Digital transformation has been a buzz term in field service management for years, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing it to the forefront for even the most reluctant of companies. Transforming the manual — manual paperwork, manual reporting, and manual labor — into the automated is now the foundation, the base from which we can do even more.
This blog post will explain how a field service dashboard with field service analytics can enable data-driven decision-making, which will help field service organizations learn from and act on KPIs and increase operational visibility. All this paves the path to improved customer satisfaction and better used time.
What Does a Good Field Service Dashboard Do?
Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) means businesses make strategic decisions based on data — from qualitative facts to quantitative metrics. This allows a business to align every move with its specific business goals, objectives, and initiatives. Digital transformation has made gathering data easy; now, easily accessible and configurable field service dashboards and analytics extract value from data, turning numbers into action across an entire organization.
Leverage Field Service KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are some of the most usable data for field service organizations to understand how their business performs over time. They allow the business to measure performance against goals. For example, does time traveled by a service technician, first-time fix rate, customer satisfaction rates, and cost per job meet the business’s goals for customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and field technician performance? Understanding KPIs helps organizations identify the causes of issues so they can implement the appropriate corrections to better meet their goals of being more productive, more efficient, and more satisfying for customers.
- Process Performance
Time is the primary metric used to measure performance for a field service process. For example, a business needs to know how a field technician spends their time on a job and when they finish it. Using the dashboard and analyzing the data from it, a tech can share their billable and nonbillable hours, in-house administrators can make smart decisions about overtime, and everyone, from field techs to VPs can understand how time is spent and address key time metrics related to performance.
- Operational Efficiency
Each organization has its own definition of efficiency and success, and a customized dashboard allows for this uniqueness. As much as a field services dashboard can be custom-tailored, it also does what every business wants: allow everyone in the organization to recognize and correct issues more quickly than a siloed and manual process.
For example, identifying field technician travel, response, and repair times points out issues underlying long repair times. This can also show where additional technician training might be needed; backed up by data, field techs can make a case for continuing education in areas such as improving response times. Feeling supported is a top reason employees give for feeling satisfied at work and staying with a company.
- Service Delivery
While every service organization’s goal is to provide excellent customer service, organizations need to also consider the cost of providing that service. This is where the evaluation of metrics such as capture time-to-resolution, downtime, and equipment availability comes into play. Additionally, analyzing parts and inventory — can also help solve issues.
- Customer Experience
Field service organizations approach the question of customer experience from the customer perspective: how they view the handling of communication by the organization; the quantity and severity of complaints they give; and their satisfaction and feedback. In total, these factors, unique to each business, can provide a deep understanding of how their service is perceived and enjoyed by their customers.
Metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) are critical measures of customer loyalty to a company and satisfaction with customer service. Effective field service management software has been proven to help organizations improve their NPS by 27% and customer satisfaction ratings by 15%.
Benefits of Using a Field Service Dashboard
One of the worst places for data to live is in one department. Yet too often, that’s what happens. Field service departments are notorious for being siloed. Without cross-departmental collaboration, departments may make isolated decisions that end up misaligning with or even negatively affecting, other departments and the whole company. A successful field service dashboard enables field service organizations to share previously isolated information across multiple departments. This improves communications and the overall customer experience.
Improve Customer Satisfaction and Save Time
Indeed, in the end, all this work is aiming for an improved customer experience. Customers are six times more likely to buy if they’ve had a positive emotional experience, as well as 12 times more likely to recommend the company and five times more likely to forgive a mistake. So, if all the team members of a field service organization can input their data in one place and if the appropriate leaders in all departments can review, analyze, and implement changes based on the data, a lot of benefit is passed on to the customer. Technicians have real-time access to schedule and job adjustments, reducing the chance of an unqualified worker showing up or scheduling conflicts leading to poor or even missed service.
As previously mentioned, customers invest in companies when they feel a positive emotional connection. As the field service industry has gotten more innovative, so have its customers. Investing in a workforce management system with a customer portal is imperative in meeting customer expectations in this digital era. In 2020, 88% of customers expected brands to have an online self-service customer portal. If a customer is deciding between two field service management companies, and only one has a customer portal, they are most likely going to choose the one with the portal. Customer portals have a plethora of benefits and can provide the customer base with two-way communication between customers and field personnel to ensure the highest quality service possible. Customer portals can also expedite cash flow through online payments. Delighting customers and getting money in your business’s pocket quicker is a win-win for both parties.
Unified reporting from multiple locations forms a consistent reference for staff and leadership. The field service dashboard makes this information available even when team members are on the go, and customization ensures the data’s usefulness, no matter the business’s concerns and goals. DDDM is what field services organizations are aiming for; a field service dashboard and analytics are the tools to get them there.
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