COVID-19 has completely disrupted the way workforce management companies run their business and field service managers have responded in turn. With the way that coronavirus is spread, many workers are concerned about the precautions their management teams are taking to ensure that they are providing safe service. Field service technicians want to feel heard by their field service managers. These are just some of the precautions management should be taking to keep field service workers safe and satisfied.
This Service Council Survey found that 51% of field service technicians said that solving customer problems was the best part of their day-to-day. That drive to solve customers’ problems does not just stop because of a global pandemic. Service technicians want to go to work and customers are in desperate need of repairs, especially if they have been quarantining for months and putting the problem on the back burner. What they need is the support from management to get them back to doing what they love.
There are many tools in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while also providing service in emergency situations. Here is everything field service technicians want from field service managers when they are back on the job.
Technicians’ Personal Health
Technicians want management to put rules in place to ensure that both field service workers and those that they are servicing feel safe at work.
Management should be enforcing a corporate-wide requirement of personal cleanliness and new protocols in the field. Rules like technicians being required to wash hands and wear disposable gloves while they are on the job and making sure temperatures are checked before the workday begins as well as throughout the day should now be considered the norm. Management should also provide and require technicians to wear masks at all times. Frequent use of hand sanitizer should also be encouraged to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
There are steps in place as technicians arrive at a customers home that management should be requiring them to follow for safety purposes, such as:
- Calling the customer to open the door for you to prevent having to touch any door knobs
- Placing tools on a mat rather than on the customer’s tables or floor.
- Electronic paperwork to reduce contact
Technicians want to keep themselves and those they serve safe. Proper precautions should be put in place to ensure a safe and successful visit. Besides relying on technicians to solely stop the spread of COVID-19, there are many tools in place that can also assist in creating a safe environment for your employees.
Tools to Stay Safe in Workforce Management
Zip Code Management
Many benefits come from using a mobile management system. Clients can make rules about what they want in a technician and management can then define which techs are selected based on the criteria.
Not only that, if there are certain zip codes with high rates of COVID-19, management can keep their technicians out of those areas to ensure safety. That way field service workers and customers can have the peace of mind knowing that the technicians assisting them have not been visiting areas that are highly infected.
A “COVID-19 hot spot” is discovered using two methods. The first involves analyzing the total number of confirmed cases in each county and finding clusters of counties that had relatively high values. The second entails dividing total case counts by population of each county, which reveals county clusters with high rates of infection.
Workforce managers should be checking stats on their services areas weekly to ensure clusters have not disappeared or formed in the past seven days.
The tracking of technicians from place to place helps pinpoint exactly where newly infected technicians were working in the days leading up to the illness. This allows for the appropriate people to be notified and both field service technicians and customers can feel more prepared in case of an outbreak.
Using Smart Service
You can enhance the quality of service and outcomes through in-field triage and schedule adjustments based on domain knowledge, availability of parts, and proximity to jobs. Tools like ServiceEmpowerment allow technicians to provide the best service possible the first time around. By determining all of the information before the technician even arrives at the site, the technician will be able to spend less time on-site as well as ensure there is no need for a return visit. This helps limit contact between technician and customer as well as fixes the client’s problem in a timely manner.
Using a smart service has also been shown to retain workers. Not only does this keep your customers satisfied, it has been reported that it also keeps workers on the job and away from competing businesses. Technicians feeling as if they are prepared for their job increases their satisfaction in their workplace and decreases frustration.
ServiceEmpowerment can also connect with mobile management systems to ensure that zip code management is also in practice.
The Importance of Listening to your Field Service Workers
So why is all of this important to know? Listening to Field Service workers is imperative to management if they want to keep their top workers and business.
Managers should take note of what their Field Service workers are saying, not just during the pandemic, but in everyday situations. Technicians are in front of the customers every single day, they see the ins and outs of the system so they are your best resource when it comes to getting opinions on protocols and service updates.
Keeping Field Service workers happy, keeps customers happy, which in turn puts money in your pocket. After all, your business is only as good as the contractors it has. With the workforce aging at a rapid rate, competition to attract and retain new talent is fierce.
By listening to employees now, they can return to full capacity better than ever when the pandemic has been resolved and they will be stronger because of it. Respect in the workplace will translate to respect out in the field.
Although we are living in unprecedented times, there are tools available to help your business continue to grow during this pandemic. It is important to adjust to the new normal and keep your field service workers safe.
Learn more about how ServicePower can help you empower your technicians and improve customer satisfaction with our multifaceted solutions.