Field service companies are confronted with unique communication challenges. With a majority of the workers being in the field, and a workforce that often comprises both employees and contractors, creating a collaborative work environment with healthy communication can be difficult. However, it’s immensely important that your company feels like one cohesive team in order to be successful, together.
While overcoming these communication barriers and establishing a positive work environment can be difficult, there are tools and methods that make it easier. In this blog, we’ll cover the top 5 tips to improve communication with your field technicians and ultimately improve the teamwork, efficiency, and productivity of the entire company.
Tips to Improve Communication with Your Field Technicians
- Share Your Company’s Vision and Objectives
In order for technicians to feel invested in your company, they need to understand what your company is all about and why they should care. Technicians are often siloed from the rest of the company and aren’t given visibility into the company’s core vision and objectives. Breaking down this barrier is an important step in integrating technicians into your team. By taking the time to teach your technicians, both contracted and employed, about the inner workings of your company, you can break down this barrier and start integrating them into your company culture. For instance, consider adding a company culture, vision, and objectives section in your technician onboarding and training. After all, a technician that understands your company is empowered to feel like a valuable part of the team and better represent your company to customers in the field.
- Listen to What They Have to Say
Fostering an environment of understanding goes both ways. It is equally important for your company to take the time to listen to your technicians and take note of their opinions and suggestions. Moreover, technicians are experts at what is going on in the field, because they are the ones that are actually in the field on a daily basis. This means that they have unique and valuable insights into what processes are working, and which ones are not. By providing a platform for technicians to communicate about their challenges and successes in the field, you can cultivate a relationship based on respect and mutual understanding. Likewise, you can boost company morale, technician retention, and also break down roadblocks harming productivity in the field.
- Collect Feedback from Customers
Similarly, customers are helpful and relevant sources of feedback. Seeing as your customers are the ones who interact with your technicians, they know exactly what your company’s workflow and customer experience actually look like in the field. Without tapping into their knowledge, you could miss out on easy and actionable feedback to improve your company, and opportunities to acknowledge a job well done. And the latter is quite important for creating a positive work environment that keeps technicians coming back. As with anyone, being recognized and rewarded for your efforts is a validating experience. By sharing customer feedback with technicians, you can make technicians feel appreciated for the hard work they perform day in and day out.
- Work in Real-Time
In the modern field service industry, a technician can only be as successful as the information they have access to. For instance, even the best technician can’t resolve a customer’s issue on the first try if they hit traffic caused by a bad route in the field, the parts and inventory data is not up to date, or the customer’s issue has changed since the initial request. These easily avoidable challenges make a technician’s job unnecessarily difficult, which doesn’t benefit anyone involved. By providing your team with field service management software that has real-time data, you can resolve all of these challenges in one fell swoop. With the most up to date and accurate information, technicians can quickly pivot their strategies and make real-time data-driven decisions that drive success.
- Equip Your Team with the Right Tools
Not all field service management software is created equal, and a software’s shortcomings are a technician's disadvantage. That’s why equipping your team with the right tools is the easiest way to give your technicians a leg up. For instance, the best field service software has Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities. With access to these tools, field technicians can perform services that they’ve never done before, all on the first try. Nobody likes to feel stumped or out of their league, especially in front of a customer. These innovative capabilities enable technicians to easily overcome roadblocks all while expanding their repertoire of knowledge. With faster and more efficient service, technicians can cover more ground in a day, improving the customer experience, productivity, and ultimately your company’s profitability.
Communication in Field Service Management
Faulty communication can be the detriment to the success of a field service company, but improving your communication doesn’t need to be hard. Treating your technicians with respect is the baseline. By focusing on these five actionable tips, you can demonstrate that you respect your technicians and care about empowering them to be successful. Just follow these simple tips:
- Share your company’s vision and objectives with technicians
- Listen to what your technicians are saying
- Collect feedback from your customers
- Work in real time
- Equip your technicians with field service software
With this new outlook on communication, you can build a respectful relationship with your technicians and start succeeding as a team.
Ready to improve your field service company’s communication? Explore how ServicePower’s visionary software can help you get there with a custom demo.