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5 Tips to Optimize your Field Service Processes

By Mike Henstridge

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I am sure we all have stories of poor field service, whether waiting for your cable to be fixed, getting some minor electrical work done, or having an issue dismissed by a technician. Although field service is often unpredictable, there are many ways to improve your operations and provide the best customer service. Making a few tweaks and adjustments will result in far more efficient field service processes and will allow your business to serve as many customers as possible. Below, I have addressed some of the most pressing issues that harm field services and provided some solutions for optimizing and modernizing your business.

Reduce Travel Time to Jobs

The time spent on the road moving from one job to another, or back and forth to the office is often the most detrimental inefficiency. It is a waste of time and money. Creating efficient schedules is the first step in reducing travel time, and ensuring that all technicians are traveling small distances between jobs is key. Optimizing schedules, and more importantly, making last minute adjustments to schedules required to reduce travel times is essential. Considering scheduling and dispatch programs may prove to be the most effective solution to this problem. In addition, bridging the communication channel between the technicians and dispatchers will work to increase the information flow. Taking advantage of GPS routing technologies and mobile applications can greatly reduce travel time as well.

Slash the Number of Unnecessary Dispatches

A technician may be dispatched by the company to go and fix something that could have otherwise been fixed by the client in the first place. In order to reduce these dispatches, ensure that your company’s office and dispatch team is carefully taking customers through the diagnosis, detection, and solutions before sending a technician. In order to effectively use your technicians, dispatchers must be trained on simple matters in the field to better understand the severity of a given issue and to make the best decision possible regarding how to respond. Reducing these trips provides more flexibility for your technicians and eliminates unnecessary and preventable mistakes.

Increase Your First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution refers to providing technicians with the most appropriate tools that will ensure problems are solved on the first visit to the site. Studies show that repeat visits to an existing client’s premises cost an extra 24% on top of the initial total cost delegated to the task. Although there is a high likelihood that a new task may not be completed on the first time visit, minimizing the time for the next visit would save a substantial amount of money in the long run. Repeat visits also do not help with client relations and are often regarded as a hindrance or disturbance. First-time completion rates improve customer satisfaction in the long run which is vital to customer retention.

Consider Technology to Improve Your Dispatch Scheduling

Rather than relying on traditional modes of communication and paperwork that bog down field service workers, consider implementing a dispatch scheduling solution. You should aim to optimize not only scheduling, but also consider other capabilities like GPS routing, real-time reporting, vehicle and inventory tracking, electronic customer sign off, and automatic invoicing. Instead of making multiple trips to the office, technicians can access schedules online, and dispatchers can make easy alterations and adjustments throughout the day. For more information on what field service solutions will best work for you, CLICK HERE to schedule a free consultation.