just advancements in mobility and automation. Firstly, GPS tracking has enabled dispatchers to get a real-time look into the movements of their workforce in the field. Fleet tracking and Geofencing are giving dispatchers more information on technician driving habits, routes and the location of their resources. And in turn, dispatchers are using that information to better manage resources and schedule better.
Secondly, resource routing tools are giving dispatchers the ability to see the routes their technicians are taking each day. From in their field service dispatch software, they can then adjust schedules and routes to better optimize them each day. Don’t have your technicians crossing back over the same route they already took. Adjust their schedule so that their route is the shortest possible to each call and, reduce the amount of driving they are completing. It also gives you the ability to tell your customers when exactly you will be on site, or narrow down the timeframe to a few hours, rather than making them wait all day.
Finally, you also can see every appointment that needs to be scheduled on a dynamic display map. Field service scheduling software isn’t just about what has been scheduled, but what is coming up. Easily find the nearest technician and assign them an appointment. Use optimization tools and make it a part of their schedule as if that was the plan all along.
Don’t Be Late with Field Service Dispatch Software
The number one reason customers don’t rehire a field service business is because of lateness. If they are over an hour wait, 67% of customers will look elsewhere. Even half an hour late will see 36% of customers going with someone else. If you are going to make a commitment on timing, you need to live up to those commitments. And to do that, you need a field service dispatch software that can give your dispatchers confidence in the dates and times they are giving.
They can only do that by:
– Having each technician’s schedule at their fingertips
– Being able to be fluid in their scheduling practices
– Having the tools to optimize schedules to reduce driving and idle times
Give your dispatchers a field service scheduling software and secure the bedrock of your field service business. Once your base is secure, then start to worry about optimizing and growing in other areas to continue improving your field service delivery.