Customer service is the backbone of any business’s brand reputation. Whether the customer is purchasing a hamburger at a fast food restaurant or vacationing at a luxury hotel chain, one bad experience can damage the entire company’s bottom line. In fact, companies in the U.S. lose $75 billion a year due to poor customer service, up from $62 billion just three years ago.
According to research conducted by McKinsey & Company, maximizing customer service can “lift revenue by up to 15 percent while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20 percent.”
Businesses need to do all they can to optimize performance and maintain customer service consistency across all service areas. This is especially true for field service management organizations with large regional or national service areas.Customer service issues can be difficult to identify when companies lack the field service management software necessary to provide a single source of truth for the entire enterprise. For field service organizations, this shows up as poor customer service, a low first-time fix rate (FTFR), and inefficient field service management processes.
Below, we’ll explore three ways to optimize your field service teams to boost regional performance and improve customer satisfaction.
It can be challenging to manage field service technicians, both employed and contracted. There is no way to truly know how, or if, they’re using the field service software you’ve provided them. When they don’t use the software, you can end up with missing or inaccurate data—data that’s essential for informing both regional and global performance metrics.
So why aren’t your technicians using the software? It may be that a particular technician was never thoroughly trained on the software or he or she doesn’t completely understand how the software can help them succeed in their job. Or the new software may have changed and technicians are hesitant to leave the familiar to learn something new.
Regardless of the cause, addressing the identified issue is critical for driving adoption and improving performance consistency.
Field service managers must take the time to personally address software usage with each technician on a regular basis to get buy-in. Make sure technicians understand how the software can boost job performance and lead to faster fix rates, which then leads to higher profits.. Technicians also need to understand the bigger picture of how the technology provides the real-time data analytics needed to manage everything from inventory to claims to customer engagement.
When employees understand how their role impacts processes and revenues, they’re more likely to be fully engaged in their work.
Proactively Address Burnout
Field service technicians, especially contracted and freelance technicians, often work for multiple field service companies at the same time. This can lead to being overworked, stressed, and burnt out. With burnout comes low motivation, decreased productivity, and reduced quality of work—all of which directly impact the customer service experience. High burnout rates can also lead to increased employee churn and the expensive and time-consuming process of recruiting, on-boarding, and training.
The best way to manage a hybrid workforce and reduce burnout is to leverage third-party dispatch software and mobile workforce management solutions.
These intelligent technologies increase flexibility and reduce delayed appointments. Field service management companies using this software are able to:
- Identify the technician with the appropriate skills for each job
- Ensure technician deployment based on availability
- Empower field service managers with real-time status updates on in-progress jobs
- Take advantage of metric monitoring and compliance reporting
Giving contracted technicians the tools they need to succeed helps reduce burnout, improve their quality of work, and enhance the customer experience.
Businesses that don’t have the resources to effectively manage a hybrid workforce should take advantage of Contractor Management Services. Transitioning this obligation to industry experts helps ensure you’re receiving a positive ROI on your contractor investments.
Replace Outdated Technology
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at lightning speed. If your current field service management software can’t keep up with things like smart home devices and predictive maintenance, you’re putting your business at risk.
Even with the best operational processes and a stellar management team, succeeding in the world of the IoT requires intelligent software that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning. Without it, the gap between customer expectations and the field service organization’s ability to meet those expectations will drift farther and farther apart.
Field service organizations that want to ensure long-term success will need to embrace new, data-driven technologies that match the sophistication of devices they service. The best solutions are those with a holistic approach where every step of the service process—from appointment scheduling and dispatch to mobile workforce management and inventory management—is connected in a way that drives efficiencies, engages the technician, improves FTFRs, and delivers a better customer experience. These technologies also give leadership the actionable, real-time data they need to gain an accurate picture of performance across the organization.