Your technicians are the face your customers see in the field. Your customers communicate to them and in turn, your technicians communicate back to you. They are the foundation in which your business is built on, the brand of service you offer. That is why when it comes time to introduce new technologies, such as field service management software and field service mobile apps, you need to get opinions from the people on the front lines.
The biggest mistake service managers make when selecting field service software is not asking their own people what they could use. Guessing what your technicians like and don’t like about their job, or forcing upon them something they don’t want, is a quick way to earn a low adoption rate. What your technicians want and what you think they want can often be two different things. And your reasons for wanting a field service management software can be vastly different from their reasons.
Let’s take a look at some of the worst parts of the field service job, straight from the people who are on the front lines. And then we’ll see how field service management software can help take off the stress and burden of these challenges.
Paperwork and Administrative Tasks
Many technicians will say they loath doing paperwork. They love working with their hands, but that’s with tools, not pencil and paper. According to a recent survey, 46% of technicians said this was the worst part of the job. Paper-based work orders, checklists, time sheets, inspection reports, purchase orders, the list goes on of paperwork technicians would rather not be doing. On top of that, they are responsible for it being legible, and then returned to the office for processing.
That is why technicians would love a mobile field service management software with mobile app, designed to eliminate their paperwork. No more clipboards and pencils or having to return to the office to get paper-based forms. Instead, it’s all sent to their mobile device where they can complete their work quickly, fill in notes, add expenses and once an active internet connection is available, it is immediately sent to the head office.
It’s a wise decision to equip your technicians with field service mobile apps, as beyond paperwork and administrative tasks, it’s the lifeblood of their work. It’s where everything is located, and as we’ll see moving forward, plays a large role in helping technicians do their jobs every day.
Searching for Information
Whether it be customer or service information, finding it when they need it can be one of the worst parts of the job. Information is key for technicians and if they don’t have it, they can’t correct decisions. What’s the status of the contract, or the scope of the preventative maintenance agreement? Technicians don’t know this information unless it is sent along with them. For equipment that has been serviced by another technician, what solution did they find that could be useful this time around? Unless the technician on the job is ready to shuffle through a filing cabinet to find the old work order, they may never know.
With a field service mobile app, however, they are connected to the field service management software. All that information is at their finger-tips. Customer and service information can be easily accessed from their mobile app, giving the technician greater insight into repairs. From their mobile phone, technicians can search through service history to find repair notes. This will greatly improve their first-time fix rate and the speed at which they complete their service calls. It allows for collaboration among technicians and gives them all the necessary information they need to find a solution. Plus, it limits the amount of time they spend trying to find information, as one of the most time-consuming activities is looking up information on customers, service history and parts.
The road of a field service technician can often be a lonely one, leaving them feeling isolated and alone. Especially with a difficult repair on their hands and no one to call or ask for help when they need it. It can be a stressful and frustrating part of the job. According to the survey, 21% of technicians responded saying isolation is the worst part of the job. They are required to meet customer expectations and business goals, often alone without any backup.
Give them backup with a field service management software mobile app so they don’t feel alone. As mentioned, having access to service history can make it a lot easier to find solutions to repairs. But if those are available, manuals and how-to guides can be attached to the work order to get technicians the information they need. And with a mobile device, communication lines are wide open, as technicians can email and text message, so they are feeling less isolated when they need help.
Pressure to Sell
Technicians are being asked to increase their skill set to include selling. By nature, technicians don’t enjoy the pressure to meet sales goals, and would rather focus on repairs than sales. But with the ever-changing field service marketplace, technicians are being asked to put their sales hats on and up sell customers when possible. Technicians generally have the most trust to recommend customers new products, making them perfect sales people. But that doesn’t mean they enjoy that aspect of the job, explaining pricing, quoting work and trying to make a sale.
With field service management software, quoting can be done in their mobile app, giving them the ability to turn a quick opportunity into a new work order. Pricing, parts and inventory are at their finger-tips, and from their smart phone, they can build a quote for a customer that is accurate and includes everything the technician would need to complete service. Don’t leave your technicians on their own trying to sell service without the proper tools to do it. It also serves the secondary purpose of ensuring that when your customers need more service, they can request it from their technician rather than having to deal with a sales person.
Keep Your Technician in Mind
Your technician will be able to tell you what the worst part of their job is. Considering they are the ones doing the repair work, talking with customers and performing service, their needs and wants should be taken seriously. Ask them what changes they would like to see, and then see how a field service management software with field service mobile apps can offer a solution.