3 Stats That Reveal How You Can Improve Day-to-Day Work for Your Field Service Technicians
“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.”
– Angela Ahrendts
Many field service studies focus on the challenges of field service management projects as it relates to customer satisfaction and reiterate the large opportunity businesses have to improve how they interact and serve customers. While that is important, it is also meaningful (and refreshing) to see studies that focus on field service technicians and aim to understand what they think would enable them to do their job better. Why? As simple as it may be, it goes back to the equation of happy employees = happy customers = a successful company and that generally, a technician or service agent that is satisfied with his or her job will more likely to be better at their job, including treating customers better, than one that’s less happy.
Two recent studies surveyed field service technicians and found these interesting insights around the day-to-day pressures they face and what they wished they had:
1. 21% of technicians consider the feeling of isolation as the worst part of their day. (Source: The Service Council “Field Service 2016: The Technician’s Feedback” Report)Given the nature of working alone in most field service work, technicians and service professionals across many industries would likely relate to feelings of isolation while on the job. One technician surveyed in The Service Council report shared the need for “improved collaboration between departments.” Another technician noted the importance for “everyone [to] be on the same page and [have] access to accurate notes”, pointing to the lack of tools that sometimes exists within field service businesses. 2. 27% of technicians want knowledge base access and customer history information on their mobile devices. (Source: The Service Council “Field Service 2016” Report)With today’s emerging technology, technicians expect to have information they need in real time and whether they’re in the office or with a customer at a job site. Further, as The Service Council explained in their report, “technicians [have] an interest in improving resolution at the customer site” and the desire to “avoid a secondary visit, not only because of cost, but because it reflects on their brand.” Technicians want to show up to a customer’s house prepared to get the job done right the first time and so, they want to be able to readily review information, like customer maintenance histories, repair notes and equipment records before even visiting the customer.3. 45% of service agents report dissatisfaction with their current tools in the field, noting that their current tools are not fast enough. (Source: 2016 Salesforce Connected Service Study)
Service technicians and agents want to remove the obstacles to getting their work done so they can provide fast, yet stellar service to their customers. They are frustrated when their tools, like their field service mobile app on their phone, is slow or perhaps lacking in functionality. With their time spent on the road and at job sites, technicians also want to be able to do a good portion of their job, such as viewing and updating their schedule or writing notes after a job is completed, remotely.
These stats are a good reminder for field service business owners and managers to evaluate the tools and technology they’ve provided their teams. A proper, customizable field service management software will provide modern functionality, like SMS (text messaging), which makes communication between office and field techs seamless and solves for the feelings of isolation some field staff members may feel. With the right mobile app, technicians have access to the most current information and are more likely to feel better equipped to do their job well.
If you run your own field service business, have you taken some time to survey your office and field staff to understand their frustrations and concerns? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.