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Managing a Field Service Organization

What is the biggest challenge you face in driving continuous improvement in your field service fleet? Do you struggle with customer experience, scheduling, or possibly you’re experiencing too much waste time. The truth is there are many moving parts to operating an efficient fleet and the reality is, without automation you are losing in productivity, efficiency and increasing in waste.

I have worked in the In-home Repair business for over 30 years in varying roles.

Based off my experience the most challenging thing I’ve encountered was finding the time to engage with my remote work force as often as I would like. You learn very quickly to make every encounter on purpose and meaningful.

Below are the 5 key components of engaging with your team.

  1. The ride along – ride with your team member for the day. The ride along puts you in a position to notice and to provide in the moment coaching. Not only do you get a chance to see what your team member does day in and day out, you can inspect things like vehicle cleanliness, tools and parts, time management, customer interactions, processes, system performance, etc.
  2. The job shadow – similar to the ride along but done with your team members who support the field team such as Admins and Dispatchers. Sit side by side with them for the day. Watch the entire process they follow, ask questions and look for steps things that aren’t adding value and consider removing them.
  3. Goal setting – Partner with your finance team on goal setting, it is important that goals are set to attain the company’s expected financial outcome. Set goals for each team member and regularly provide feedback on where they are performing compared to those goals.
  4. Effective communication – establish a meeting rhythm – build them into your calendar. Know the meeting content, formulate a point of view and practice the delivery. Not everyone will hear the same message, be sure to circle back individually.
  5. Development – During one on ones and performance reviews you should always have discussion about development and understand what your employees need and desire. Make yourself available and follow up.

Winners keep score. It is very important to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) and to set goals that will ensure the company’s expected financial outcome. I have always found that if team members understand KPIs, know the goals and understand how they impact them they do their best to improve.

Below are some common KPIs in Field Service.

  • Scheduled calls per day
  • Productivity
  • 1st time completes
  • Redo
  • Net promoter score
  • Next day availability
  • Turn time

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It is no secret that if you are in any service business, the customer experience is extremely important.

As a leader, it is up to you to understand your customer’s needs and expectations. It is important that you can articulate your customer’s needs and expectations to your team. Empower your team to make in the moment decisions to take care of their customers. Be sure to regularly go over customer indicator KPIs with your team.

  • Next day availability
  • Turn time
  • Redo
  • NPS

Role play with employees closest to the customer, below are some scenarios to consider.

  • Attitude and appearance
  • Customer engagement
  • Keeping customer informed
  • Explanation of work
  • Explaining next steps
  • Explanation of leave behinds
  • Dealing with an upset customer
  • Empowerment

If you have interest in learning more about managing a field service workforce, please visit our website and download any of our free white papers.

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