The need for competent field services has become important in the modern world as a result of high customer expectations as well as complex and diverse equipment. Even though some companies endeavor to educate their customers and facilitate timely self-service repairs and maintenance of their own products, few customers are willing to take on the tasks themselves. Therefore, field service organizations need to take measures to deliver timely, efficient service to all customers in need. In order to do that, manage seasonal spikes in demand, as well as meet corporate cost and margin metrics, many field service organizations realize the need to rely not only on an employed workforce but one that includes third-party networks as well. Below, we’ll detail the top 3 reasons why field service organizations should utilize mixed labor forces, which include credentialed third-party contractors, and even on-demand technicians.
3 Reasons FSOs Must Use 3rd Party Contractors
1. Instant Gratification
Let’s face it, the person calling for service on a home product is still, even in 2015, frequently a wife and mother, albeit they might be a domestic engineer or a CEO. In the corporate environment, the business person calling is unable to meet his own customer’s needs because your product is down and they may not care that they hadn’t signed up for a premium service package. Customers with broken products don’t want a phone fix or a ‘how to video’ so they can do it themselves. They’re already frustrated and want YOU to FIX IT NOW. Yet there are times you simply do not have an employee with any open time on their schedule to get out today or even tomorrow to fix the product, or you may not have a part in inventory in that area. During peak seasons, like the holidays or summer in Fort Myers, Florida, your techs are scheduled 5-7 days out already. Third-party contractors and on-demand technicians enable you to mix contracted resources into your labor pool to get a qualified, vetted, trained person onsite RIGHT NOW, to fix the product, and also provide you another source for parts if you have real time parts inventory visibility also enabled.
Voila – another option to solve the problem. Happy customer. Positive Tweet.
2. Consistent Service Delivery
Using third-party contractors doesn’t impede your ability to streamline and standardize service delivery in your own organization, and with today’s technology, you can also manage customer experience despite using third-party contractors. With the right field service management software solution, your organization can dispatch a contractor to the job pushing out the relevant customer, job, and asset information, and gather similar job status information as can be secured from employed technicians fitted with company mobile or wearable devices. Third parties enable you to manage demand fluctuation without impacting your customer service levels or first-time fix goals assuming you choose a technology that is tailored to manage a mixed labor force.
3. Managed Overhead
Recruiting, vetting, hiring, and training field technicians are time-consuming and expensive. The pool of qualified technical skills is decreasing year over year. The demographics have shifted to such a degree that the millennials versus baby boomers, who may have been on the job for decades, are what you have to pick from. Intelligently mixing contracted labor allows your field service organization to hire and train for steady-state, predictable demand, while also enabling your team to get enough hands in to the pipeline when Snowmageddon hits Boston and everyone’s heaters go out. No organization can maintain surplus labor all year long.
A much-admired colleague has often reminded me that there is no such thing as a new idea, only recycled, revamped, dusted-off old ideas. While there may be exceptions to that adage, mixed labor strategies have been employed by some of the leading edge manufacturers for more than a decade. It’s not a trend and it’s not a new idea. It’s become more accepted and more often deployed because consumers’ expectations have changed. Technologies are changing every day. Labor is getting younger, and more tech-savvy all the time. Using a robust, intelligent field service management software platform is the key to taking this old idea, and implementing it in your operation, to meet today’s challenges.
Customers are the most important aspect of any business. Without customers, your business won’t survive in the long run. Your organization must therefore provide an excellent experience from the point of sale through post-sale product support. Top-notch service and support build customer loyalty, creating brand awareness and future opportunities for repeat purchases. Unfortunately, some organizations fail to provide excellent service to their customers, not meeting expectations or creating confusion.
Using 3rd Party Contractors
Still on the fence about using third-party contractors in your FSO? Learn the Pros and Cons of Third-Party Service Outsourcing.