People are the driving force behind any HVAC field service organization. After all, it is the technicians in the field dealing with customers that bring in revenue. HVAC field service software contributes to their success by automating processes and limiting administration work. But it is the people that your focus should be on if you want to move your business forward. So, the question becomes, do you have a roadmap for people?
As the field service industry changes, the workforce of people changes with it. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to hire skilled technicians. Because of this, businesses are turning to HVAC field service software to utilize the technicians they have. As the industry continues to grow, however, you will need a roadmap to attract, retain and utilize technicians better. Because without people, you have no service department. And no HVAC field service software can replace the hands of a technician. Although, they can help supplement plenty of their recurring administrative work.
Here are some points to consider when building your people roadmap.
HVAC Field Service Roles are Changing
The roles of technicians in the HVAC field service industry are changing. There are plenty of retirements happening, which is leaving a shortage of skilled technicians. The talent shortage is making some business think about their people roadmap more thoroughly. That includes how do you hire them, onboard them, optimize their schedules and reduce their administration time. However, with a reduced workforce, they are turning to HVAC field service software to help.
Many HVAC organization are now developing their people roadmap around the digital strategy. How can they use HVAC field service software and increase the workload of their small workforce? With a software solution, the idea is to give technicians all the tools they need to succeed. But also, take on new job roles, such as sales, with quoting and sales tools on their mobile app. The first part of any roadmap is defining the roles your HVAC field service technicians will take. Although, with HVAC software, those roles are now expanding to maximize the technician’s utilization.
Hiring Soft Skills, Training Repair Skills
Recruitment in the HVAC field service space has changed. With HVAC field service software hosting the knowledge of experienced technicians, the focus has changed. That’s because technicians can access service history and have modern technology to assist in repairs. So now, HVAC businesses are hiring soft skills, such as customer service skills, rather than wrench skills.
It’s more important today to offer a better customer experience, which means your technicians need customer service skills. The people roadmap is now focusing on these types of skills and offering to teach new technicians repair skills. With this in mind, HVAC businesses can target a new group of people to work in the field. They can take service professionals and train them using Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and mobile apps. With access to work order information, service history, manuals and video libraries for repairs, wrench skills can be learned on the job. It’s hard to teach customer service skills, but anyone can be taught repair skills.
Setting Performance Expectations
With these new roles assigned to people and new skills in the workforce, there will need to be expectations. Business goals and outcomes need people to be strong in order to succeed. A strong performing financial organization needs everyone performing at peak efficiency. After all, you can’t have financial success without having people success.
In order to ensure this, metrics can be set up to establish goals for technicians to meet. Even simple things such as travel times, administrative times, repair times and expenses can be tracked. Using Business Intelligence in an HVAC Field Service Software, managers can monitor Key Performance Indicators per technician. Because information is coming straight from the field, real-time business decisions can be made. Technicians can adjust their behavior instantly, rather than waiting weeks or months to identify problems. It’s critical that technicians meet their KPIs, especially with a short-staffed workforce. Delays, long travel times and high expenses can have drastic effects on the businesses bottom line.
Looking Outside the Workforce for Help
Sometimes, there is just too much work to complete and not enough hands. That is becoming a reality for many in the HVAC field service business, as workforces continue to shrink. Because of this, subcontractors are becoming a new norm. Subcontractors can take on the work that your workforce doesn’t have time to complete. The obvious benefit to subcontractors is that they don’t require full-time pay. You only pay them when they complete a job.
With subcontractor management tools in your HVAC field service software, the hiring, quoting, service and paying process is made easy. Use onboarding tools to add subcontractors to your workforce. Dispatch them using the same field service mobile app your in-house technicians use. Have them quote you a price, accept the quote and push work orders to their mobile device. Upon completion on the work, quickly create pay vouchers to get them paid on time.
To better utilize your in-house technicians, HVAC organizations are using subcontractors for routine work. With checklists and mobile apps, they are keeping their standards and quality high. After all, these people are part of your business and represent your brand. Even if they don’t work for you full-time, you are trusting them with your customers. It’s a great way to hire for skills and certifications you wouldn’t otherwise have in your organization. Or you can expand to other areas geographically. However, with HVAC field service software, they are just like any other member of your team to dispatchers.
HVAC Field Service Software Can Assist Your People Roadmap
A proper people roadmap can make a successful HVAC service department run smoothly. Get the people in place with the right processes, and focus on your organization’s mission, goals and service. Continue to focus on the people who make your service team function well. Give dispatchers the tools they need to make fast decisions and optimize routes. And give your technicians the mobile tools they need to speed up repairs in the field. After all, it’s all about offering a great customer experience, and you can only do that with the right people.